Lice are wingless parasites that feed on human blood by piercing through the skin. Lice cause pruritus or severe itching and are most commonly spread through person-to-person contact or by sharing clothing, beddings, and other personal items. It occurs more commonly in crowded and underdeveloped areas, those with poor hygiene, and in school children.
Lice infestation or pediculosis is a skin infestation by either head lice (Pediculosis humanuscapitis), body lice (Pediculosis humanuscorporis), and pubic lice or crabs (Phtirus pubis). Head lice spread by sharing combs, brushes, hats and through close contact; body lice by crowded living quarters, and shared clothing and bedding; and pubic lice typically spread during sexual contact. Body lice may present a serious problem since these are able to transmit diseases such as trench fever, relapsing fever, and typhus.
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
- Permethrin containing over-the-counter shampoos, creams, lotions containing permethrin.
- Pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide containing shampoos.