Lice – pediculosis

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General

Lice of the scalp occur due to the parasitic infection of the patient by Pediculus humanus variety of capitis.

Lice of the pubic hair occur due to the parasitic infection by Phthirus pubis.

Lice of the body occur due to the parasitic infection by Pediculus Corporis.

Itchy papules are detected in the neck.

Nits (the eggs) of the lice are attached to the hair.

Pediculosis of the head.
  • Lice contaminates the scalp and usually affects children.
  • The disease is highly contagious.
  • It is transmitted mainly by direct contact.
  • Lice are human parasites. They don’t infect animals.
  • Lice of the scalp are not implicated in the transmission of other diseases from human to human.
  • Lice suck blood from the host every three to six hours.
  • Lice live for about a month and the female lice give birth from 7 to 10 eggs a day.
  • The eggs are fastened to the body of the hair, about 1cm from the skin.
  • Incubation lasts from 8 to 10 days.

Subsequent information are available on the Internet site of the National pediculosis Association:www.headlice.org .

History
  • Lice are usually manifested in school-age children.
  • Girls are more often insulted.
  • The transmission is made through objects such as hats, brushes and headphones.
  • People of black race are rarely infected.
  • The disease is asymptomatic or itching is observed in the neck area only.
  • Sometimes, lymphadenopathy occurs in the posterior cervical lymph nodes.
Differential diagnosis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff scales are not so tightly adherent and therefore can be moved up or down on the body of the hair).
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