Infestation of skin by parasites (lice and mite) is called parasitic infestation. Lice and mite infest the skin through contact with an infected person. Direct contact with clothing, linen or articles infested with the parasites.



Pediculosis is an infestation of the hairy parts of the body or clothing with the eggs, larvae or adults of lice. The crawling stages of this insect feed on human blood, which can result in severe itching. Head lice are usually located on the scalp, crab lice in the pubic area and body lice along seams of clothing. Body lice travel to the skin to feed and return back to the clothing.

Lice are tiny bugs that bite into the skin and suck blood to live and grow. The most common areas of infestation are the scalp or genitals. Eyebrows, eyelashes, chest hair or underarm hair may also be infested.



There are three types of pediculosis

1. Pediculosis Cepitis (head louse): infestation of scalp with head louse (pediculus humanus capitis). This louse present behind ear and nape of the neck. Eggs are visible to naked eye as silvery and oval bodies and stick to hairs that are difficult to remove. It can spread to other hairy area of body like axilla and pubic area.

Clinical Manifestations: Pruritis, scratching and erythema of scalp. If untreated hair appears matted and crusted and foul smelling.


2. Pediculosis Corporis: it is an infestation with body lice pediculus humanus corporis.  It is more common in people who have no bathing and washing facilities.

Clinical Manifestations: Lesions appear at site of lice bite, mainly on shoulder, trunk and buttocks. Macules appear and after this wheals and papules appear. Itching and scratching present. Hyper pigmentation and scarring occur after secondary infection.


3. Pediculosis Pubis: this is infestation by phthirus pubic. It is also called crab louse. It is found in hair of the chest, axillary hair, beard and eyelashes. It is transmitted by sexual contact with someone already infested. Reddish brown dust is present on underclothing.

Clinical Manifestations: Patient will have skin irritation and severe itching during night.



Medication: topical medications which contain gamma benzene hexachloride, melathion (Prioderm lotion) or permethrin (NIX) are used to treat pediculosis of body and pubic area. Pubic hair infestations are treated with shampoo containing lindane (kwell). Permethrin 1% cream (NIX) is used for treatment of head lice. Medicine applied to hair then left on for 30 minutes to 8 hours; then washed off. This treatment should be repeated weekly. Fine toothed comb used. Thick layer of petroleum jelly twice a day for 8 days applied for a treatment of eyebrows infestations. 

nurseinfo nursing notes for bsc, msc, p.c.or p.b.bsc and gnm nursing