Healthy Living

What is Head Lice: Get the Facts

What is Head Lice: Get the Facts

Key Takeaways

  • Since men have shorter hair compared to women, they have lower chances of being infested by these lice.
  • The bites of the head lice cause itching and scratching.
  • If your child scratches their head all the time or complains of an itchy scalp, visit your doctor.

One of the most common human parasitic invasions globally is pediculosis, or the human head louse infestation. Approximately six to twelve million people in the US are treated for head lice annually. According to studies, head lice are mostly found in preschoolers and school-aged children. They nest in people’s hair irrespective of their nationality, gender, hygiene or race. It invades even the cleanest homes and classrooms.

Safeguard your loved ones and teach your kids about the characteristics of head lice and how to prevent them.

  • They are parasitic creatures and only invade human beings. Your pet cannot give you these lice, nor can you spread it to them.
  • Since they can’t jump or fly, they are mostly spread by direct head-to-head contact with an infested individual.
  • They can be brown, tan or gray and they are tiny, about the size of a sesame seed.
  • They like a dark, warm environment and are mostly found at the back of the ears, at the nape of the neck and under a ponytail. You can also discover them in the eyelashes or eyebrows.
  • They survive by sucking blood from the scalp of a human being. If they leave their host, they will die in one or two days due to lack of food.
  • They like to lay their eggs a quarter inch from the human scalp and the female louse lays up to a maximum of ten eggs in a day.
  • You can mistake lice eggs for dandruff, although they attach themselves firmly to the hair shaft with a waterproof substance that looks like glue.
  • Any person can be infested with head lice since they do not have any ethnic preferences.
  • Since men have shorter hair compared to women, they have lower chances of being infested by these lice.

Scratching

The bites of head lice cause itching and scratching. This is because of the response to the lice’s saliva. Itching depends on the skin's sensitivity to the lice and may not begin immediately. A noticeable itching sensation may even take weeks to become noticeable. Kids may, however, complain of a tickling feeling on their heads.

If your child scratches their head all the time or complains of an itchy scalp, visit your doctor. The doctor will determine if the child has lice and if treatment is required. 

Prevention

It is always better to detect lice early. You can reduce their spread and chances of recurring by taking swift action and putting preventive measures in place.

Parents should follow the following preventive ways:

  • Every week, look for head lice on your child
  • After returning from outbreak-prone areas like a camp, holiday vacation or school, be very vigilant.
  • To limit the outbreaks, lice screening at your camp or school should be promoted.
  • Since long hair is prone to lice, keep it tied up in a ponytail or a braid.
  • On your scalp, apply the prevention oil known as the Hair Fairies Nit-Zapping™ Clenz
  • Use the lice repellant spray known as Spray Hair Fairies Nit-Zapping™ in all non-washables like backpacks and caps
  • Avoid spreading lice by informing your friends, school and family as soon as possible if your child is infected
  • Use laundry detergent known as Hair Fairies to wash all clothing that may be affected
  • Use the all-natural products of Nit-Zapping™ Clenz to wash the affected hair
  • Your family should use the Hair Fairies Eucalyptus hand soap to wash their hands to avoid spreading the lice.