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Contagious diseases: pediculosis and scabies
Pediculosis and scabies are similar disease caused by small insects named arthropods. They manifest with intense itching.
Pediculosis is caused by three types of human lice: Pediculus humanus capitis (affects the head), Phthirus pubis (affects the pubic area), and Pediculus humanus corpus (affects the entire body).
In pediculosis itching appears after two weeks, due to an allergic reaction to the louse saliva.
Diagnosing pediculosis is made after finding lice and eggs in the head or pubic hair. It is not easy to find these lice because they are very small. Using a comb through the hair can be helpful because in some cases on the teeth of the comb eggs or lice can be seen. Finding one louse is enough to diagnose the disease. If finding eggs they must be examined at the microscope to see if they are viable or not any more.
Body lice can be diagnosed if intense itching is present along with excoriations. Body lice generally affect homeless people or those who live in crowded unsanitary conditions.
The treatment of lice is the same for head lice or pubic lice and is made with special cleaning solutions made of permethrin or malathion. The body hygiene is very important and without a proper hygiene the treatment will not work. Also, clothes, towels and laundry must be washed in hot water.
Scabies also manifests by skin itching but additional symptoms are: rash and a zigzag blister hard to see that appears in that area.
Scabies is also a disease that affects homeless persons or those who live in crowded places. Children from boarding schools are also exposed to scabies. The disease is transmitted by insects and by eggs during a prolonged contact with a person or an object infected with scabies.
The most affected areas of scabies are the fingers, between the fingers, wrists, elbows, armpits and around the waist.
To prevent scabies from spreading you should wash all your towels, clothes and other laundry in hot water at over 120o F. Using special cleaning solutions like borax and Safe Solutions is also indicated. Cut your nails in order to remove the eggs or insects that could have sheltered over there.
If you are infected, you should wash or bathe in diluted Lice R GoneŽ Shampoo, Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint, or borax. You can also use Elimite (or permethrin cream).
Unfortunately both lice and scabies are recurrent and the explication for this phenomenon is that the insects could have become resistant to the actual treatment. But following the prescribed treatment and a strict hygiene can prevent these diseases from affecting you again.
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