What is the appearance of nits in pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation) during a Wood lamp exam?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Lyn C C Guenther, MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Nits can be differentiated from dried hairspray and hair casts by attempting to separate the nit from the hair; hair casts and dried hairspray separate easily, while nits remain securely attached. If the physician remains unsure, a Wood lamp examination can be performed. Live nits are fluorescent white when illuminated with a Wood lamp; empty nits are fluorescent gray.


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