Head lice are common among children and are highly contagious
For head lice treatment you can use head lice shampoo or lotion
Scratching and itching on the scalp and neck are head lice symptoms
Head lice are a kind of tiny parasites that survive on human blood and stay glued to the scalp or hair. They are a common cause of concern among the pediatric age group, and are highly contagious. However, note that they do not cause any infectious diseases and they are not a sign of poor hygiene or an unclean environment. The eggs of these lice are known as nits. Female lice are larger than male lice and can grow to the size of a sesame seed. They can live up to a month.
As head lice survive on human blood, they perish within a few hours when separated. However, nits can survive up to a week if separated from humans. A study on children aged 5 to 15 years found that 71.1% of girls and 28.8% of boys had head lice infestation. The study also discovered that it was more common in children aged between 5 and 7 years .
Read on to know more about head lice, their symptoms, causes, and treatment.
Additional Read: What Is Dandruff
Here are some common head lice symptoms:
A female louse produces a sticky substance. This substance attaches each egg it lays to the base of the hair shaft. These eggs gradually transform into lice. Here are some risk factors that can cause head lice:
If you are diagnosed with an active head lice infestation, do not hesitate to get started with treatment. You can use its shampoo, lotion, and oral medication prescribed by your doctor. These medicines kill them and are known as pediculicides . Some medicines to treat it include:
Apart from prescribed medicines, you can treat head lice infestation at home through the following:
Use a fine-toothed comb to remove nits and lice from wet hair. You can also use lubricants such as conditioners for the hair. Comb the entire head twice during a session and repeat the process every 3 to 4 days for at least 2 weeks.
Natural plant oils such as tea tree oil, anise oil, eucalyptus oil, and lavender oil can have a toxic effect on it and eggs. A combination of coconut and anise can clear them more effectively than permethrin lotion .
Smothering agents like mayonnaise, olive oil, butter, and petroleum jelly can deprive the lice of air when applied to the hair and kept overnight. So, you can use these household items to treat head lice infestation.
This machine kills it and eggs with hot air by dehydrating them. However, it uses air that is cooler than hairdryers and has a higher flow rate.
They are harmless and do not carry any viral or bacterial disease. So, they do not directly cause any complications. But secondary bacterial skin infection may occur as a result of scratching caused by it.
Additional Read: Alopecia Areata
Hair problems like head lice infestation and dandruff can be irritating. Make sure you take preventive measures like not sharing combs, brushes, and hats. You should also avoid contact with people infested with it. To get rid of any hair and skin problems, book doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health. You can consult with top dermatologists and trichologists on the platform and take care of your hair!
Stay Up-to-date with Health Trends. Read latest blogs on health and wellness. Know More!
Get the link to download the app