Head lice infestations (Pediculosis humanus capitis) are most prevalent during childhood in industrialized countries. It is estimated to occur in about 1-3% of children aged 6-12 years. Greater susceptibility is associated with girls, which is likely attributed to close contact play and the sharing of objects.
Head lice infestation is a common problem for children in Canada. Diagnosis, and treatment are discussed as well as the problem of heritable resistance, and alternate treatments.
Scabies and lice have afflicted man since ancient times. Permethrin is generally the treatment of choice for head lice and scabies, because of its residual effect. Toxicity and absorption are minimal. Ivermectin should be reserved for cases where permethrin fails.
Insecticides are the mainstay of lice treatment. Critical points and areas that are frequently missed are discussed, as well as the two main treatments that are available on the market.
Head lice infestations (Pediculosis capitis) are a worldwide problem with prevalence estimates typically ranging between 1-3% in elementary school aged children. Although this obligate parasite is a nuisance, infestation does not pose a health risk.
Pediculosis capitis, or head lice, is a world-wide public health concern affecting persons of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is caused by Pediculus humanus capitis, an obligate ectoparasite that lives on human hair and feeds on the blood from the skin.
Lice have developed resistance to some pediculicides and it is expected that with ongoing use, these pediculicides will probably become less effective.