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Year : 1983  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39

Kerosene application for pediculosis

Ramakrishna Niwas, 380 N.C. Kelkar Road, Dadar, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
A M Gokhale
Ramkrishna Niwas, 380 N.C. Kelkar Road, Dadar, Mumbai 400 021
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 6629452

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How to cite this article:
Gokhale A M, Gokhale S A. Kerosene application for pediculosis. Indian J Ophthalmol 1983;31:39

How to cite this URL:
Gokhale A M, Gokhale S A. Kerosene application for pediculosis. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1983 [cited 2023 Nov 30];31:39. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?1983/31/1/39/27433

There are 3 varieties of blood-sucking lice parasitic on man. Out of the 3, the body louse is never found in eyelashes. The affliction of eyelashes is rare; but when it occurs, it is usua­lly due to the crab-louse (Phthirus pubis) and rarely due to the head-louses (Pediculus humanus capitis).

For Phthiriasis palpebrarum various forms of treatment have been used. (i) Removal of parasites with forceps-a procedure which may require general anaesthesia in children. (ii) Ap­plication of yellow oxide of mercury. (iii) Drop or ointment of anticholinesterase agents like physostigmine. (iv) Pyrethrum ointment. (v) Gamma benzene hexachloride 1 % cream, or Fluorescein solution applications.

Kerosene has been used for treatment of Pediculosis capitis. One tablespoonful of kero­sene is rubbed into the whole scalp and the head is wrapped in a piece of cloth. After 2 hours the head is thoroughly washed with soap and water. There is no irritation. Usually a single, application is sufficient.

Kerosene was not used by Ophthalmologist for Phthiriasis Palpebrarum because of the fear of corneal irritation. This is a report of 10 cases treated with kerosene in the last 3 years.


All 10 cases had a typical clinical appear­ance of nits at the roots of eyelashes and symptoms of severe intermittent itching and a sensation of movement in the eyelashes in both eyes.

The patients were asked to close the eyes tightly. A swab-stick was dipped in kerosene and rubbed on the lid margins of one eye for about 15 seconds. After waiting for about 15 seconds, a swab dipped in soap water was rubbed on the skin of the lids and the skin was washed with water. Similar treatment was then earned out for the other eye. This procedure was carried out daily for 3 consecutive days.

The patients complained of slight burning sensation on the lid skin for a few minutes. There were no symptoms and signs after 3 days. No patient came back with a recurrence.

  Summary Top

Kerosene application is a safe, effective and cheap treatment for Phthiriasis Palpebrarum.[1]

  References Top

Duke-Elder, S., 1974, System of Ophthalmo­logy, Volume XIII, Part 1, p. 125, Sondon, Henry Kimpion Publishers.  Back to cited text no. 1


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