It is an infection that can be found in the body, scalp or genitals produced by exogenous parasites of man, called lice and crabs.
The pediculosis body is typically seen in people with very low personal hygiene conditions; that of the scalp, on the other hand, occurs mainly in white schoolchildren, minimally affecting the black race; Genital head lice is seen more frequently in people who lead an active sexual life without a stable partner and its finding should prompt the search for a venereal disease.
Why is it produced?
The infection is caused by two types of parasites:
- Pediculus humanis (louse): capitis variety that infects the head and corporis variety that infects the body and clothing.
- Pthirius pubis (crab): It is located in the genital region and, sometimes, can affect other parts of the body such as the eyebrows and eyes.
These parasites have powerful nails with which they attach themselves to the hair. Females lay 5 or 6 eggs a day (nits), which also adhere to the hair. Nits hatch in 8-10 days and become adults in 2 weeks. Its life span is approximately 40 days.
Both the adult forms and the nits bite the man, to eat, 2 or 3 times a day, leaving reddened bite points, which produce a local inflammation of the skin.
Adult bites or nits cause an inflammatory hypersensitivity reaction, manifested by red papules with each new bite. Itching causes scratching, exudative dermatitis, and secondary infection. Chronic infections (in untreated individuals) on the scalp end up forming a fetid mass of tangled hair and exudate.
In lesions of the genital region, there is a hardening and pigmentation of the area. If the crab affects the eyebrows or eyelids, blepharitis can occur .
Symptoms of head lice
The typical symptoms are: itching, papules, exudate and a bad smell in the case of involvement of the scalp. In crab infection: itching, papules sometimes hardened and pigmented.
Sometimes it can cause blepharitis.
The larvae or nits are observed with the naked eye in the hair.
Diagnosis and treatment
The diagnosis is direct, by observing the nits or the lesions produced by the bites.
Below we inform about the application form:
- In head infections, you should first wash your hair with ordinary soap. Subsequently, it is rubbed with the pyrethrin or butoxide solution for at least 10 minutes. Hair is rinsed, dried, and combed with a thick comb to remove nits.
- This process is repeated after 7 days. If Lindane is used, the same will be done, but the solution will remain on the hair for a maximum of 4 minutes. Normally with this product it is not necessary to repeat the process.
If the affectation is corporal, the body is soaped with a solution of butoxide and it is left during 10 minutes or with Lindane, 4 minutes, then rinsing it completely. Treatment is repeated after 7 days, if the individual has many affected areas.
If the involvement is genital, piperonyl butoxide or Lindane creams or lotions should be used, which will be maintained for 24 hours.
Finally, if the eyelashes or eyelids are affected, a 0.25% physostigmine ophthalmic ointment will be applied twice a day for 10 days. This medication should be indicated by your doctor, as it can sometimes lead to some ophthalmological complications.
How to avoid head lice?
Lice are spread by direct contact, using infected combs, or through infected clothing (they can live on clothing for up to 1 week).
Crabs are spread by intimate contact with infected people; it should be taken into account after high-risk sex. The use of a condom does not prevent contagion.
The contagion can be prevented through hygienic measures (do not use brushes, combs or clothes that may be infected) and avoiding contact with affected people.
In the case of having been infected (typical in young children in school years), the treatment will be applied and the combs or brushes used will be sterilized, in water, at 65 ° C, for 5 minutes. Dresses or bedding should be heat sterilized, subsequently placed in a closed plastic bag, for a week.
The doctor should be seen when the symptoms described in the corresponding section appear. Also when nits or lice are observed on the scalp or when it comes in contact with infected people.
Children are one of the groups affected by this parasite. It is not a serious disease and has a fast and effective treatment. Given the existence of “lice” in the classroom, the possibility of contagion must be taken into account.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.