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July 23, 1982

Phthirus pubis Infestation of the Eyelashes

Author Affiliations

Van Nuys, Calif

JAMA. 1982;248(4):428. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330040022018

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To the Editor.—  Phthirus pubis, the crab louse, has long been known as an infester of the pubic hair. It also occasionally has been found to infest the eyelashes. In this era of sexual freedom, it is not surprising to see infestations of the eyelashes in the adult. However, eyelash infestation in the child is uncommon.Recently, I examined a 6-year-old boy for the problem of recurring "conjunctivitis," which had been treated in the past with Neosporin ophthalmic ointment (a combination of polymyxin B sulfate, neomycin sulfate, and bacitracin zinc), with only partial success. I became suspicious when examination disclosed only a fairly severe blepharitis without any conjunctival inflammation. On questioning, the child also denied purulent drainage and stickiness of the eyelids in the morning after arising from sleep. I suspected that I was dealing with P pubis infestation, but my 55-year-old eyes required that I don a pair of