Lice removal: detection and treatment

Six to twelve million people – that’s the number of Americans, a large portion of whom are children, are affected by head lice. Children can easily come in contact with lice, as they like to get physically close when they play with each other. Also, they are rarely combed, making them easy targets for insects that live in hair strands and suck blood from the scalp.

Naturally, everyone would want to avoid an infestation. However, it can be difficult and unwise to keep your child away from children his age. Additionally, schools are currently implementing a no-nit policy. However, in the event of an infestation, the trick is in early detection. This reduces the chances of lice reproducing generation after generation. The more lice infestation left untreated, the more trouble you will have later in getting rid of the nits, because those eggs manage to adhere to save your life. Hell, they even manage to stay attached, even when they’re not quite alive, thanks to the protein secreted by female lice when they lay their eggs.

You will know when there is a lice infestation by its most important symptom: severe itching. You will know that there is a lot of itchiness when you scratch your head more than usual. But you just can’t get too excited about removing lice and buying the first bottle of pediculicide you come across, at the first signs of itching. After all, itching can also be caused by other factors, such as dandruff. You need to have clear proof, and what better proof than a head louse on your fingertips? Get yourself a lice comb and see for yourself. In some cases, there may be a fever as a manifestation of a bacterial infection.

After making sure that there is lice infestation after all. It’s time to evaluate your lice removal options. There are several methods, but they generally fall into three categories: chemical pediculicide, home remedies, and a hair lice comb.

With chemical pediculicides, substances, usually in the form of shampoos, are applied to the hair and scalp to kill parasites. Of the various options in this category, only lindane and malathion have been approved by the FDA. There have also been recent developments in silicone-based lotions. Silicone oil has been shown to be effective in dehydrating and suffocating and consequently killing lice.

In the category of home remedies, there are a variety of options available. Vinegar is effective in removing nits because it dissolves the “glue” that holds the nits to the lock of hair. Mayonnaise, olive oil, and coconut oil are also said to create an environment that is not lice friendly as it suffocates the insect. Perhaps the best known in this category is tea tree oil, which is said to have insect repellent properties.

People have also been using a lice comb to remove lice. These combs have teeth that have minimal space between them. Running it through your hair would drag out any adult louse and nymph it finds. They are best used when the hair is wet and the knots are untangled.

Head lice infestation can be terrible, but it is a condition that you don’t have to endure. Learn more about lice removal options and choose those that have been shown to work for many people.

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