How are pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) typically first identified?

Updated: Aug 16, 2019
  • Author: Lyn C C Guenther, MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Patients may come to the attention of a health care provider after discovering lice or nits. Parents and teachers typically make the initial diagnosis of head louse infestation. In the case of head lice, a school nurse usually discovers infestation (routine nit inspections by school nurses are standard in many parts of the United States), or a generic letter is sent home to parents indicating that they should inspect their children for lice, and concerned parents bring their children to their health care provider or the local emergency department.

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