Lice Removal Is Big Business
You may find a company in your area that that offers to treat you or your child for lice. Some comb out the lice and nits for you. Others also apply treatments that they say dissolve the glue-like substance that holds nits to your hair. Or they might use an FDA-approved hot air device that kills lice and eggs.
Do Lice Need To Mate To Lay Eggs
Head lice eggs, or nits, take 7 to 11 days to hatch, then the head lice take 9 to 12 days to become fully grown adults. At that stage they can then mate, and they lay their first eggs 24 hours after mating. The female, adult louse only needs to mate once and after that she lays up to 10 eggs a day for the 30 days of her lifetime, so she lays 300 eggs in total. Multiply that by many lice on the head and someone can have a heavy infestation quite quickly. This will simply continue if untreated and from there a severe to very serious infestation will occur.
Super Lice Are A Myth
Yes, some lice have become resistant to treatment with common remedies, but they dont have superpowers. If they havent been reported in your area, you probably dont have to worry. Youre more likely to have trouble getting rid of lice because you didnt use the treatment properly, you misdiagnosed dandruff as lice, or you or your child got reinfested.
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How Do I Treat Head Lice
Shampoos and cream rinses are available to treat head lice. Some can be purchased over the counter, while others need a prescription. Ask your doctor or public health clinic what you should use.
Lice shampoos can be toxic to the brain and parts of the nervous system if misused, overused or accidentally swallowed. Check with your childs doctor:
- Before using lice shampoos on infants younger than 6 months old
- If your child needs more than two treatments
When you use a lice treatment shampoo or rinse, follow the instructions on the bottle exactly. More is not better. Too much can irritate skin and be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream, causing unwanted side effects. Use the medicine only on the hair and scalp. If you use the shampoo on your childs hair during a bath, rinse their body quickly.
Protect your childs eyes and wear rubber gloves when applying the shampoo. After the first treatment, comb or pick out the nits while the hair is still slightly damp. You only need to remove the nits closest to the scalp. One treatment is usually enough to kill the lice but not the nits. A second treatment is often needed 710 days later.
How Do I Prevent Head Lice
Teach your children not to share combs, brushes, hats, and coats. Use blow dryers to dry their hair. Check their hair if they complain about itching, and get rid of lice as soon as you find them. This can prevent them from spreading in your home.Make sure everyone who comes in contact with a child with head lice is checked. They should only be treated if lice are found in their hair. Call your healthcare provider if head lice continues to be a problem in your home.
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What Is Effective In Getting Rid Of Nits
There are a number of over-the-counter and prescription treatments for lice and nit removal. These can be found at your local drugstores, pharmacies, and of course, with online suppliers.
Please be aware that over-the-counter lice treatments are not effective at killing nits, nor are they effective at getting rid of Super Lice. In fact, Super Lice are resistant to over-the-counter products! Common and traditional over-the-counter lice treatment products will have zero effect on Super Lice. And many over-the-counter products claim they kill the nits, but they do not. It is nearly impossible to break through the hard shell of the nit. So the most effective way to get rid of nits is to use a product like Lice Choice to unglue them from the hair, then comb them out with our nit comb.
But there cant be that many Super Lice out there, right? Wrong! The Oxford Journal of Medical Entomology revealed in a 2016 study that evaluated lice samples from 48 states in the USA, 95% of all the lice collected were Super Lice! This means that potentially 95% of the lice out there are completely immune to insecticide treatments. For more information about Super Lice, .
Also, these over-the-counter products use harsh chemicals and pesticides. Know what farmers put on cattle to keep them bug-free? How about what’s in bug bombs? Potentially the exact same ingredients that are in those lice treatment bottles that you are using on your childs head!
What Are Pubic Lice
Pubic lice, also known as crabs or genital crabs, are very small insects called Phthirus pubis that can infest your genital area. Theyre different from head lice, and they got their nickname because they resemble crabs. Pubic lice are about 1/16 inch or less in size, making them very difficult to see.
Pubic lice go through three developmental stages: eggs , nymphs, and adult lice. Each of these stages has certain characteristics:
- Nits Lice eggs are very small and hard to see. They attach strongly to the hair shaft, have an oval shape, and are yellow or white. They take anywhere between 6 and 10 days to hatch.
- Nymphs These are still immature lice, and they look like smaller adult lice. Nymphs feed on blood and take approximately two to three weeks to mature into adults.
- Adults Adult lice look like tiny crabs with six legs, and theyre grayish-white or tan. Female lice are larger than males, and they need to feed on blood. Otherwise, they die within one or two days.
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Misconceptions Related To Lice Infections
There are a few myths and misconceptions related to lice infection which are listed below-
- Only children can get lice infections
- Only dirty people and people living in unhygienic conditions are infected with lice
- People having long hair are more prone to lice infections
- Girls have higher risks of developing lice infections
- For complete elimination of lice, the entire house must be sanitized
- Pet animals are the means of spread of lice infections
- Lice infection will be completely gone immediately after using a lice shampoo
Different Types Of Lice Infections
The following types of lice are responsible for spreading infections in humans-
- Head lice: It is the most common form of lice infection and is prevalent even in developing countries. The length of a head louse varies from 1-2 mm. In head lice infection, the eggs are firmly attached to the base of hair shafts in scalp and eyebrows. It is characterized by constant itching and may even cause hair fall.
- Pubic lice: These are found at the base of coarse pubic hairs present in the groin and genital regions of adults and teens. They spread via sexual interactions, toilet seats, and beddings. It is characterized by sores and scabs that cause excessive itching.
- Body lice: These types of lice do not live on human bodies. Rather they live on the linings of clothes and in very rare cases on body hairs. Body lice infections are more prevalent in temperate climatic zones. They may lead to secondary bacterial or fungal infections through breaks on the skin left after excessive scratching.
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Or Is It Actually Making You A Nicer Person
Comforting and contrary to expectation is the only way to describe the news that just being near your iPhone will harm your cognitive capacity . Adrian F. Ward from the University of Texas at Austin believes that his team have demonstrated that just the presence of your phone not even fiddling with it, just the presence is enough to use up limited-capacity cognitive resources. Even if you struggle hard to avoid checking your phone, there is liable to be significant brain-drain.”
HealthDay News quote from Dr. Wards article in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research as follows: “Our data suggest that the mere presence of consumers’ own smartphones may further constrain their already limited cognitive capacity by taxing the attentional resources that reside at the core of both working memory capacity and fluid intelligence Because consumers’ smartphones are so frequently present, the mere presence effects observed in our experiments have the potential to influence consumer welfare across a wide range of contexts.”
Super-users of their phones apparently will suffer most from brain drain. They are perhaps most easily distracted and as a result find it hardest to keep their mind on what they should.
How Do Head Lice Feed
Using its mouth, the louse sucks the blood, adding saliva to the puncture to prevent the blood from coagulating while the louse is having its meal. The louse takes in the blood through two small pumps in its head. Because the bug is translucent, you can see a thin path of blood being taken in through the mouth and into the stomach. This is why sometimes lice appear darker than at other times. The darker a louse is, the more recently it had its last meal.
They Can Cause Allergies
The itching from lice is caused by an allergic reaction to the bug bites. A lot of scratching may lead to sores or raw skin on the scalp. Its rare, but sores related to scratching can become infected. Call a doctor quickly if you notice signs of infection like red, swollen, or painful skin or tender lymph nodes in your neck.
What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have pubic lice, ask your provider:
- What pubic lice treatment do you recommend?
- How many times should I do the treatment?
- When can I resume having sex?
- Should I tell my sexual partner that I have pubic lice?
- How can I prevent the lice from coming back?
- Are there any long-term complications from crabs?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
If you have pubic lice, or genital crabs, dont feel alarmed. While crabs can be annoying and cause discomfort, its easy to treat them. Pubic lice wont cause long-term health problems, either. If youre not sure you have crabs, talk to your healthcare provider. Pubic lice treatment usually involves special creams or shampoos to destroy the lice. After treatment, make sure to comb any nits out of your hair. Wash all clothes, bedding and towels to destroy any lice living there. And suggest to recent sexual partner that they get treated as well.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/17/2020.
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How To Improve At
Use a lice comb
Using a lice comb can improve the effectiveness of treatment. It also is important to use a lice comb when school policy requires that a child be nit free before returning to school.
If all this seems like too much trouble, another treatment option is to shave the scalp bald.
Treat family and friends
It is very common for close family and friends to get head lice. Dermatologists recommend that you check everyone for head lice. You do not want to treat anyone who does not have head lice; however, you should check everyone every day for 10 to 15 days.
Moms And Pros Tackle Lice
“It’s always slow a couple of weeks before a Pixar movie comes out,” Shilliday notes.
Head lice on humanscan move only by crawling on hair. They glue their eggs to individual strands, close to the scalp, where the heat helps them hatch. They tend to feed on blood several times a day. And although head lice can spread by laying their eggs in sports helmets and baseball caps, the main way they get around is by crawling from one head to another using relatively large, scythe-shaped claws.
A head louse hides among blond human hairs. The insect’s grip is firm, thanks to large tarsal claws that enable it to scamper quickly from one hair to the next. Josh Cassidy/KQEDhide caption
A head louse hides among blond human hairs. The insect’s grip is firm, thanks to large tarsal claws that enable it to scamper quickly from one hair to the next.
Each claw works in unison with a small and spiky, thumblike part called a spine. With a claw and spine at the end of each of its six legs, a louse is able totightly grasp a hair strand, or quickly crawl from hair to hair like a speedy acrobat.
The insect’s drive to stay on a human head is strong; once it’s off the scalp and loses access to a blood meal, it will starve and die within 15 to 24 hours.
At the end of each of its six legs, a head louse has a tarsal claw and a spine, giving it a grip that neatly fits the diameter of a human hair. Josh Cassidy/KQEDhide caption
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Who Is At Risk For Head Lice
Preschool and elementary school students have the highest risk of getting head lice. They tend to play closely together.
Theres also an increased risk of head lice for family members of school-aged children. People who work in a day care center, preschool, or elementary school share this risk.
Symptoms of head lice include:
- extreme scalp itchiness
You or your healthcare provider can diagnose head lice by:
- checking your hair, close to the scalp, for lice
- checking your hair, close to the scalp, for nits
- running a fine-toothed lice comb through your hair, starting from the scalp, to catch lice and nits
The nits are dark-colored, and hatched lice will be light-colored.
Adult lice move quickly. Youll most likely find nits if you find any evidence of head lice on your scalp.
You can easily differentiate between nits and dandruff flakes or other debris in your hair. Most debris should be removed easily. Nits will seem like theyre cemented to your hair.
Head lice are contagious. If one person in your household has them, others may too. Its a good idea to check everyone in the household for signs of lice every few days.
There are several head lice treatments available. Most treatments will need to be used twice. The second treatment, after a week to 9 days, will kill any newly hatched nits.
Some of the major treatments for head lice are described below.
Overview Of Lice Infection
Microbial infections have become very common in the recent years. Out of all cases reported annually, parasitic infections seem to be the most alarming form of infection. A common example of parasitic infection throughout the world is lice infection. In most cases, lice infection is strictly associated with health and hygiene conditions. But in many cases, unexpected occurrence of lice infection is observed due to direct contact with infected people. In such cases, personal hygiene cannot protect an individual from lice infection. Studies have revealed that nearly 550 different varieties of blood-sucking lice are present in the world.
Recent research findings by the World Health Organization have shown that about 50% of the population in developing countries may be infested with lice infections. In certain extreme cases, lice infection has also been found to cause epidemic outbreaks in the tropical and temperate climatic zones.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Crabs
Pubic lice symptoms often show up about five days after you get infested. Symptoms of crabs include:
- Pruritus in hairy areas, especially pubic hair.
- Specks of blood in your underwear.
- Small white dots on pubic hair that are hard to remove.
- Pale bluish spots on your thighs, buttocks and lower abdomen.
- Low fever and feeling run-down.
Do Lice Eventually Die Off
Head lice eventually die off, but a head lice infestation does not. Head lice live up to 30 days and then they die, but in that time, they will have procreated and laid up to 300 eggs per female head louse. When mum or dad dies the family lives on and in turn mates, lays new eggs, those eggs hatch and a whole new generation is borne. This cycle occurs every 24 to 37 days, so roughly every month. And the numbers keep growing exponentially, meaning the infestation get bigger and bigger. It is foolish then to think the infestation will die off naturally it is only going to get worse.
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Living With Head Lice
The good news is that you dont have to live with head lice for long, although it may feel like a long time. It may take a few treatments and a few weeks to get rid of them completely.
Head lice cant jump or fly. Only the direct contact with an infested person or their contaminated items can spread lice. Encourage your young and school-aged children to take the precautions listed above to avoid future cases of head lice.
Can Untreated Head Lice Cause Hair Loss
Untreated head lice may degrade the scalp and affects it health and that of the hair. If the follicles become blocked, then hair loss may occur. It is hard to have well-conditioned hair if it is covered in head lice eggs, lice and bacteria. Hair also becomes very difficult to brush when it has an untreated head lice infestation, and brushing is important to distribute the natural excretions key to hair health.
A healthy head of hair which fends off hair loss is only maintained if you take care of your hair and your health. Leaving an untreated head lice infestation in your hair is not taking care of your hair or your health.
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