Head lice are tiny and stubborn parasites that live in hair and suck the blood from your scalp. These parasites are not dangerous and are also not linked to unhealthy scalp and improper hair care routine. However it does not mean that you can ignore them as it can even cause skin irritation and even infection that will gradually impact your hair growth rate.
Adult female head lice lay eggs (nits) which take about six to ten days to hatch and the baby louse takes 9 to 12 days to grow into an adult. Within a week after entering the adult stage, head lice can lay their own eggs. This means within three weeks there will be two generation of head lice roaming around freely on your head.
Some unknown facts about head lice that you must know:
- Head lice are the second most communicable health problem found in children after common cold.
- Head lice can be found only on the human head, not on pets.
- Just 24 hours after mating the female lays her first eggs and as she keeps spare sperm in a special container in her body she keeps laying eggs for the rest of her life.
- Head lice pass from one head to another head. It does not jump and it does not fly and when two heads are in close contact, they simply pass from one destination to another.
- Head lice bite the human head while sucking blood to get their food. The bite causes itching and at times infections also.
- There are many nit and lice shampoos available in the market but nothing can guarantee hundred percent reliefs from head lice.
- The average infestation is about 20 lice.
- During her life span, one female louse lays between 5 and 10 eggs each day. This clearly indicates the speed at which they can increase in numbers.
- Head lice suck blood directly from the scalp to remain alive. Without blood they will die within the next 24 – 48 hours.
- Instead of removing the adult head lice, you must try to get rid of all the nits so that their growth can be controlled.
- Head lice can move from one head to another at a great speed. They can crawl 23 cm in a minute.
- Head lice are tear drop in shape and are brownish in color, and on the other hand nits are clear or white in color and stick on the hair strands.
Some of the common symptoms of head lice are a tickling sensation in the hair, itching on the scalp, sores on the head, inflammation on the scalp and infection on the head that makes you feel like scratching to get relief.
When you notice your child is scratching his head on and often it is a clear indication that there is the problem of head lice infestation. You can be sure of this infestation by having a close look at your child’s hair under bright sunlight. Check the crown of the head, behind the ears, and the nape of the neck as head lice are visible with naked eyes and you can notice them clearly. You must immediately take some action.
The very first thing you need to do is get a very good lice shampoo that does not have any chemicals in it. A lice shampoo having enzymes in it is a great choice as it can help in break up the shell of the head lice. Wash your child’s hair with this special shampoo for at least a month. Nits take 3 to 4 weeks to hatch and mature and thus even lice might have been removed from the hair after first wash there are still chance of getting them black. So, follow a proper hair care routine for more than a month. This can kill the adult head lice and to remove the eggs you must use a good lice comb. However, hand removal is still regarded as the best way of getting rid of stubborn nits.
Also try to change and wash the linen and pillowcase used by your child every day. You must take out time to vacuum the couches. Keep their hair brush and comb separate and clean them properly after use.
To conclude, to break the cycle of growth and re-growth of head lice it is important to get rid of both the nits as well as the lice completely. So, next time whenever there is a problem of head lice faced by you or any other member of your family, you need to handle the situation smartly and calmly.
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