Pediculosis Capitis : The Unwanted Guests On Your Scalp

Pediculosis Capitis : The Unwanted Guests On Your Scalp

The infectious parasite infection of the scalp and hair known as head lice, or Pediculosis capitis, is brought on by the small, wingless bug Pediculus humanus capitis, which feeds on human blood. Children at school are more...

The infectious parasite infection of the scalp and hair known as head lice, or Pediculosis capitis, is brought on by the small, wingless bug Pediculus humanus capitis, which feeds on human blood. Children Fungal Culture, Blood at school are more likely to have head lice infestations, but anybody can get them, regardless of age, gender, or personal cleanliness.

Close physical contact with an infected individual or the sharing of combs, brushes, hats, or other personal objects that come into touch with the hair is the two main ways that head lice are transferred. Head lice's main symptom is severe scratching on the neck, behind the ears, and on the scalp.

Avoiding sharing personal objects that could come into touch with hair, as well as routine head inspections to catch infestations early on, are all part of the prevention of head lice.

Pediculosis capitis through the ages

Lice infestations have been documented in ancient Egyptian mummies, proving that Pediculosis capitis has been a human parasite for thousands of years. Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician, is credited with the first documented description of head lice. He detailed how they spread through intimate contact and advised combing the hair with a fine-toothed comb to get rid of the lice and nits.

Head lice infestations have been prevalent throughout history, especially in crowded and unhygienic living situations. Since lice were believed to only infest persons with strong constitutions throughout the Middle Ages, infestations were so common that they were viewed as a sign of good health. However, head lice infections declined in frequency in Europe and North America as cleanliness standards rose.

Infestations of head lice are still a widespread issue today, especially in schools and other gathering areas for kids. However, better cleanliness habits and efficient treatments have contributed to reducing the impact of infestations on public health and controlling their spread.

Seeing is Believing: A closer look at the Anatomy of Pediculosis Capitis

Pediculus humanus capitis (head lice) morphology is given below:

tiny, wingless creatures that reside on human scalps and hair

Adults have six legs that are specialized for grabbing hair shafts, are 2-3 mm long, and are grayish-white or tan in color.

Two compound eyes and two antennae are located on the tiny, elongated head.

The abdomen is extended and houses the digestive, reproductive, and respiratory systems. The thorax is composed of three segments and is broader than the head.

The eggs, which are oval-shaped and around 0.8 mm long and connected to the base of a hair shaft close to the scalp, are laid by females, who are somewhat bigger than males.

Pediculosis capitis: A bug's life - Understanding its life cycle

Three stages make up the Pediculus humanus capitis (head louse) life cycle: egg, nymph, and adult. The full life cycle is completed in around 30 days.

The stages of the life cycle are described as follows:

Egg (nit):

The female louse deposits oval-shaped eggs (nits) close to the scalp, and close to the base of a hair shaft. Nits have a length of 0.8 mm and a sticky substance that holds them to the hair. Within 7 to 10 days, they hatched.


A nymph, which resembles a baby form of the adult louse, develops from a nit. Before becoming an adult, the nymph goes through three molts that last between 10 and 12 days. It consumes scalp blood during this period.


The adult louse is about 2-3 mm in length and has a lifespan of about 30 days. Female lice are larger than males and can lay up to 10 nits per day. They mate and reproduce on the scalp and feed on blood several times a day.

Head lice cannot survive for more than a day or two away from the scalp, as they depend on human blood for survival.

Direct head-to-head contact with an individual who has head lice is the main way that the Pediculus humanus capitis (head lice) parasite is spread. Although lice are unable to fly or leap, they may move fast from one person's hair to the next.

Here are a few typical ways that head lice are spread:

Head-to-head contact 

The most typical method of spreading head lice, especially among kids who play together closely, is head-to-head contact. It is simple for lice to go from one person's hair to another.


Shared personal goods, such as combs, brushes, caps, helmets, towels, and other objects that come into touch with the hair, can spread lice. Despite being less frequent than head-to-head contact, this is nevertheless a substantial source of transmission.

Daycare settings

Head lice infections are frequent in educational and childcare facilities where youngsters congregate together and often exchange personal things.

Living situations that are crowded

Lice infestations can also be more prevalent in certain settings, like homeless shelters or refugee camps, where maintaining personal hygiene may be challenging.

The fact that anybody may get head lice, regardless of their socioeconomic background or personal hygiene practices, should not be underestimated. Head lice infestations are not the result of inadequate hygiene or cleanliness.

Scratching the surface : The telltale signs and symptoms of Pediculosis capitis

The itching of the scalp, neck, and ears is the main sign of Pediculus humanus capitis (head lice). However, especially in the early stages of infection, not everyone with head lice from suffers itching. The following signs of a head lice infection are typical:


The scalp, neck, and ears may become itchy as a result of head lice bites. The saliva of the lice, which is pumped into the skin when they feed, commonly causes an allergic reaction that makes people itch.

Visible lice or nits

Adult lice are commonly spotted crawling on the scalp or hair and are visible to the unaided eye. Nits are tiny eggs with an oval form that are found attached to the base of hair shafts near the scalp.


Scratching the itching bites from head lice can result in red lumps or blisters on the scalp or neck. If they are scratched excessively, they may occasionally get infected.

Sleeping problems

The pain and itching caused by head lice may make it difficult for some people to fall asleep.

Feeling something move on the scalp

Some persons with head lice may experience this sensation, particularly in the beginning stages of the infection.

It's crucial to remember that not all head lice infestations result in itching or red spots on the scalp. Similar symptoms might also be brought on by other illnesses, such as eczema or dandruff. It's critical to act quickly if you believe you or someone you know may have head lice.

Head lice or dandruff? How to make an informed diagnosis of Pediculosis capitis

Finding live lice or nits (eggs) in the hair or on the scalp is often the basis for diagnosing a Pediculus humanus capitis (head lice) infestation. Here are a few typical techniques for identifying head lice:

Visual inspection

To check for live lice and nits, a healthcare provider or trained expert can look at the scalp and hair under a strong light and with a magnifying lens.

Wet Combing

Wet combing can help eradicate lice and nits from the hair by using a fine-toothed comb to comb the hair while it is still wet. Both at-home combing and professional combing are options.

Microscopic Examination

A healthcare professional may occasionally use a microscope to check a hair sample for the presence of lice or nits.

It's crucial to remember that not all head lice infestations are simple to identify, and not all itching or red spots on the scalp are due to head lice.

Say goodbye to head lice: Effective treatment options for Pediculosis capitis

Killing the lice and removing their nits (eggs) from the hair are the two main objectives of treating Pediculus humanus capitis (head lice). OTC drugs, prescription pharmaceuticals, and natural therapies are all available as treatment choices. Here are a few typical head-lice treatments:

OTC drugs

Products with permethrin or pyrethrin insecticides are frequently used to treat head lice. These drugs can be obtained in the form of shampoos, creams, or lotions that are applied to the hair and scalp and kept in for a predetermined amount of time before being washed out. Pay close attention to the directions and repeat the procedure.

Prescription drugs

For more severe instances of head lice, prescription-strength treatments, such as malathion or benzyl alcohol, may be advised. Additionally, these medicines are applied to the hair and scalp, where they are kept for a predetermined amount of time before being washed out.

Natural Remedies

Some people choose to cure head lice with natural methods, such as tea tree oil, vinegar, or mayonnaise. These treatments may aid in suffocating the lice and removing the nits from the hair, albeit there is little scientific evidence to support their efficacy.

To get rid of any lingering lice and nits, it's crucial to comb the hair with a fine-toothed comb in addition to taking medicine.

It's important to follow the instructions carefully when using any head lice treatment, as overuse or misuse of these products can be harmful.

Take back your scalp : Fight back against Pediculosis capitis.