What are the causes of treatment failure in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Updated: Aug 16, 2019
  • Author: Lyn C C Guenther, MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Causes of therapeutic failure include the following:

  • Misdiagnosis

  • Inappropriate treatment

  • Noncompliance

  • Insufficient application of pediculicide (ie, amount, duration)

  • Lack of ovicidal activity of pediculicide and failure to re-treat within 7-10 days

  • Lack of removal of live nits

  • Lack of environmental eradication

  • Sharing clothing, bedding and towels used by a person infested with body or pubic lice

  • Failure to treat close contacts

  • Re-infestation

  • Resistance to pediculicide

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