Tell Me No Lice

Head Lice

They crawl and they bite, plugging you into terrible bouts of scratching. They move around undetected, spreading faster than a forest fire, and, no, there are not lies!

Living in a neighborhood filled with vivacious families can be a wonderful experience. The air rings with laughter and people visit each other all the time, while food and banter are continuously exchanged. Neighborhoods can pulsate with positive vibes, bringing energy and happiness.

Unless, of course, that neighborhood is the top of your head. A neighborhood of lively lice among your hair is, by any standard, a nightmare!

Eek! What are they?

Head lice are parasitic insects that feast on blood. A head lice infection is known as pediculosis capitis, and is especially common among children.

However, the presence of head lice is by no means an indication of poor personal hygiene. The infection begins through contact with a person who is infested or by the sharing of personal items like hats, combs and hair clips belonging to someone with head lice.

The most distinguishing symptom of a head lice infestation would be severe itching. This is caused by an allergic reaction to the bite of a head louse. Severe itching can interfere with sleep, while the bites themselves may produce red bumps.

You can identify the presence of head lice through the observation of numerous small, white objects on the hair. These are called ‘nits’ – the eggs of lice and are very difficult to brush off or flick away.

Fortunately, head lice infections are fairly easy to fend off. While more serious infestations and complications would require professional medical intervention, light to mild cases can be taken care of at home. Nonetheless, do remember to seek a doctor’s advice before trying out anything on your own.

So, the next time you find a family of head lice moving into your ‘neighborhood’, do not worry too much! Your crowning glory can easily be kept safe.

Eww! Get them off!

Here are a few tips to help you combat a head lice infection:

  1. Wash personal items in hot water. Beddings, clothes and even soft toys should be doused in very hot, soapy water for 5 to 20 minutes.
  2. Seal items away. By keeping unwashable personal items in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days, you can effectively kill lice by depriving them of nutrition.
  3. Shampoo and spray. Over the counter products are available to treat head lice infections, some of which of are in the form of shampoos or sprays.
  4. Consult a doctor of pharmacist. If you find that the condition is spiraling out of control or are simple uncomfortable with handling the infection on your own, do not hesitate to ask a healthcare professional for help .

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