"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

What do head lice appear to be and what must you do in case you find them?

Head lice should not dangerous, but they will be uncomfortable and painful. It's helpful to know what these unwanted guests appear to be, and what to do in case you find them in your hair.

What are head lice?

Head lice are insects that live in human hair, near the scalp and sometimes within the eyebrows and eyelashes. They are small, no larger than a sesame seed.

Lice are parasites that bite the scalp every few hours to feed on blood. Lice bites could make your scalp itch. Itching is probably the most common symptom of a head lice infestation. You may feel something moving in your hair.

Head lice are found everywhere in the world. Contrary to popular belief, they don't have anything to do with personal hygiene or cleanliness, and so they don't carry diseases.

Lice can spread from individual to individual through head-to-head contact.

What do lice appear to be?

Head lice have three life stages: nits (eggs), nymphs, and adults.

Nuts They are eggs laid by an adult female. The eggs are firmly attached to the hair shaft, very near the scalp. Eggs are small oval shaped and typically yellow or white. It often takes every week for the nits to come back out.

Nymph There are young lice. They are much like an adult but smaller. Nymphs become adults about every week and a half after hatching.

Adult lice are fully grown. They hold hair tightly with hook-like claws on each of their six legs. They are tan, gray or white. They continue to exist an individual's head for a few month and can die inside a day or two in the event that they fall off. Adult females can lay about six eggs a day.

Is it lice or dandruff?

It is straightforward to confuse nits and lice with dandruff. You can tell the difference in case you attempt to brush or shake them. Dandruff doesn't follow the hair, but nits do.

One method to check is to make use of a fine-tooth comb or lice comb on wet hair. Section the hair into small sections to search for nits or lice. A magnifying glass and vivid light can assist.

How are lice spread from individual to individual?

Head lice cannot and don't fly. They move by crawling and are spread through head-to-head contact with someone who has them. This is very common in young children during play or sports activities.

They can be spread if loose strands of hair containing lice or nits come into contact with another person's hair by:

  • Sharing clothing akin to hats, scarves and coats
  • Sharing personal items akin to combs, brushes and hair ribbons
  • Lying on a bed, pillow, couch, or carpet that has recently been in touch with someone who has had head lice.

You can't get head lice from dogs, cats, or other pets, and you possibly can't pass them on to pets.

How to treat lice at home

You can treat head lice at home with a lice comb and medicated shampoo or lotion, which is obtainable over-the-counter. The lively ingredient in these products is either pyrethrin, which is approved for ages 2 years and older, or permethrin lotion, which is approved for ages 2 months and older.

After applying and rinsing the top lice shampoo based on the instructions on the product, divide the hair into small sections and take away the lice and eggs using a comb and fingers. Experts recommend combing the hair with a lice comb every few days for no less than two weeks to seek out any remaining lice or nits. Do not wash hair with regular shampoo for 2 days after each treatment.

Lice shampoos kill live lice but not eggs, so that you'll likely need multiple treatment to kill lice that hatch after the primary treatment. Some lice shampoos recommend two treatments no matter whether you see lice or eggs, while others recommend a second treatment only in case you see crawling lice after every week. Because head lice are so contagious, experts recommend treating the complete family, even when lice should not visible.

Lice don't live greater than a day or two in the event that they fall off an individual, so deep house cleansing will likely be not essential. Wash bedding and towels in hot water, or if they can't be washed, seal them in a plastic bag for 2 weeks. Vacuum floors, and soak combs and brushes in extremely popular water for no less than 10 minutes.

When to see a health care provider

If home remedies don't work, see a health care provider. You might have a stronger prescription medicated lotion. If the lice still don't go away, it's possible you'll must take oral medication.

Excessive scratching of the scalp in response to itching can result in itching or infection. See a health care provider if you have got signs of infection, akin to a scalp that's tender, crusting, or oozing.