Head lice-induced anemia in a child and implications for oral health: Case report

Maleeha Gilani, Robert Anthonappa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pediculosis capitis, colloquially referred to as head lice, engenders adverse social and economic consequences among children. While generally not considered a health hazard, chronic and severe head lice infestations have been linked to secondary iron-deficiency anemia. This case report documents a 7-year-old girl who presented for dental treatment with a history of social isolation and poor school attendance. Upon examination, the patient was found to have head lice and scabies infestations, resulting in secondary iron-deficiency anemia. The patient could return to full-time education after successful treatment for the head lice infestation administered by the dental team. This case underscores the need for treatment guidelines to manage children with diagnosed or suspected cases of head lice from a dental perspective. In instances of severe infestation, referral to a medical professional may be necessary for further management. This report highlights the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in managing head lice infestations and its implications on dental management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSpecial Care in Dentistry
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Oct 2023


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