Pediculosis (head and pubis)

What’s this?


It is a parasitosis caused by lice, which lay eggs (nits) that hatch in 7-10 days. The larvae complete their development in 7-13 days.
The eggs are attached to the base of the hair with a very resistant glue substance and can escape the comb.


How does it manifest itself?


The most characteristic symptom, but not always present, is localized itching, in the scalp or in the genital area.


How is it transmitted?


The parasitosis spreads mainly in crowded conditions (schools, oratories, colonies, etc.) through direct contact with an infested person (even during sexual intercourse) or indirectly through combs, brushes, hats. Infestation occurs regardless of personal cleanliness level.




With the finding, through a lens, of the louse and / or of the eggs in the hair or pubic hair and, in some cases, of the eyelashes, eyebrows, beard.




The treatment consists of special products, in cream, foam and gel.
In most cases, the eggs and lice must also be mechanically removed with a comb. For eggs, a hot mixture consisting of half water and half vinegar can be used. After a week, to eliminate lice born of any surviving eggs, the treatment must be repeated. There are no preventive treatments: the anti-parasite drug does not prevent infestation, so it should not be performed for preventive purposes.


Further measures


√ Check all the members of the family and the people who came in close contact.
√ Machine wash (60 °) or dry pillowcases, sheets, towels and clothing (in particular hats, scarves, fabric toys, etc.) in contact with the head and neck; pass the vacuum cleaner on armchairs, sofas, mats and rugs where children play. Combs and brushes should be immersed in boiling water for 10 minutes.
√ The disinfestation of the premises does not bring advantages because the louse is not able to survive long in the environment.
√ To avoid the spread of the infection, it is recommended to families, a frequent, at least weekly, hair check.