Most people seem to find the following disorders embarrassing. The truth is that none of these organisms has any respect for the economic or social status of potential hosts.


Don’t underestimate lice. They helped spread typhus during both world wars and thereby managed to kill several million people. Today, head lice, body lice and pubic crab lice seem as well established as ever and outbreaks occur from time to time in the most select of establishments. Fortunately, not all lice carry typhus or trench fever and usually the main symptom is itching. Eggs can sometimes be seen but more usually the diagnosis is made after a ‘scare’ at a local school.

Possible treatments for head lice include Dicopbane Application BPC and Gamma Benzene Hexacbloride Application BPC. About 15 ml of either application can be used in a single dose to treat the normal-sized scalp, although the hair should not be washed for twenty-four hours after applying the treatment. Both products are available in Esoderm Lotion and Hsoderm Shampoo, while gamma benzene hexachloride is also available in Derbac Soap, Lorexane, Quellada Application and Otiellada Lotion. There are other useful treatments. Malathion is available as Derbac Liquid, Malatbion Scalp Application BNF, Prioderm Lotion and Prioderm Shampoo. Carbaryl is an ingredient of Carylderm Lotion, Cary/derm Shampoo, Derbac Shampoo and Siileo Shampoo. Pediclex contains both gamma benzene hexachloride and malathion.

The treatment of body and pubic lice involves the use of the same basic chemicals. It is also important to ensure that clothes, bedding and towels are disinfected. DDT Powder can be used but boiling, cleaning and ironing are also helpful.


Classically, ringworm appears on the skin as a red ring. It can occur just about anywhere on the head or body and the ring formation is caused by the healing of the central part of the infection.

However, ringworm is far more commonly found on the feet (where it is known as foot rot or athlete’s foot) and in the crotch (where it is tastefully known as jock itch). The reason is that ringworm is a fungal infection and just like mushrooms these fungi like growing on moist, warm areas.

When it is the feet or the crotch which are affected the condition looks more like a bad sweat rash and the skin is peeling and discoloured. Itching is a common symptom.