Treatment of Scabies and Pediculosis in Health Educa- tion Publications and Folk Medicine of Eastern Croatia – Slavonija, Baranja, and Western Srijem County

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2018
Authors:I. Muršić, Kuric, I., Raguž, M., Kovačević, T., Muršić, D.
Journal:Acta Dermatovenerologica Croatica
Pagination:33 - 38
Type of Article:Clinical article
ISSN:1330-027X (print), ISSN 1847-6538 (online)
Keywords:Lice Infestations, scabies, traditional medicine

Scabies and pediculosis are common parasitic infestations of the skin and hair, manifesting with intense pruritus and effectively treated with modern medications. Because of the attached social stigma linking it with poverty and poor hygiene, patients will often attempt al- ternative folk-based remedies before confiding in their physicians. We conducted a comprehensive bibliographical study of historic folk litera- ture and interviewed 70 individuals experienced in everyday application of folk medicine in order to categorize available remedies and provide a modern, scientific comment on their effectiveness and dangers. Compo- sitions containing sulfur, copper sulfate, petroleum, coal, tar, and highly alkaline soaps and washing solutions undoubtedly have scabicidal and pediculicidal properties, but they are used either in high concentrations with greater possibility of intoxication and irritation or lower concentra- tions with questionable therapeutic benefit. These remedies, extracted from historical-cultural frameworks, are poorly adapted to modern stan- dards and can lead to side-effects and complications. Physicians today have to be aware of the reasons their patients seek alternative remedies and know the substances and procedures they may use in self-healing, so as to be able to provide the help that may be needed if those compli- cations occur.

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