A middle-aged man has been hospitalised for toxic poisoning and had all his hair shaved off after using a potent pesticide instead of shampoo to stop his scalp from itching.
The patient who works as a private security guard believed the insecticide would cure his itchy scalp, according to his doctor Wu Ying.
The medic with the Yunnan Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Kunming, capital of south-western China’s Yunnan Province, said: “He came in here on his own.
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“He’s a security guard in his 50s. He looked anxious, his hands were shaking and he was sweating.”
Doctor Wu identified his symptoms as pesticide poisoning and were shocked when the guard admitted to using the toxic Dichlorvos – also known as DDVP – to wash his hair.
“He used DDVP together with his shampoo and poured it directly onto his scalp,” Wu said.
She added: “He thought it smelt funny and immediately tried to wash it off using water and even added vinegar – which he should not have done.”
Wu revealed the guard needed to have his head shaved in order to prevent the insecticide from reaching into his roots, so one of the hospital’s medical students ran to get a barber.
“But the hairdresser refused to help, so we had no choice but to cut his hair using our own scissors and then shave the rest off,” she added.
The patient is in stable condition after receiving treatment and having his scalp thoroughly cleansed.
However, he remains under observation.
Doctor Wu said: “Some folk remedies claim insecticide can treat an itchy scalp.
“It might temporarily relieve your symptoms, but the after-effects are far worse.
“Come to the hospital instead.”