Pediculosis capitis

J Pediatr Health Care. 2005 Nov-Dec;19(6):369-73. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2005.07.002.


Pediculosis capitis is a worldwide public health concern. Infestation occurs most commonly in children, with a peak incidence between 5 to 11 years of age. The condition is more common in girls and less common in Black children. Direct head-to-head contact is the most common mode of transmission. Pruritus is the most common symptom of infestation. The gold standard for diagnosing pediculosis capitis is finding a live louse or nymph in the scalp or viable egg in the scalp hair. Pediculicides are the most effective treatment. All household members and close contacts should be examined and treated concurrently if infested. The child should be allowed to return to school or to a child care facility after proper treatment. The child should be discouraged from close, direct head contact with others or from sharing items that have come in contact with the hair.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Insecticides / therapeutic use*
  • Lice Infestations / diagnosis
  • Lice Infestations / drug therapy*
  • Lice Infestations / parasitology*
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Pediculus*


  • Insecticides