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n. an infestation with lice, which causes intense itching; continued scratching by the patient may result in secondary bacterial infection of the skin. Head lice (pediculosis capitis; see Pediculus) are quite common in schoolchildren and do not indicate poor hygiene; they may be treated with malathion, or other pediculicide lotions and/or by the use of a fine-toothed nit comb. By contrast, body lice (pediculosis corporis) often affect the homeless and others without access to washing facilities. Pubic (or crab) lice (Phthirus pubis) are commonly sexually transmitted and respond to the same treatment as head lice.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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