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Pediculosis and Lice

By Ryan Fyfe

Pediculosis, is the technical term for infestation of lice. Lice are parasitic insects that live on the bodies of humans. Often times this condition is known by its more common street names: Head/Pubic/Body lice.

Some quick information:

Children aged 3-10 and their families get Head lice more often

Females are more likely to get head lice than males

In the United States African-Americans have head lice less often

Human lice do not occur on pets or other animals

Lice do not have wings and cannot jump.

Lice cannot burrow into the skin.

A lice are spread by direct contact with a person who is infested. Body lice are spread through first person contact with the body, clothing or any other items of a person that are already infested with lice. Pubic Lice are most often spread by intimate contact with an infested person. Head lice take place on the head hair of a person, body lice on the clothing, and pubic lice mainly on the hair in the groinal region of a person.

Each lice egg may hatch one nymph that will grow and develop to the adult size live. Lice when fully grown are about the size of an average sesame seed. Lice will feed on blood off their carrier once or more a day by piercing the skin where they are located with their tiny sharp mouth parts. Most commonly symptoms of lice infestation include itching. If excessive this itching or scratching of the infested areas can cause sores. These sore area's can become infected.

Lice that exist on the body and hair can and are usually treated with medicated shampoos or cream rinses. Special combs, Nit Combs, can be used to remove lice and nits from the hair. Washing clothes in a high heat environment can eliminate body lice quite quickly. When trying to eliminate lice, efforts should be focused on the source, hair/body/clothes, and not the surrounding environment.


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