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Head lice and treatment

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Head lice are tiny wingless insects that live in human hair and they commonly affect children. When fully grown they are the size of a sesame seed, they cannot jump, fly or swim and are passed from one infected person to the next through head contact.

Head lice infestation is not down to poor hygiene or dirty hair, head lice can affect all types of hair in any condition or length.

Head lice life-cycle

A female head of louse lays eggs by cementing them to the root of the hair, this is where they are kept warm by the scalp. The eggs are pinhead in size and difficult to see.

During a period of 7 to 10 days the baby lice hatch leaving the egg shells glued in place, these are known as nits.

Head lice feed by biting the scalp and feeding on blood. It takes 6 to 10 days to come fully grown and once matured they can crawl from head to head. The female head louse can start to lay eggs as it early as a week after she is hatched. To break the cycle and stop them spreading, they need to be removed within a week of hatching.

headlice

How to spot them

Itching is the main symptom of head lice, is not caused by the lice biting the scalp but an allergy to the lice. Not everyone experiences itching.

It might not be easy to see head lice, so by using the special fine with head lice comb you’ll be able to see if you or your

child are infected.

Treatment

Head lice can be treated effectively by the use of medicated solutions or by wet combing, with a specially designed head lice comb.

Wet combing will need to be done regularly and thoroughly. No medicated treatment is 100% effective.

 

Prevention

It’s difficult to prevent head lice but regular detection combing will prevent an infestation.

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