Head lice

Head lice are small insects that feed on blood in the scalp. The invasion of head lice usually affects children due to direct transfer of lice from hair of one person to the hair of another person. Head lice do not harbor bacterial or viral infectious disease.

Nits or eggs of lice looks like small yellow, tan or brown dots before hatching and they can be found on hair shafts close to the scalp where the temperature is perfect that keeps them warm before hatching. Eggs of lice will hatch within 1-2 weeks. After they hatch, the remaining shell looks like white and clear that remain attached to the hair shaft. Nymphs or baby lice and adult lice are a little bigger than sesame seeds and grayish-white or tan in color. Baby lice or nymphs become adults in about 1-2 weeks after hatching.

Symptoms

  • Itchiness on the scalp, neck and ears which an allergic reaction to the saliva of the lice. A person who has an infection for the first time can suffer from itchiness of the scalp within 2-6 weeks after the infestation.
  • Lice are already visible in the scalp and difficult to catch because they move fast.
  • Lice eggs or nits stick on the shafts of hair and can also be seen around the ears and the hairline of the neck. Empty nits can easily be seen because they are far from the scalp.

Causes

Head lice

Itchiness on the scalp, neck and ears which an allergic reaction to the saliva of the lice.

  • Sharing personal belongings such as combs, hats, headbands, brushes, headphones, barrettes and other objects with a person with head lice.
  • Touching his/her head to the head of a person with head lice.
  • Head lice can also be found in upholstered furniture, towels, bedding and clothing.
  • Close contact with a person with lice such as playing, sports activities, slumber parties and camping.
  • Lying on a coach, bed, carpet, pillow and stuffed toys that have been touched by an infected person.

Treatment

  • Treat the hair using baby oil, laundry detergent and white vinegar. Apply some baby oil on the hair and slowly comb the hair and the lice will start falling from the hair. Baby oil helps suffocate the head lice. Wash the hair using laundry detergent and hot water. Before going to bed, apply some white vinegar on the hair and cover it using a shower cap or towel and leave it on overnight. Rinse the hair using regular shampoo and apply a conditioner. Perform this procedure at least 3-4 days for best result.
  • Using salt and vinegar is another way of eliminating lice from the head. Mix one-quarter cup of salt and one-quarter cup of vinegar and mix them thoroughly. Spray the solution to the hair until it becomes slightly wet and then cover it with a shower cap and leave it on at least 2 hours. Rinse and condition the hair. Perform this process every 3 days for best result.
  • Apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly on the scalp before going to bed and then cover the head tightly using a shower cap or towel and leave it overnight. Use baby oil to remove petroleum jelly and comb the hair thoroughly in order to remove the lice. Perform this process several nights every day.

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