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How to get rid of head lice

Head Lice - And how to get rid of them!

     What are head lice?

     Who gets head lice?

     How do they infect a person?

     Symptoms

     How to get rid of these pesky critters

 

 

 

 

What are head lice?

 

 

      Head lice are tiny, wingless insects – they cannot fly, jump or swim, but they can walk;

 

      A fully-grown head louse is similar in size to a sesame seed

 

      Louse varies in color from light brown to dark red – nit is seen as a small glistening speck attached to hair shaft which can only be removed by pinching fingers above it and sliding it off the end of the hair;

 

      Can’t survive the cold - so clings to hair, keeping close to the warmth of head.

 

      Found mostly behind the ears and at the nape of the neck

 

      Life cycle – louse has three stages, which last 1 month from egg to egg:

 

-       Nits – are the eggs laid by the adult female louse; they are attached to the hair shaft by strong cement close to the scalp, because they need body heat for incubation.

 

         Size - 0.8mm x 0.3mm

         Shape – Oval

         Color - Yellow / white

         Location – Within 6 mm of the scalp

         Life-length - Nits take 6 – 9 days to hatch.

 

-       Nymphs – released when an egg hatches. The nit shell stays attached to the hair and turns a dull yellow color. The nymph looks like an adult louse but is smaller. As the nymph grows, it molts out of its exoskeleton 3 times before becoming an adult.

 

         Size – Variable but about the size of a pinhead

         Shape – Same shape as the adult louse

         Color – Yellow to rust-colored

         Location – Close to the scalp, especially behind the ears and at the neckline

         Life-length – Nymphs become adults after about 7 days

 

-       Adult: The adult louse feeds about 5 times a day by piercing the skin with its claws, injecting irritating saliva, and sucking blood, which gives them a rust color. Head lice hold onto the hair with hook-like claws found at the end of each of their 6 legs. Adult lice are active and can travel quickly.

 

         Size – The size of a pinhead. The female louse is larger than the male.

         Shape – Oval with 3 legs and claws at the end of each leg

         Color – Rust

         Location – Close to the scalp, especially behind the ears and at the neckline

         Life-length – Adult lice can live up to 30 days on a person’s head

         Reproduction – An adult female can lay up to 8 nits per day

 

 

Who gets head lice?

 

      Head lice can affect anyone with hair - long, short, dirty or clean hair - they are not a sign of poor hygiene. However, children tend to be most affected;

 

 

How do they infect a person?

 

      Lice travel by head-to-head contact and climb from the hair of an infected person to the hair of someone else

 

      Head lice can be picked up by direct contact or by sharing combs, brushes and hats – often whole families are often affected. The adult louse can survive up to 1-2 days without feeding on the scalp and can therefore transfer from objects that have been in contact with an infested person, for example:.

 

         Clothing - hats, scarves, coats, and sports uniforms

         Hair care items - combs, brushes, towels

         Soft objects - pillows, beds, carpet, stuffed animals

 

 

Symptoms

 

      An itchy scalp is the main symptom of a head lice infection – also the sensation of something moving in the hair

 

      Lice and nits in the hair - nits are the eggs or empty eggshells after the lice have hatched. Behind the ears and  the nape of the neck are favorite dwelling areas;

 

      Sometimes tiny red spots are seen on the scalp – usually caused by scratching;

HEALTH PROBLEM TREATMENT LINKS

HEALTH PROBLEM

TREATMENT CHARTS

SYSTEMIC (Internal) HEALTH

SKIN, HAIR, NAILS etc (External)

ORAL / DENTAL

EAR / NOSE /THROAT /EYES

FEMALE-RELATED

PETS

 

Skin, Hair and Nails Related LINKS

  

 SKIN, NAILS and HAIR

 RELATED LINKS

SKIN

Acne

Anti-aging Retinoids

Oral / Genital Herpes (Herpes Simplex)

Moles and Skin Tags

Warts

HAIR

Head Lice

- Treatment

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