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Dermatology Online Journal

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Severe pediculosis capitus: a case of “crusted lice” with autoeczematization


Pediculosis humanus capitus infestations are common and classically present with intense pruritus of the scalp. Although many treatment options are available, lice are becoming more resistant to conventional therapies and severe clinical presentations are bound to become more prevalent. We present a case of treatment-resistant pediculosis capitus resulting in diffuse autoeczematization of the torso and extremities and severe crusting and scaling of the scalp, which we called “crusted lice.” This eruption differs from the well-described id reaction known as “pediculid” and represents a more dramatic manifestation of rampant infestation. This paper provides an up-to-date review of treatment options available for pediculosis humanus capitus, including newer medications like the ones that eventually led to resolution of our patient’s extreme infestation.

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