Sexual problems - pediculosis (Head Lice, pubic Lice, Cooties, Crabs)

pediculosis (Head Lice, pubic Lice, Cooties, Crabs)

What is pediculosis

pediculosis is an infestation of the hairy parts of the body or clothing with lice. The crawling stages of this insect feed on human blood and bites 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. Crab lice also can infest other hairy parts of the body outside of the pubic area.

Who gets pediculosis

Anyone may become louse infected under suitable conditions of exposure. pediculosis is easily transmitted from person to person during direct contact. Head lice infestations are frequently found in school settings or institutions. Crab lice infestations can be found in people living in crowded, unsanitary conditions where clothing is infrequently changed or laundered.

How is pediculosis spread

Transmission can occur during direct contact with an invested individual. Sharing of clothing and combs or brushes may result in transmission. While other means are possible, crab lice are most often transmitted through sexual contact.

What are the symptoms of pediculosis

Usually, the first indication of an infestation is itching. Scratching at the back of the head or around the ears should lead to an examination for head louse eggs (nits) on the hair, itching around the genital area should lead to an examination for crab lice or their eggs. Scratching can be sufficiently intense to result in secondary bacterial infection in these areas.

How soon do symptoms appear

It may be as little as five days or it may take two to three weeks or longer for a person to notice the intense itching associated with this infestation.

For how long is a person able to spread pediculosis

pediculosis can be spread as long as lice or eggs remain alive on the infested person or clothing.

What is the treatment for pediculosis

Medicated shampoos or cream rinses containing chemicals are used to kill lice. products containing pyrethrins are available over-the counter, but those containing lindane are available through a physician's prescription. Lindane is not recommended for infants, young children and pregnant or nursing women. Retreatment after seven to ten days is recommended to assure that no eggs have survived. Nit combs are available to help remove nits from hair. Dose and duration of shampoo treatment should be according to label instructions.

What can be done to prevent the spread of pediculosis

physical contact with infested individuals and their belongings, especially clothing, headgear and bedding should be avoided. proper treatment and laundering of clothing and bedding in hot water (130oF for 20 minutes) or dry cleaning is important. Regular direct inspection of children for head lice.

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