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HEAD LOUSE

WhatWhat is a Head Louse?
A head louse is a parasitic insect that lives in the hair and scalp of a person and survives on human blood. In scientific terms, head louse is called pediculus humanus capitis. That’s why the condition when a person’s head is infested with lice is called pediculosis.

Head lice spread easily from person to person by direct contact regardless of personal hygiene. They usually develop as nits, nymphs and adults. Nits are eggs of lice that hatch into nymphs in around a week’s time. Nymphs mature into full adults in about seven days. In order to survive, they have to feed on human blood. If a louse falls off a person, it dies within a couple of days.

Symptoms of Head Louse: 
The most common symptoms of head lice are itchiness and irritability on the person’s head and scalp. When head lice bite, it causes severe itching and irritation although these symptoms may remain dormant at least two months after they first settle on a person’s head. Vigorous scratching could lead to infections or sores on the skin. Head lice infestation may also cause appearance of rash at the nape of one’s neck. The presence of head lice is indicated when nits stuck to one’s hairs and one often finds louse droppings, which look like a fine black powder, on pillows or bed sheets. One should also watch out for small red bumps on scalp, neck and shoulders which may arise because of the presence of head lice.

Causes of Head Louse:
Head lice infection is very common among children, especially those who go to school and mix closely with each other. The parasites are passed from one person to another during direct head-to-head contact. Kids whispering something to each other, sharing a hat among themselves, or using the same comb or brush together provide head lice an excellent opportunity to move from one head to another. The belief that head lice are associated with poor hygiene is common but not true at all, as lice are equally likely to be found on clean or dirty hair. Hair lice may get into one’s head also if he/she lies on a couch, bed, pillow, or carpet that has already been infested.

 

Prevention and Treatment of Head Louse:
Natural and Home Remedies:

Although prevention cannot be guaranteed, some precautionary measures might help in avoiding head lice. It is sensible to avoid sharing combs, brushes, bedding, hats, or other linens, including stuffed animals with other people. For kids, separate dressers or storage places may help. Don’t use other’s costumes, and especially headgear such as helmets or caps, and wigs. It is preferable to have a separate sleeping bed, mat, pillows and linens for each child.

There are medications that can lice and nits, but the itching still persists for a few more days. Your doctor may advise you to repeat the treatment in 6 to 10 days to ensure all of the nits have been destroyed.

  • Use vinegar to kill head louse.
  • Apply paste of almond in lime juice and coconut oil.
  • Apply garlic and lime juice paste to the scalp.
  • Citrus, Eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, tea tree and rosemary essential oils with vegetable oil can be applied.
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