Lice

What is lice?

Lice is an itchy skin disease, which affects the scalp, body or genitals. Lice can also be carriers of other diseases such as typhoid fever, trench fever and relapsing fever.

There are three types of lice in humans:

1. Head lice (cause by Pediculus NFL Jerseys Cheap humanis capitis) – common among school children and is transmitted by personal touching and sharing of combs or hats. Apart from being localized in the scalp the head louse can also live in eye brows and eyelashes as well as beards. The lice deposit whitish oval shaped nits (each containing a louse egg) around the hair. After several days to 2 weeks, newly hatched lice invade the scalp and then form new nits again. As the body is very sensitive to the foreign protein from the lice, an irresistible itch (pruritus) develops in the scalp, which leads to intensive scratching to the point where open scratch sores develop that can get secondarily infected by skin bacteria. The diagnostic test for lice is the finding of nits that are firmly attached to the hairs and cannot be dislodged like By dandruff flakes can.

2. Pubic lice (caused by Phthirus pubis) – transmitted sexually through intimate genital contact. The louse tends to live in the skin and hair of a confined area. In hairy people, some of the lice may also live in other areas, but the highest concentration of lice will still be found in the hairs of the ano-genital areas. Nits can be found at the origin of the hairs close to the skin. One sign to look for are tiny dark-brown spots of louse feces on underwear where the ano-genital region touches it. Skin breakdown from chronic itching and scratching with subsequent bacterial or fungal superinfection is common.

3. Body lice (caused by Pediculus humanis corporis) – results from poor hygiene. Lice can multiply in the seams of underwear that is worn close to skin and nits can be detected on body hair and in fabric of clothes that are not washed. Common sites for developing itchy lesions are the abdomen, the buttocks, and the shoulders. The physical findings can be mini puncture wounds from direct louse bites, scratch marks, rash, and furunculosis.

How is lice treated?

Lice is treated by applying cream on the affected area for 6 to 12 hours before washing it off.

How is lice prevented?

Prevention includes good hygiene practices and avoiding sharing combs, hats, clothes, brushes and make-up with others. Responsible sexual behavior will prevent pubic lice transmission and also other sexually transmitted diseases including venereal warts. Once there is a case of louse infestation in a family member all of the remaining family members should also be treated for prevention of further infestation.

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