Blood sucking insects which are obligate human parasites.

Three major types.: Pediculus humanus capitis (head louse) which live on the scalp, Pediculus humanus corporis (body louse) which lives in clothing, and Phthirus pubis (pubic louse) which lives mostly in pubic hair.

Head lice attaches its eggs or nits to the hair shaft and affects mainly children and others with long hair.

Head lice transmission occurs from human to human and from the sharing of combs and hair brushes.

Head lice associated with itching and dermatitis.

Head lice may be associated with secondary bacterial infections and lymph node enlargement.

Head lice diagnosis confirmed by the identification of lice and nits on hair.

Treatment for pediculosis capitis is either malathion or permethrin.

Pyrethrins with piperidyl butoxide is an alternative treatment as is Ivermectin.

Combing the hair and removing hatching lice is helpful addition to insecticide treatment.

Bedding and clothing should be decontaminated.

Pyrethroid insecticide permethrin 1% associated with a 90% cure rate.

Malathion 0.5%, an effective alternative to permethrin.

Topical treatments should deliver high concentrations with a single application and the lotion should be applied to full coverage, a second application at day 7-11 will kill eggs that may have hatched after the first application (Chosidow O)..

Concomitant topical treatment for all infested family members is suggested (Chosidow O).

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