Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Pediculosis, Man

  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_2350-2

Pediculosis is a superficial skin infection with head or body lice, Pediculus humanus capitis or P. h. corporis or crab lice, Phthirus pubis. The lice hold on to the body hairs with specialized claws and attach their eggs to the hair. Lice penetrate the epidermis with their mouthparts and suck blood, giving rise to mild dermatitis, often accentuated by scratching.


Use of insecticides in wash lotions. Note that repeated washings are needed within 10 days since the drugs have a limited activity on the lice eggs/larvae. Recently obtained plant extracts (Licener®) solve the problem of pediculosis. Complete removal of the hair is recommended in heavy infestations. In body-louse infections all bed covers and clothes have to be cleaned (hot-washed, deep-frozen, etc.). The product enters the stigmata of the lice and blocks the transition of oxygen into the cells in there. Thus death occurs within 3–5 min.

Figures 1, 2, and 3: Diagrammatic representation of the breathing system of lice.


Plant Extract Complete Removal Limited Activity Skin Infection Diagrammatic Representation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany