Pediculosis (pediculosis) is a disease that is caused by small insects that parasitize the skin and hair. Three types of lice can live on a person: wardrobe (underwear), head and pubic. Accordingly, there are three types of pediculosis. If several varieties of lice parasitize on a person, then they talk about mixed pediculosis. The insect feeds on the host's blood, and its bites cause severe itching and inflammation of the skin. In addition, body lice can serve as carriers of dangerous infections. The parasite lays its eggs on the roots of the hair, and the clothes louse in the folds of clothes.
The emergence of the disease contribute to poor sanitary conditions and crowded population. Epidemics of pediculosis occur during wars, migrations of peoples and other global stressful situations.
Interesting! Lice accompany mankind from time immemorial. The custom of many nations to shave their heads is explained by anthropologists as the fight against lice.
Let us consider in more detail each type of disease.
Head pediculosis is currently the most common among the inhabitants of our country. Outbreaks of the disease are observed in the period of the return of children from places of general recreation - pioneer camps, dispensaries, campgrounds.
This is a small insect that lives only on the scalp. The male can parasitize on the mustache and the ford. Lice do not fly and do not jump, move with the help of six tenacious legs, crawling for short distances. The body of the parasite is elongated, up to 4 mm long, transparent or light brown. Lice eggs are called nits. Head louse attaches them to the hair of the owner somewhere at a distance of about 2 cm from the roots. Nits look like white translucent capsules with a length of 1-2 mm. They can be mistaken for dandruff, but shake off the nits from the head will not work.
The life span of an adult individual is 45–50 days. Eggs ripen under suitable conditions in a short time, and the larva appears already on the 4–5th day, and in 14–21 days it reaches sexual maturity. One female lays about 300 nits in her life.
Where do head lice come from, and how is it transmitted from one person to another? There are several possibilities of infection:
- upon contact with the patient;
- through hair care products - hairbrushes, scallops, erasers, etc.;
- through bed linen;
- while swimming in a pool, lake or river.
Children are more susceptible to pediculosis, it often appears in kindergartens and summer camps. The disease is detected visually when you look at nits when viewing the hair on your head.
What are head lice afraid of and how to get rid of them?
How to get rid of head lice and treat bites
The pharmacy sells a wide range of insecticides aimed at the destruction of head lice. Here is a list of the most common drugs belonging to the category of pediculocides (remedies for lice and nits):
- serortut ointment;
- cemeric water;
- "Couple plus";
For the treatment of bites, you can use boric ointment or means "Butadion". When buying a drug, be sure to read the instructions on how to treat head lice with it.
Some tools do not affect the nits, so they need to be used several times to destroy the hatched larvae. In any case, after removing the lice, it is better to comb the nits from the hair with a small comb dipped in a solution of table vinegar (diluted 1: 1 with water).
A rather laborious but safe way to get rid of head lice at home is to comb the adult parasites with a fine comb, and after 3-4 days dry the hair with a hot hair dryer, thus destroying the hatched larvae. Continue drying until itching persists.
Simultaneously with the destruction of head lice, it is necessary to boil or iron all the bedding and personal clothes thoroughly, to check other family members.
The clothes louse is also called underwear or underwear. If you follow the rules of hygiene disease is extremely rare. In their own way, louse parasitism is similar to bedbugs. They prefer to live in the folds and seams of linen and clothes, crawling on the human body only to drink blood. Bites of body lice are often mistaken for irritation or allergies, bites of other insects. On the abdomen, shoulders and buttocks dots appear and small pimples with a diameter of 2–4 mm, severe itching. Often develops an allergy to lice bites, accompanied by severe redness and swelling of the skin in places of damage.
The clothes louse lays on the linen, sticking them to the fibers of the fabric.
Lice bites can become infected and cause pustular skin diseases. Also, this parasite serves as a carrier of infectious agents - typhus and other rickettsioses.
You can pick up a louse in case of contact with infected lingerie or clothing, often these are common areas:
- summer camps;
- motels and rest houses;
- long distance trains;
- fitting someone else's clothes.
How to get rid of lice and how to treat bites
If body lice bites are found on the body, measures should be taken immediately to kill the insects in the apartment. Parasites quickly learn new space and actively reproduce.
Pest control of the whole body, clothing and premises.
- All clothes and underwear should be washed in a high-temperature mode and ironed thoroughly with an iron, paying special attention to the seams.
- Take a hot shower with laundry soap. Wear clean clothes. The procedure is repeated daily.
- Personal hygiene items and bedding - boil.
- Before washing, clothes and underwear are recommended to soak for 15–20 minutes in a weak solution of vinegar - this will weaken the chitinous membrane of parasites and their eggs.
- To ensure that you get rid of lice, all clothes, linen, upholstered furniture, mattresses and pillows must be treated with insecticidal agents. After washing it is necessary to thoroughly air all things.
In case of epidemics, guaranteed destruction of lice and their eggs is achieved by processing the material in the steam room for formalin chamber.
How to treat lice bites? For the healing of the skin affected by the parasite, apply ointments and lotions:
- hydrocortisone ointment;
- Balsam "Rescuer";
- hydrogen peroxide - for primary disinfection.
The pubic louse, or ploshchitsa, is a small, wingless, blood-sucking insect that parasitizes primarily on the pubis and around the anus, less frequently in the axillary region and on other hairy areas of the body. In children can settle on the head. The size of the parasite is 1–2 mm, it is almost impossible to see it with the naked eye.
Signs of infection:
- severe itching;
- skin redness;
- the presence of nits hanging on the hair;
- underwear can be found red spots, which are secretions of these insects.
Without food, the pubic louse dies within 24 hours, but it can fall into anabiosis and remain in this state for up to three months. Without a host, an insect cannot exist, so the simplest way to get rid of pubic lice is to shave off all body hair.
Pubic Lice - Home Treatment
Treatment of pubic lice at home can be carried out by the following methods.
- Shave all pubic and axillary hair. Treat skin on bite sites with 10% mercury ointment.
- Other folk remedies for pubic lice - decoction of hellebore, kerosene and dichlorvos - are not always effective and are quite toxic for humans, therefore it is better to purchase special drugs at a pharmacy.
- From the eyelashes and eyebrows to remove insects and their eggs can be mechanically (fingers or brush).
Preparations for pubic lice, which are sold in pharmacies:
- Spray-Pax aerosol;
- Nittifor solution;
- emulsion "Pedilin";
- Medifox emulsion;
- shampoo "Veda-2";
Since pubic pediculosis is transmitted predominantly through sex, visit a doctor to rule out other sexually transmitted infections.
Prevention of pediculosis
For the prevention of pediculosis, you must follow the rules of personal hygiene:
- wash and change clothes regularly;
- not to transfer personal items to other people;
- carry out wet cleaning in the apartment, clean carpets and upholstered furniture with detergents.
After returning from a long trip, you should check your hair and skin for nits and bite marks, wash and iron all clothes.