Head lice

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2003
Authors:A. Frydenberg, Starr M.
Journal:Australian Family Physician
Pagination:607 - 611
Date Published:2003
ISBN Number:0300-8495
Keywords:animals, humans, insecticide, Lice Infestations/diagnosis/therapy, organophosphate, Pediculus, Phytotherapy, Pyrethrum, scalp dermatoses, Treatment Failure

BACKGROUND: Head lice infestation is a very common problem in children and causes a high level of anxiety among parents and childcare workers. OBJECTIVE: In this article we attempt to clarify issues of diagnosis and treatment of head lice and offer recommendations for dealing with head lice. DISCUSSION: Head lice are a nuisance, but they do not transmit infectious diseases. Control includes detection with wet comb technique. Treatment is usually with a topical pediculicide, but regular mechanical removal with conditioner and a comb is an alternative. Treatment failure can be the result of inadequate application of the treating product, pediculicide resistance, or failure to re-treat at 7-10 days. Reinfestation (and therefore apparent treatment failure) is common.

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