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Pediculosis corporis
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Pediculosis corporis

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Contributors: Noah Craft MD, PhD, Lindy P. Fox MD, Lowell A. Goldsmith MD, MPH
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Synopsis

Pediculosis corporis (body lice) is an infestation with the organism Pediculus humanus corporis, a 2-4 mm, wingless, blood-sucking arthropod whose preferred hosts, as its name implies, are human beings. Body lice are rarely found on the skin, as they live in and lay eggs on clothing. The infestation is extremely pruritic, especially at night when the lice move from the clothing to the body to feed. The bites leave behind macules and papules concentrated in the intertriginous regions.

Body lice are found in all countries and climates and may infest any age group. There is no racial or sex predilection. Pediculosis corporis is associated with poor hygiene, poverty, and homelessness.

Mortality related to pediculosis corporis occurs from 3 arthropod-borne diseases that the louse may transmit: typhus (Rickettsia prowazekii), relapsing fever (Borrelia recurrentis), and trench fever (Bartonella quintana). The mainstay of treatment is eradicating the infestation.

Codes

ICD10CM:
B85.1 – Pediculosis due to Pediculus humanus corporis

SNOMEDCT:
25188002 – Pediculosis corporis

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Last Updated: 07/12/2017
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Pediculosis corporis
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Pediculosis corporis : Erythema, Excoriated skin lesion, Lice exposure, Poor hygiene, Pruritus, Smooth papules
Clinical image of Pediculosis corporis
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