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infestation with lice (see louse). Lice live on the host's blood, obtained by piercing the skin and sucking the blood through the mouth part. The area bitten itches and may become sore and infected from scratching. Not only are lice an annoyance, but they also transmit some diseases, such as typhus.
Treatment. Head lice hatch eggs in silvery oval-shaped envelopes that attach to the shafts of the hairs. The eggs, called nits, can be removed with some difficulty by combing with a very fine-toothed comb. The lice and nits are effectively killed by applications of 1 per cent gamma benzene hexachloride (Kwell) in a cream or shampoo, lindane, permethrin cream or rinse, or pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide liquid, gel, or shampoo.
pediculosis pu´bis infestation with lice of the species Phthirus pubis, the crab louse, usually limited to the pubic hairs but sometimes involving other hairy areas such as the eyelashes, eyebrows, or axillae. It is usually transmitted sexually but may be contracted from bedding and clothing. On the body, it can be treated with a special cream, lotion, or shampoo, such as Kwell, twice daily for two weeks. If the eyelashes are involved, a thick layer of petrolatum should be applied. Called also crabs and phthiriasis.
phthiriasis/phthir·i·a·sis/ (thi-ri´ah-sis) infestation with Phthirus pubis.
Infestation with lice, especially crab lice; pediculosis.
Infestation of the eyelid margin by lice. It causes itching along the eyelid margin. Removal of the parasites is relatively easy either with forceps or by cryotherapy (removal under cold or freezing conditions).