CAUSES – Lice infestation on the human body (also known as pediculosis) is very common. Head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) is the most common infestation and favors no particular socioeconomic group. Pubic lice is caused by Pthirus pubis and is transmitted by intimate and/or sexual contact.
TREATMENT – It is best to search for head lice when hair is wet. You should use a fine-toothed comb (or a louse comb), clear tape (to stick on hair to pick up nits), a magnifying glass, and a strong light. Over-the-counter treatment is available and should be used first. If after two applications, lice are still present, then prescription anti-lice agents may be needed. Wash all bed linens and clothing that have been in contact with the infested person in the past two days. Use hot water and the hot cycle in the dryer.
PREVENTION – Head lice can spread quickly and should be checked routinely in children. Your child’s school should be notified if you find lice in your child’s hair, to prevent other children from getting infected.