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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 78  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 429--438

Pediculosis capitis: An update


Department of Dermatology, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Uday Khopkar
OPD 117, First floor, Old OPD building, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai-400012, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.98072

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Head louse infestation, or pediculosis capitis, caused by Pediculus humanus var. capitis, is a common health concern in pediatric age group. An itching of the scalp is the chief symptom, whereas presence of viable nits confirms the diagnosis of head louse infestation. Secondary bacterial infection with impetignization with cervical and occipital lymphadenopathy can complicate the clinical scenario with physician misdiagnosing pediculosis to a primary bacterial infection. Screening and treatment of all close contacts is necessary for an adequate management of pediculosis. Medical management of head louse infestation requires proper application of topical pediculicidal agents', chiefly permethrin lotion and wet combing with a fine toothcomb. Severe cases with high parasitic load justify the use of either oral cotrimoxazole or Ivermectin. Other described technique involves a single application of hot air for 30 minutes. Radical but culturally unacceptable method would be shaving of scalp in resistant cases. Environmental fogging with insecticides is neither necessary nor recommended.






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Online since 15th March '04
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