Pediculosis and Pthiriasis (Lice Infestation) Questions & Answers

Updated: Aug 16, 2019
  • Author: Lyn C C Guenther, MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What is pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How do lice cause pediculosis and pthiriasis?

What is the life-cycle of lice causing pediculosis?

Which species of lice cause pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How do lice move from person to person in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) and what infectious agents do they carry?

How are pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) used in forensics?

How prevalent is cross-species pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Where is the classification of human lice found in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How are lice characterized in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the pathophysiology of human lice in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the types of human lice in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How are head and body lice differentiated in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the features of pediculus humanus capitis (head lice) in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Where do female pediculus humanus capitis (head lice) lay eggs in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

When do pediculus humanus capitis (head lice) nits hatch and how long can they survive away from a human host?

How is pediculus humanus capitis (head lice) spread?

What are the features of pediculus humanus corporis (body lice) in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Where do pediculus humanus corporis (body lice) populate in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How is pediculus humanus corporis (body lice) spread?

What are the features of pthirus pubis (crabs) in pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Where do pthirus pubis (crabs) populate in pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the mobility of pthirus pubis (crabs) in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the characteristics of lice nits in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the optimum conditions for the lice nits to hatch in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the causative organisms of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How is P humanus capitis (head lice) spread in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the risk factors for P humanus corporis (body lice) infestation in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How is P pubis (crabs) spread in pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Why is P pubis infestation (crabs) classified as an STD?

How is P pubis (crabs) contracted in children?

Why is the prevalence of pediculosis (lice infestation) unknown?

What is the annual incidence of pediculosis (lice infestation) in the US?

What is the prevalence of pediculosis (lice infestation) in schools?

Which patient group is at highest risk for body louse infestations?

How does the incidence of pediculosis (lice infestation) vary by geographic region?

What is the global prevalence of pediculosis (lice infestation) in school children?

What is the global prevalence of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the global prevalence of body lice in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the racial predilections of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How does the incidence of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) vary by sex?

Which age groups are at highest risk for pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the prognosis of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the causes of treatment failure in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are possible complications of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the role of poor hygiene in the transmission of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is included in the treatment of pediculosis (lice infestation)?

What measures have been taken to reduce pediculosis (lice infestation) in schools?

How can compliance with the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) be improved?

What information about pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) should parents and children be given?

What is included in the treatment of pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What information about body lice should patients with pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) receive?

Presentation

How are pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) typically first identified?

What is the most common symptom of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the significance of nocturnal pruritus in the evaluation for suspected pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the signs and symptoms of pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How are bite reactions characterized in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How is pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) diagnosed?

How can head lice be found in the exam for pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How large are mature lice in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the physical findings characteristic of pediculosis (lice infestation)?

How does the pruritus of pediculosis (lice infestation) progress?

What is the significance of a finding of excoriations in the exam for pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How is the hair of patients with severe pediculosis (lice infestation) characterized?

What is the appearance of nits in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) during a Wood lamp exam?

How can the duration of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) be estimated?

What are the physical findings of body lice in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is a pathognomonic physical finding of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Where can body lice be found in the clothing of a patient’s with pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the signs and symptoms of vagabond skin due to chronic pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the primary symptom of pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the most common site of pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Outside the pubic hair, where is pthiriasis (lice infestation) found?

How is pthiriasis (lice infestation) usually acquired in children?

What are the indications of excoriations in pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Which infections may be transmitted by pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the complications of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) caused by body lice?

What are the signs and symptoms of louse-borne typhus in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the signs and symptoms of trench fever in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the signs and symptoms of louse-borne relapsing fever in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

DDX

How is pediculosis (lice infestation) differentiated from pseudonits?

How is pediculosis differentiated from other scalp conditions?

Which conditions should be included in the differential diagnosis of pediculosis (lice infestation)?

Which conditions should be included in the differential diagnosis of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) caused by body lice?

Which conditions should be included in the differential diagnosis of pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Workup

How is a diagnosis of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) confirmed?

Which disorders should be screened for in the workup of pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the role of fungal culture in the workup of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the role of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) in the forensic evaluation of rape?

What is the role of histology in the workup of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Treatment

How is pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) treated?

What is the role of pediculicides in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the role of environmental control in the treatment of pediculosis (lice infestation)?

What are the treatment options for body lice in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Which clinical guidelines have been published for the management of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the role of pesticides in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the role of pyrethrin and permethrin in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Which pyrethrin/piperonyl butoxide combination formulations are available for the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is permethrin and how is it used in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is malathion and how is it used in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the role of lindane in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the role of spinosad in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the role of topical ivermectin (Sklice) in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the mechanism of action for benzyl alcohol in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the role of benzyl alcohol lotion 5% (Ulesfia) in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the role of isopropyl myristate in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the role of 4% dimethicone lotion in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Which occlusive therapy techniques for the treatment pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) have not been scientifically evaluated?

What is the role of botanical agents in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the role of oral medications in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is a possible mechanism of pediculicidal resistance in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Why is malathion-resistant pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) more common in the United Kingdom than in the US?

How are topical treatments administered for pediculosis (lice infestation)?

How is mechanical nit removal performed for pediculosis (lice infestation)?

What is the efficacy of mechanical removal in the treatment of pediculosis (lice infestation)?

What are the environmental eradication methods used in the treatment of pediculosis (lice infestation)?

What are the treatment options for pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

When is treatment indicated for sexual partners of patients with pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How is pthiriasis (lice infestation) treated?

What are the treatment options for eyelash infestations of pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What are the treatment options for body louse infestations of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How is the spread and re-infection of body lice in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) prevented?

What is the role of topical agents in the prevention of body louse infestations of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

When are shampoos and lotions indicated in the treatment of body louse infestations of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What is the benefit of treating infested contacts of a patient with pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

What patient education should be given regarding treatment of contacts with pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

How is pediculosis (lice infestation) re-infestation prevented?

How should children be educated on preventing the re-infestation of pediculosis (lice infestation)?

How should patients with pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) be monitored following treatment?

How is pthiriasis (lice infestation) prevented?

How is the re-infestation of body lice in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) prevented?

Medications

What is the goal of medication therapy in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Which medications in the drug class Antiparasitic Agents are used in the treatment of Pediculosis and Pthiriasis (Lice Infestation)?