Becoming aware of common dermatological infestations is important as we enter into a chiropractic or naturopathic practice. The history of exposure stems from shared combs, borrowed clothing, a recent stay in a hotel and sexual contact with an infested individual.
Pediculosis capitis (the head louse) is a condition of childhood and could become widespread through shared hats at school. It is best to use a lice comb for discovering and diagnosing these infestations. When evaluating these potential patients in your office, it is important to remember that girls have head lice more frequently than boys, and they are most common on the occipital area, behind the ears and the neck.
There are multiple options for the management and treatment of head lice. For example, on the head, an individual can try a thick application of olive or coconut oil, and can also add oregano oil to that mixture. Next, it is important for individuals to place a plastic shower cap on their heads for 4-5 hours. After 4-5 hours, individuals should wash their hair with shampoo, then rinse the hair with white vinegar.
Utilizing a fine-toothed comb, the next step is to comb out the nits (louse eggs). If individuals are willing to shave their heads, no other therapy is required except for managing family members. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that those with lice wash their clothing and bed sheets in 130° F temperature water. It is also important to vacuum all carpets and rugs in the home, as well as soak brushes and combs in 130° F temperatures for at least 10 minutes.
Last, it is important to provide a head-to-toe skin and hair exam on family members. Having a solid foundational knowledge of common dermatological conditions is important as a future chiropractic or naturopathic physician.
NUHS doctor of chiropractic students are trained to be primary care practitioners. Read What is a Chiropractic Physician and What Can They Do? and more about the program here.