Thursday, 8 September 2011


Prior areas for pediculus infection
The term pediculosis is defined as the state of being infected with lice. Lice or pediculi are small wingless blood sucking insects which are parasitic on warm blooded animals. They are found on head (pediculus capitis), the body (pediculus corporis) and the perineal area, eye brows, eye lashes and beard (pediculus pubis). Pediculosis is associated with poor hygiene, crowded living conditions and exposure to other individuals with pediculosis.

Lice can be transferred from one person to other through direct contact or indirect contact. It gets easily transmitted from person to person, perhaps sleeping together, sitting together etc. They can also be transmitted through clothing, bedding, combs etc.

Dangers of pediculosis
  • The patient complaints of severe itching of the scalp and scratches the head continuously giving rise to abscess formation.
  • In severe infestations, the hair may appear to be heavily sprinkled with dandruff.
  • The itching of the scalp is a source of discomfort to the patient causing restlessness and insomnia.
  • The lice are blood suckers and cause anaemia.
  • They spread the diseases eg; typhus fever, relapsing fever, trench fever.
  • Itching of the scalp result in the scalp injury and the injured area is subjected to infection which leads to infected glands.

Prevention of pediculosis
Pediculus capitus
Pediculus pubis

Pediculus corporis
Prevention is easier than controlling. For this, proper personal hygiene concept should be practiced by their life. Combing the hair daily, washing it frequently, keeping the skin and clothes clean will solve the problem. Any patient complaining about itching or scratches the head, needs thorough examination of their hair and scalp, body and linen to discover lice. If lice are found on the patients head or body, follow the prescribed treatment.

Parasiticides use in the treatment of pediculosis
  1. D.D.T 5% or 10% (add talcum powder to dilute it)
  2. Carbolic lotion 1:40 (it is an irritant to the skin)
  3. Equal parts of kerosene oil and coconut oil.
  4. Preparations containing gamma benzene hexachloride available in the market.

Application of parasiticides

The parasiticide are applied thoroughly on the scalp (to the body if necessary) and is left for overnight. On the next day a thorough bath is given and the linen is changed. The linen should be thoroughly disinfected to remove the lice from the clothes.
Since the parasiticides are not effective against the nits(eggs) the procedure is repeated after a week.

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