Sometimes a man will face penis itching that takes things to an extreme, making it impossible for him to keep his hands away from his groin. That's often the case with pubic lice, which is one of those penis problems that can make a guy cringe at the very thought of it. The good news is that with prompt and proper penis care, a guy can quickly get on the road to healing from the itch and eradicating those little bugs.

What are pubic lice?

Pubic lice are exceedingly tiny parasites, measuring only about 2 millimeters in length when fully grown. They are usually yellow, gray or red. They are so tiny that it's usually impossible to actually see them, and it might take a strong magnifying glass or microscope to confirm what they are. If a guy does manage to see one, it will look quite like a sea crab. They are similar to head lice, but not the same thing at all – pubic lice almost always wind up in the groin area.

How does a guy get them?

Pubic lice are typically spread by skin-to-skin contact. The contact must be direct, which is usually why they are spread during sexual play. Using a condom does not stop transmission of the lice, as they can cling to areas that the condom will not cover. In addition, the lice may be transmitted by fabric that has come into contact with the groin, such as underwear or sheets. When there are lice in the sheets, for example, a guy can get them simply by crawling into bed.

It's very important to remember that even someone with excellent penis care and overall hygiene can easily contract pubic lice. So just because someone “looks clean” does not mean anything about whether they have pubic lice – or other infections, for that matter.

How does a guy know he has them?

The first tip-off is the overwhelming itch, which can leave a man scratching so badly that it actually creates irritated skin and possibly even open sores. Another sign is a black powdery look to underwear after removing them, or tiny dots of blood in the area. There might be bluish dots on the skin, almost like tiny bruises, that are the result of bites from the lice. Keep in mind that a man can be infected for several weeks before the symptoms begin to show up.

Getting rid of pubic lice

Pubic lice are tough to eradicate, so it's necessary to get a doctor involved. Prescription creams can be rubbed on the area that will kill off the lice, and prescription shampoos will work as well. But a guy will still need to get rid of the “nits,” or eggs, of the lice. Since these are usually attached to hair, many men find that shaving their pubic hair helps a great deal. But even if a man is clean-shaven, he still must use the prescription cream exactly as directed, as pubic lice are notoriously tough to remove.

Finally, all bedding or areas where sexual activity might have taken place – or even where a man might have sat down in the buff, such as his living room sofa – must be thoroughly cleaned. This means watching sheets and all other bedding in very hot water, drying on the hottest cycle, and using sprays that are designed to treat mattresses and other surfaces. The doctor can guide a man to the right products.

Through the process, a man must take care to prevent other penis problems that often result from itching. A specifically formulated penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) , used every day, is a great idea. Look for a crème with vitamins A, C, D and E, all of which are known for their healing properties. Also look for a crème with Shea butter, which is known for deep hydration that can alleviate some of the itching a man suffers when battling pubic lice.