Pediculosis is a dermatitis caused by strictly human ectoparasites. The parasite exerts its harmful action on the skin while feeding through stinging and suction.
Pediculosis is present at all ages, being more frequent in children, women and the elderly with a precarious hygiene. In so far as the prevalence of head lice in the school population is concerned, the maximum susceptibility rests with healthy children aged between 3 and 10.
The parasite infection generally occurs by:
- direct contact with the infected hair and more rarely indirectly, from combs or brushes (P. h. capitis);
- direct bodily contact or contact with the infested clothes (P. h. corporis);
- close physical contact (generally intercourse) (P. pubis).
Key Clinical Symptoms and Signs:
The infected areas feature: intense itching, papules, excoriations, impetiginized lesions, parasites and eggs attached onto the hair shafts.