Head Lice: What You Need to Know

Head lice are tiny, parasitic insects that often infest the head and neck area of humans, causing an itchy, irritating sensation to those who have them on their scalp. While they’re not deadly in any way, their presence can prove extremely embarrassing to kids in school and adults at work. If you’re currently suffering from an infestation of head lice, there are plenty of over-the-counter treatments and at-home remedies that you can use to get rid of them quickly and safely without having to worry about side effects. Here’s what you need to know about head lice.

Head Lice Facts

head lice

Lice feed on human blood, and a female louse can lay between 10 and 12 eggs per day. Eggs are usually laid on the hair close to where a person’s headrests. Because of this, it is possible for lice infestations to spread rapidly in schools or childcare centers where children tend to have close physical contact with one another during playtime. If a child has lice and returns home from school, there is a chance that his or her siblings will become infested as well.

What Causes Head Lice?

head lice

Head lice are spread by direct contact with someone who has head lice. It’s also possible to get it from using bedding, clothing, or personal items that have come into contact with someone who has head lice. Direct contact occurs when you share head coverings (such as hats or helmets) with someone who has lice or when you share hairbrushes and combs. No evidence suggests that pets or animals spread human head louse.

How To Treat Head Lice?

head lice

Start by combing out any knots or tangles. Run fine-toothed lice comb through dry hair from scalp to ends, as close to your scalp as possible. Work in small sections; it’s hard to see nits without magnification, and they might be tiny, so don’t miss anything. If you find any suspicious eggs. They’re oval and tan. Pick them off with a tweezer (they won’t come off easily with a lice comb) and place them in a small bowl of alcohol for at least five minutes.

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Head Lice

To kill lice naturally:

1) Try applying vegetable oil over your entire scalp and leave it overnight. The following day, wash it off with shampoo; repeat if necessary.

2) Rub baking soda all over your hair, then use a small fine-tooth comb to remove any nits (eggs). 3) Herbal tea bath: steep five dried chamomile flowers into a cup of boiling water; let it cool and then rinse your head with it before bedtime.

4) Olive oil remedy: apply extra virgin olive oil all over your scalp and wrap plastic around your head while you sleep. Use a nit comb when you wake up. All of the eggs should be on there, so just remove them right away.

How Do I Prevent Getting Head Lice?

If you’re surrounded by small children and live in a daycare, it’s practically inevitable that your family will be exposed to head lice at some point. Experts say that upwards of 20% of all kids get head lice at some point during their K-12 schooling years. The best way to prevent getting them is via contact reduction, which is just a fancy way of saying keeping your distance from people who already have them. Covering your hair with a shower cap or tying up long hair are also ways of preventing an infestation if you share equipment.

Is It Easy To Get Rid Of Them?

It’s a common misconception that you have to use harsh chemicals and medicine to get rid of lice. While it’s true that professionals can be effective, there are also plenty of ways you can treat lice yourself. However, if your children’s lice infestation persists after more than two weeks of home treatment, you should contact your doctor for advice on what additional steps might help.


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