Head Lice:Symptoms,Causes and Treatment
Head lice also called as Pediculus humanus capitis are tiny bugs that live on human scalp.They do not transmit diseases but they suck human blood to survive.Sometimes head lice can make your scalp extremely itchy and irritated.Head lice are mainly spread by head-to-head contact with a person who already has lice.Millions of people get head lice every year.They are most common in school going children and their families as well.Girls are more likely to get head lice than boys.
The life cycle of the head louse has 3 stages:
Eggs: Lice eggs are also called as Nits.They stay at the base of the hair shaft nearest to the scalp.They are extremely hard to see and they are oval-shaped and usually gray,yellowish or white and are about the size of a knot in thread.Nits take about 7-10 days to hatch.
Nymphs: When the eggs hatches they release nymphs.This immature louse looks like an adult but is the size of a pinhead.They’ll take around a week to grow into adults.
Adults: These are about the size of a sesame seed, has 6 legs which they use it to crawl(Remember that they cannot fly). Adult lice can live up to 30 days on a human head.They suck human blood to survive.Without blood they cannot survive for more than 2-3 days.
What are the causes of head lice:
- Head-to-head contact with person who already has lice.
- Sharing clothing, such as caps,hats, coats,hair ribbons,towels,brushes and combs.
- Sharing bed,pillow,couch with person who already has lice can spread head lice.
- Resting your head on a bed, pillow, couch or chair that someone with head lice used.
What are the symptoms of head lice:
- Lice bites cause an allergic reaction that causes itchy feeling on scalp.Itchiness can range from mild to severe.Sometimes you may feel irritation as well on your scalp.
- A tickling feeling of something crawling on your head.
- Observing bugs while combing,washing your hair with towel and sometimes on your pillows.
- Observing nits(lice eggs)a small white objects in your hair.
- Sores on head caused by scratching.
How are head lice diagnosed?
- Itchy scalp alone is not sufficient to confirm that a person has head lice.Various other conditions like dandruff,skin disorders causes itchy scalp.So it is important to notice lice on your scalp.
- Use lice comb to extract lice from your hair.
- Look for lice,nits on the back of the neck and around ears.
- Wet your hair,put a bright light on scalp,separate hair into sections and look for nits and lice.
Head lice treatment:
Head lice treatment at home(Using shampoo or product and nit comb)
1)Before applying product on your scalp make sure that you remove clothing that can become wet.
2)Make sure that infested person’s eyes are protected while applying the product.
3)Product must be applied all over the scalp(close to the scalp),with the same precision with which a hairdresser applies color to hair.Leave it on for sometime as prescribed on product label and wash it with spray hose.
4)Then Use nit combs to remove dead lice and nits.
5)Repeat the treatment after a week for 3 consecutive weeks as the product kills lice but not lice eggs.This ensures that nits which would have grown to lice till now are killed.
Note:All the people living around infested person should be diagnosed and treated.All your clothes,hats,caps,bed sheets should be washed in hot water and all your surroundings(i.e:bed,sofas,curtains,pillows) should be cleaned daily until no lice are found.
If the above treatment doesn’t work for you,then consult a dermatologist.He may recommend one of the following treatments.
Head lice Treatment at doctor’s office:
Apply this lotion and leave it on for 8 eight(overnight)and wash it with shampoo and water.Use nit combs to remove dead lice and nits.Repeat the process after a week to make sure that nits which would have grown to lice now are killed.
2)Isopropyl myristate and cyclomethicone solution
Apply this lotion and leave it on for 10 minutes,use nit combs to remove dead lice and wash your hair with water.Repeat the process after a week to make sure that nits which would have grown to lice are now killed.
3)Coconut, anise and ylang ylang (CAY) spray
Apply this lotion and leave it on for 15 minutes,use nit combs to remove dead lice and wash your hair with water.Repeat the process after a week to make sure that nits which would have grown to lice are now killed.
4)Malathion 0.5% aqueous liquid
Apply this lotion and leave it on for 12-15 hours and wash it with shampoo and water.Use nit combs to remove dead lice.Repeat the process after a week to make sure that nits which would have grown to lice are now killed.
Recommend products for head lice treatment:
Our primary motive is not only to provide accurate health information but also to provide you with best available products so that you stay healthy and happy.We searched around the web to bring you the best possible products available in the market to treat head lice.
1)Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Creme Shampoo, 12 fl.oz. + Conditioner, 8 fl.oz.
Average Customer rating in Amazon: 4.4 Out of 5(#1 Best Seller)
About the Product
Uses organic rosemary, citronella, tea tree, anise, lavender and geranium oils.
Paraben and SLS free.
Shampoo 12 oz bottle.
Cream Conditioner 8 oz bottle.
Perfect for all hair types.
Rosemary Repel Shampoo uses organic rosemary, citronella, tea tree, anise, lavender and geranium oils to help repel lice and other insects from the hair. Enriched with vitamins and minerals, this great shampoo contains no harsh chemicals so it’s mild enough to use every day. Promotes soft, shiny and squeaky clean hair. Perfect for all hair types. Rosemary Repel Creme Conditioner combines lice protecting ingredients such as organic rosemary, citronella, geranium, tea tree, cherry bark and passion flower with nourishing aloe and vitamin E. No need to rinse out completely just comb thrrough for tangle free hair. Rosemary Repel Creme Conditioner will not create build up and leaves the hair silky and smooth, soft and shiny.
2)Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb, Professional Stainless Steel Louse and Nit Comb for Head Lice Treatment, Removes Nits
Average Customer rating in Amazon: 4.6 Out of 5(#1 Best Seller)
About the Product
Stainless steel comb with micro-grooved teeth. Removes lice and nits safely.
EASILY COMBS NITS OUT OF HAIR, WITHOUT HARM TO HAIR! Used in all types of hair.
Safe and Effective. The Nit Free Terminator can be used Multiple times to treat the entire family.
#1 Lice Comb used by Professional Lice Removal Services! Lifetime Guarantee.
Some comb will have a Nit Free Logo Sticker with the words ladybugs under. These are the exact same combs and come with the same warranty.
Nit Free TERMINATOR Comb is the ultimate Tool to fight Head Lice and their eggs (nits). ANTI-SLIP BANDS allow for better gripping and control. ADVANCED LASER TECHNOLOGY welding make the comb sturdy and long-lasting. MICRO GROOVED TEETH consist of micro spirals around the teeth that allow the teeth to grip the eggs and lice pulling them freely from the hair. The Nit Free Terminator comb is the leading comb on the market backed by university case studies. The #1 comb used by professional nit pickers. Use the Nit Free products for all your head lice needs. The Nit Free Terminator is backed by a money back guarantee not to break. The Terminator comb is reusable, simply place in boiling water for 30 seconds, allow to cool and rinse.
3) Eco Defense Head Lice Treatment For Home, Bedding, Belongings, and More – Safe Prevention and Removal – Organic and Natural – Works Fast to Kill & Repel Lice From Your Environment – 16 oz
Average Customer rating in Amazon: 4.6 Out of 5(#1 Best Seller)
About the Product
ELIMINATE LICE FROM YOUR ENVIRONMENT – Use to Kill & Repel Lice From all areas including, clothes, backpacks, hats, scarves, luggage, stuffed animals, furniture, beds and more. Kill both existing lice as well as prevent lice infestations from entering your home. ( *NOT for use on your body* )
KILLS ON CONTACT – No other treatment works faster than Eco Defense Lice Treatment Spray. All Natural ingredients proven to eliminate Lice on contact in all stages of life; Eggs, Nymphs, and Adults.
NON STAINING – Won’t stain your bedding and clothes like most products on the market. Apply directly to sheets, mattress and other belongings to kill lice on site.
CHILD AND PET SAFE – Made of completely natural, organic and non-toxic ingredients. No worries of fumes or dangerous pesticides and chemicals coming in contact with you and your family.
MONEY BACK GUARANTEE – Formulated by professional exterminators Eco Defense Lice Treatment Spray is guaranteed effective to work. Try 100% Risk-Free for 60 days and if you have not eliminated your lice problem we will refund 100% of your purchase. No questions asked.
ELIMINATE LICE FROM YOUR ENVIRONMENT – Use to Kill & Repel Lice From all areas including, clothes, backpacks, hats, scarves, luggage, stuffed animals, furniture, beds and more. Kill both existing lice as well as prevent lice infestations from entering your home. (*NOT for used on your body*)
Eco Defense Lice Treatment was designed to be used in conjunction with Head Lice Treatments as apart of the overall lice removal process. Under no circumstances should Eco Defense Lice Treatment EVER be used on the hair or body. Consult your health care provider for treatment on the body and use Eco Defense to rid them from your home, furniture, bed, belongings etc. This will result in the best possible scenario to help remove the Lice source in the home.
BEFORE entering your home, remove backpacks, jackets, scarves, shoes, and all types of clothing. Lightly spray each and let dry 15-20 minutes before using again. Do this on a daily basis.Spray Eco Defense Lice Protection Spray thoroughly on all surfaces potentially exposed to lice. Pay close attention to creases, folds, under buttons, zipper cavities, and any small crevice where lice may be hiding.