Infestation disorders of the skin

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Pediculosis (lice)

This condition is commonly known as 'lice' and is a contagious parasitic infection, where the lice live off the blood sucked from the skin. Head lice are frequently seen in young children and if not dealt with quickly, may lead to a secondary infection of Impetigo as a result of scratching. With head lice, nits may be found in the hair. They are pearl-grey or brown, oval structures found on the hair shaft close to the scalp. The scalp may appear red and raw due to scratching.

Body lice are rarely seen. They will occur on an individual with poor personal hygiene and will live and reproduce in seams and fibres of clothing, feeding off the skin. Lesions may appear as papules, scabs and in severe cases as pigmented dry, scaly skin. Secondary bacterial infection is often present. A client affected by body lice will complain of itching, especially in the shoulder, back and buttock area.


This is a contagious parasitic skin condition caused by the female mite burrowing into the horny layer of the skin where she lays her eggs. The first noticeable symptoms of this condition is severe itching which worsens at night. Papules, pustules and crusted lesions may also develop. Common sites for this infestation are the ulnar borders of the hand, palms of the hands and between the fingers and toes. Other sites include the axillary folds, buttocks, breasts in the female and external genitalia in the male.



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