Head lice, or nits, have nothing to do with personal hygiene, contrary to popular belief. They are most commonly found on children, but anyone that has any hair is able to catch them. Basically, nits are tiny little insects that love human hair. Head lice nits are only as big as a sesame seed and have a brown grey colour. Preventing head lice, unfortunately, is almost impossible. Most children will get them at some point in their lives.
What a Head Lice Looks Like
A head lice has six legs. Each leg has a claw. This is what they use to stick to hair. They then bite your scalp and suck up your blood, which usually leads to significant itching, which is one of the most typical head lice symptoms. Female nits lay sacs of head lice eggs that stick to a hair. Some seven days later, the baby lice emerge and the head lice life cycle beings again. Head lice do not jump. They walk or crawl to another head when they are able too. This is why kids are at such high risk, because they are often in close contact with other kids. It is rare to catch head lice from anything other than a person’s head, because they don’t live long as soon as they are off.
Spotting Head Lice
Head lice are very hard to spot, even on close inspection. If you think you or your child shows any head lice signs, you need to do the following:
• Look at the hair. Generally, they like staying behind the ears and low into the neck.
• If you don’t see any, use a nit comb on the hair. You can buy these from supermarkets or chemists. Use a white paper, because you will see the head lice as they fall on it.
How to Treat Head Lice
If you find head lice, you must treat the affected hair. However, don’t treat “just in case”, but only if you can confirm there is a live infestation. Unfortunately, Head lice are tough little creatures. You can’t just kill them by washing your hair. You must be able to kill them before they are able to reproduce. Although head lice treatments and head lice shampoo are available from chemists and supermarkets, it is better to try and treat your child without first, using other types of head lice cures. This is because head lice are becoming increasingly resistant to the chemical agents in head lice home remedies and it is feared that they will soon be completely resistant. Make sure you wet the hair and apply a liberal amount of conditioner, to make it very soft. Then use a nit comb to work your way through all of the hair, getting rid of head lice which struggle to stick to the hair due to the conditioner. Only if nothing else works should you opt for head lice remedies and removal products. You must also check everybody in the family as soon as just one person has a live infection.