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How to Get Rid of Head Lice

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Causes and Types

 

Head lice, or Pediculus humanus capitis, are more common than you think. These are tiny bug-looking things that live and breed on your head. There are other types of lice that live on the human body. Pubic lice, also called crabs or Pthirus pubis, can only live in the pubic area and not on you head. Another type is the body louse or Pediculu humanus corporis. Their source of food is your blood so it won’t matter if you wash your hear regularly or not.

You can get lice if you come in contact with people who have head lice. It’s common among children. Head lice cannot fly so it takes head-to-head contact to get lice. You can also get them if you share personal items like combs, hats or caps, towels, hair accessories, pillows, and anything that your head comes into contact with. You cannot get them from pets because they can only survive on humans.

 

They make your head very itchy. If you keep scratching, it will leave your scalp irritated and reddish. Some people can also feel the lice crawling. They also lay eggs or nits that stick to strands of your hair. There are others who get swollen lymph nodes and eye infections.

 

Management and Prevention

If you suspect that you have head lice infestation or pediculosis, there are ways to determine this without going to the dermatologist. You can start by inspecting the scalp and strands of hair for lice eggs, especially the areas behind the ears. You can also use a fine-tooth comb. Comb the hair by small sections. In extreme cases, it is advised to get a haircut to minimize infestation.

 

There are over-the-counter lice shampoos you can use. Look for shampoos with any of the following active ingredients: pyrethrins, dimethicones and permethrins. Follow directions on the label. These medicated shampoos usually cannot be used as often as regular shampoos. Keep the contact with other parts of the body as minimal as possible when using the medicated shampoo. Don’t use more than one type of product. There are also shampoos made specifically for children. If you have an infant with lice, it’s not advisable to use medicated lice treatments. Remove louse by hand. Some are advised to use prescription drugs such as malathion, spinosad, benzyl alcohol, and ivermectin.

 

Don’t use conditioner, hair sprays, essential oils and blow-dry your hair when you use lice shampoo.

 

It’s also important to keep monitoring if the shampoo is working. Use the fine-tooth comb regularly until the lice disappear. Wash your bed linens, towel and clothing regularly. Dry clean items that cannot be washed. Clean and then soak your hair items and accessories. You might have to replace some items. Keep your house clean as well.

 

The best way not to get lice is to not share your personal items with other people.

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