The Itchy Truth About Head Lice


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Head lice are tiny wingless parasitic insect creatures that live quite happily on the scalp of humans. As disgusting as it sounds, they need human blood to survive. These insects are either grey or brown and have six legs. Head lice lay eggs called nits. The nits develop into nymphs which are simply immature adult head lice. The nits stick directly to the hair close to scalp and can be mistaken for dandruff. The nymphs develop into full blown head lice in approximately one week.

Head lice can live on the head for up to three to four weeks and are spread very easily from person to person by direct contact. Regardless of anecdotal theory a lice infestation can occur in spite of pristine personal hygiene. Poor personal hygiene is not the reason for head lice.

The itching associated with head lice is a result of the body’s allergic reaction to the bite of the head lice. Itching may be felt throughout the head or along the neck. Redness or a rash may also be seen along the back of the neck or behind the ears. It is important to have someone to closely inspect the hair in order to confirm the presence of nits. It is easier to locate the nits along the hair shafts since the live adult head lice will move around quickly and are difficult to actually see. Be certain to check along the hairline, the back of the neck, and close to the scalp for the presence of nits.

The best treatment of head lice is prevention. It is important to avoid direct contact with another person who has head lice since direct contact is the mode of transmission. Treatment involves the use of a product that kills the lice. It is important to use a product that is toxic to lice but safe for humans. It is equally important to follow the manufacturer’s directions closely for the most effective treatment.

If you do contract a case of head lice, it is important to treat not only the hair but all the personal hair accessories, such as brushes, combs, etc, as well as the bed linens, clothing, jackets towels, pillows, etc. Treatment must also involve the surfaces where the head lice might have landed since head lice can live for up to two days on inanimate objects such as sofas, chairs, carpets and even stuffed animals. If a person comes in contact with the object where the lice are living then the lice can easily and quickly move from the inanimate object to the person’s hair setting up the perfect scenario for the breeding of more lice.

A bout of head lice is an itchy and bothersome condition to say the least…but the good news is that head lice are easily treatable.

For more important information on getting rid of head lice be sure to visit where you will find advice and tips on head lice treatment and removing those annoying critters.


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