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Vakul Aren
Vakul Aren, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 4153
Experience:  MBBS,DTM&H,34 years of experience
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My 22 year old son beleived he had caught head lice from

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My 22 year old son beleived he had caught head lice from driving a machine whilst working in Darwin in July/August. At that time he had seen lice and nits. His girlfriend discovered the same since. They have both treated themselves however my son kept getting reinfected. He since feels a crawling sensation over his skin and feels them on his body, particularly in his ears. Initially we then thought it had got into vehicles and he was being reinfected through them. He has tried quellada treatment (advised by doctor), lice shampoo, spraying all over his body with methylated spirits, tea tree oil, conditioner, flea treatment, as well as boiling clothes and soaking in KP 24 laundry soak solution. Last week he brought drums of the active ingredient of KP 24 through a produce store for $400 to save money. All my good linen is slowly being ruined and we are all going out of our minds with all the work. He has been back living at home in Victoria since November, but he has been living this nightmare for around 6 months. He now sleeps on an air bed or rubber matting and takes constant showers to get rid of the bugs with very little relief. Some internet research found he may have collombera but he has no sores or rash. Early in December when we though it was still lice, his older brother caught it whilst they were working for the same road construction company. He treated himself with head lice treatment and we treated his whole house and bedding by washing and steam cleaning. He has been fine ever since. Two weeks ago my 21 year old son started to experience the same crawling and itching over his body and still has it. None of them do drugs. Please help us as we are going out of our minds with all of this and I am very concerned with how much more my son can handle.
What treatment has been tried so far apart from OTC pediculocides?Have any other contacts been checked for lice infestations?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We have tried lice shampoos such as banlice and pyrenel. My son has used Quellada scabies treatment which was advised by a doctor. He covered himself head to toe with this for several days. On Friday he brought benzylkonium chloride with which he sprayed throughout the house (mainly carpeted areas). We have had no other pest treatment in the house as we were not sure what we were treating. In the beginning my son would only have relief for a few days at the most. Now it seems that nothing is working for longer than a few days. My 21 year old son experiences the symptoms but not as severe. He also went through a period where he would spray his body with metho or kerosene. My husband and i have both checked for lice and treated a few times with the pyrenel foam. I had one period around 6 weeks ago where my scalp was itching for a day but once treated it settled down, however i used a nit comb and found no evidence of lice or nits. We have been boiling or treating clothing and bedding for weeks.

Use of Permethrin(Nix/Rid),Malathion(Ovide)as local treatment for headlice at weekly intervals will help kill the lice,the nits or lice eggs will need to be cleared with a fine toothed lice comb.The use of local Ivermectin (sklice), will help clear the headlice with no need to clear the nits.It is used as a single application ,applied locally on the scalp for 10 minutes.Resistant lice can be cleared by a oral drug Ivermectin as a single dose which will need to be repeated after one week. Apart from medication it is important to identify the source of reinfection.All household members having the problem will need to be treated simeltaneously. Laundering/washing with hot water of bedsheets/blankets,scarves,hats,pillow cases,towels will eliminate any local reinfection sources.Vacuuming and cleaning floors and furniture will remove any infected hairs.

Other causes of itching like intestinal endoparasites ,food allergy,chemical or nickel allergy will need to be excluded and treated.Diseases like autoimmune disease,blood disorders ,chronic liver diseases will also need to be ruled out by your doctor/PCP.Body lice will also respond to Ivermectin therapy.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for the answer but at this stage we don't think it is headlice. We have done most of the treatment you have described with little success. Combing with the nit comb after treatment does not find any lice or eggs. The crawling is felt all over the body. As for the laundering, the washing machine rarely stops and we have tubs and buckets all over the place with treated clothing. Can you please suggest anything else and could this be a skin mite?

Mites are occasionally found in houses and may attack humans in the absence of rodent,bird or insects who are their usual hosts.If there is a pet in the house,zoonotic diseases may be relayed from the dog/cat.Eliminating any allergic problem to common allergens will help.Ivermectin orally is effective in body louse,scabies and similar infestations.A oral course of mebendazole/Albendazole will eliminate any larvae migrans secondary to intestinal parasites.Atopic dermatitis or eczema may need to be identified and treated apart from systemic diseases.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your response. Do we need to get a prescription for
the mebendazole or ivermectin. We are currently in Victoria Australia?

Albendazole will be available OTC as Zentel ,Mebendazole may be available as Combatrin.Ivermectin will need a prescription.