Head lice (pediculosis capitis) is a common, highly contagious infection that often occurs in nurseries, day care centers, and schools. It is caused by infestation with the human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, and it is usually very itchy.Lice are very small insects that feed on human blood. The female louse attaches her eggs (nits) to the base of the hair near the scalp, and the nits hatch 7–10 days later. While the adult louse cannot survive for more than 2 days off the human head, a nit can stay alive for up to 10 days off the body (for example, on clothes, hairbrushes, or carpets). Lice are spread from child to child by close head-to-head contact and by sharing belongings that are infested with lice.
A Wood's lamp is a device that emits ultraviolet (UV) light in the 365 nanometer range and is commonly used by dermatologists to assist in the diagnosis of various pigment and infectious disorders. The examination is performed in a dark room, allowing the Wood's light to shine directly on the affected area for a few seconds and looking for any changes in color or fluorescence. Normal skin does not fluoresce under the light of a Wood's lamp. If a fungal or bacterial infection or pigment disorder is present, Wood's lamp examination can strengthen or lessen the suspicion of a particular diagnosis, based on the color of fluorescence of the affected skin being illuminated. In addition, subtle changes in color may be detected as well.
Pediculosis pubis is the medical term for pubic lice, which are also commonly called crabs. Just like head lice, pubic lice are very small insects that live by attaching themselves to human hair and feeding off human blood. The bite of the insect is what causes the intense itching that most people experience with a lice infestation. Pubic lice are often spread through sexual contact because they live in the pubic hair, though they can also live on other body hair and, therefore, may be spread by casual contact as well. The infestation can be cured by carefully combing the affected hair and applying a pediculicide (anti-lice treatment), avoiding contact with the person who spread the infection, and putting all affected garments and linens in a clothes dryer on high heat.It is important to know that pubic lice are often transmitted along with other sexually transmitted diseases, which may require additional treatment, so it is important to speak to your doctor if you think you might have any infection or infestation.
Impetigo is a common and contagious bacterial skin infection that is usually a minor problem, but sometimes complications may occur that require treatment. Complications of impetigo can include deeper skin infection (called cellulitis), inflammation around the brain or spinal cord (meningitis), or a kidney inflammation (post streptococcal glomerulonephritis). Impetigo often starts with a cut or break in the skin, which allows bacteria to enter. Impetigo is usually caused by "staph" (Staphylococcus) or "strep" (Streptococcus) bacteria.
It's the Tuesday after Labor Day and today marks the first day of school for millions of students around the US. Therefore today also marks the beginning of those pesky school-time ills that plague our children. Head lice is among the worst parasites kids can encounter. Head lice are hard to kill and more persistent than wildfire. Typically forcing parents to wash everything their child owns or has possibly come in contact with.
We’ve slathered them with sunscreen all summer and forced them to wear shirts and hats on the beach. Now, as we send them back to school, our kids may be exposed to common skin infections, more likely to break out in groups where they play, roughhouse, and sometimes share personal items.
September means back to school – the end of a busy summer vacation season and time for Mom and Dad to relax as the kids are occupied with new friends and activities. Sometimes the close contact that kids have with each other can lend itself to the development of some common childhood skin infections. Here we review some of the more common infections seen in this age group:
What bit me? Bedbugs. Scabies. Fleas. Spiders. Ticks. Lice… All can cause rashes, itching, and a lot of worry. The recent surge in bedbugs in eastern cities has everyone talking about how to find and kill bed bugs. But if you have a new rash or itchy red bumps, how do you know if bed bugs are the cause? Maybe your skin problem is not even related to insects or bugs and is caused by something different altogether. Many skin disorders like eczema (atopic dermatitis) and/or infections of your pores (known as folliculitis) can have an itchy rash, and these conditions have nothing to do with biting bugs, although people often wrongly assume that these common skin conditions are “bug” related.