Phthiriasis palpebrarum: an unusual blepharoconjunctivitis

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2002
Authors:Y. C. Lin, Kao, S. C., Kau, H. C., Hsu, W. M., Tsai, C. C.
Journal:Zhonghua yi xue za zhi Chinese medical journal; Free China ed
Pagination:498 - 500
Date Published:2002
ISBN Number:0578-1337
Keywords:adult, animals, blepharitis, Eyelashes, humans, Lice Infestations/complications, Pthirus

Phthiriasis palpebrarum is an unusual cause of blepharoconjunctivitis and may easily be overlooked because of the failure of physicians to recognize Phthirus pubis. We report a case of a 30-year-old woman with persistent itching in the left eyelid which was unsuccessfully treated under the diagnosis of allergic blepharoconjunctivitis. Careful ophthalmic examination revealed seven bugs with multiple red pinpoint excretions and numerous small translucent oval eggs (nits) coating the eyelashes. The patient was successfully treated with mechanical removal of all the lice and nits from the eyelashes. The specimen proved histopathologically to be the Phthirus pubis infestation. The Phthirus pubis infestation is usually associated with poor hygiene in overcrowded or undeveloped country. However, it may become a notable problem because of frequent traveling and commercial activities across the different countries.

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