Lice

Lice have infested humans for thousands of years. These insects reside in hair bearing areas such as the scalp and pubis. There are 3 forms of lice. They are head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Head lice infestations are very common in public schools. The biting insect takes a blood meal. They cause itching and infested areas may be secondarily infected. There are many forms of treatment. For some unknown reason blacks are rarely infested. The insect cements an egg sac called a nit to the hair shaft about 0.5 cm above the skin surface. The nit incubates and the life cycle continues. Lice do not live long off the human body. The eyelash infestation in a child may be an indication of sexual abuse.

Lice are easily transferred to other individuals. Pubic lice is the most contagious sexually transmitted disease known. Itching is the primary symptom. It may be worse at night.

head-lice-hair

Nits (egg sacks) maybe the first sign that a child has a head lice infestation

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Patients with head lice may scratch and cause a secondary bacterial infection. These patients often times have swollen glands in the neck.

Pubic lice in the armpit. Pubic lice may be found on the abdomen, chest and underarms in men with extensive body hair. Itching may be the first indication of a lice infestation.