Head lice

Description of Head lice

Description of Head lice
Head lice are defined as tiny insects that live as parasites in the hair of the scalp. They are wingless insects and exclusively feed on human blood. Head lice is also known as pediculosis capitis, nits, or cooties.
Causes of Head lice
Common causes of head lice:
1. Usually spread by direct head-to-head contact with someone who already has head lice infestation.
2. May spread by sharing of combs, hats, towels etc.
Signs and Symptoms of Head lice
Common signs are,
1. Intense itching on the head
2. Sores on the head, neck, and shoulders (caused by scratching)
3. Feeling of something moving in the hair
Head lice and their eggs are most frequently seen by looking closely near the hair root. They are most commonly found behind the ears and upper part of the back of the neck. Rarely, they may be seen on the eyelashes, eyebrows, or beard.
Complications and When Should You See a Doctor
Sometimes a skin infection may occur from excessive scratching. Otherwise, head lice are not known to transmit any infectious diseases and cause any serious medical problems.
1. Thorough combing (using a fine-tooth comb) of wet hair, especially at the back of the head where lice are commonly found, may demonstrate live lice.
2. Manual examination of the hair may show nits (ovoid, grayish white eggs) fixed to the base of hair shafts.
Prevention and Treatment of Head lice
1. DO NOT use combs, hair brushes, hats, bedding, towels, or clothing of a person affected with head lice.
2. Wash your hair regularly.
3. The lice and eggs can be removed to some extent with the help of very fine toothed comb.
4. Medication includes, pediculicide which is the most important treatment.
5. To prevent reinfestation, nits are killed by using hot air (slightly cooler than a hair dryer) for 30 minutes.
6. Wash all clothes, beddings, and combs in hot water with detergent.
7. Repeat treatment after 7 to 10 days.
Content Details
Last updated on:
31 Jan 2018 | 01:25 PM (IST)
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