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Pediculosis Capitis

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Disease Information

Pediculosis Capitis

Pediculosis Capitis is an ectoparasitic infestation of human scalp caused by ”Pediculushumanus var capitis”. It is frequently observed in girls of age group 6-12 years. Head to head contact and sharing of head gear is the common route of lice transmission. The life cycle of the head louse has 3 stages: Egg, nymph and adult. The chief symptom is itching of the scalp . On examination, nits are firmly attached to hair shaft mostly in occipital and retro-auricular areas of head. Few patients present with fever, malaise, irritability and lymphadenopathy. Secondary bacterial infection and irregular patchy scarring alopecia can be seen in neglected case. Iron deficiency anemia and plica polonica are rare complications. Dermoscopy can be done to confirm the diagnosis. Mechanical removal of lice with use of wet combing is effective. Topical treatment options include 1% permethrin, 5% permethrin, 0.5% Malathion, 0.5% carbaryl, 1% gamma benzene hexachloride, 1% Ivermectin and 5% Benzyl alcohol. Co-Trimoxazole and oral Ivermectin are also beneficial against head lice. Antibiotics can be give if there is secondary bacterial infection. It can be cause of social embarrassment and isolation so you should visit dermatologist for timely diagnosis and management.