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Head lice are parasitic insects that live on people’s heads. Head lice are passed from person to person by head-to-head contact and direct contact with an affected person’s hair. Head lice can be spread by physical contact or the sharing of combs, brushes, caps, and other apparel, although they are less common.
The lice form and develop gradually from nits to adults.
Lice eggs are nits. Nits are difficult to spot and are frequently mistaken for dandruff or hairspray droplets. Nits are detected clinging to the hair shaft. They’re oval in shape, around 2-3 mm long, and yellow to white in color. It takes a week for nits to hatch.
The nit develops into a nymph, which is a baby louse. It has the appearance of an adult head louse but is much smaller. Seven days after hatching, nymphs mature into adults. The nymph must feed on human blood to survive.
Adults are roughly the size of a sesame seed, have six legs, and are tan to grayish-white in appearance. The adult louse appears darker in those with dark hair. Females are the ones who lay the nits, and they are usually larger than males. Adult lice can survive on a person’s head for up to 30 days. Adult lice require human blood to survive. The louse dies in two days if it falls off a person.
Head lice can be contracted in a variety of ways.
Kids will play at school and in childcare settings. Their antics may contribute to the spread of head lice. You can, however, prevent lice from spreading among children and adults. Here are some suggestions on preventing the lice from spreading:
To remove lice and nits by hand, for 3 weeks after the last live louse was spotted, use a fine-tooth comb on damp, conditioned hair every 3–4 days.
There are differing opinions on whether you should treat head lice with chemicals or with natural ways. There are some really fascinating professional viewpoints, and while they differ significantly, they all agree on one thing: combing (wet or dry) is essential, as is persistence (purgatory).
Lice attach themselves to the body. They are unable to fly or jump. Head-to-head contact is the most common way for them to spread. To catch lice, you usually have to be in close proximity to someone who has it. As much as possible, avoid activities that cause hair-to-hair contact.
That hat on the store shelf may look appealing and would make a fantastic selfie, but think twice before trying it on. If you share hats, sweatshirts, towels, beds, and pillows with someone who has or recently had lice, you can catch it. Lice can spread through combs and brushes. This type of “shared contact” is uncommon, but it does happen. After dropping off the body, lice might live for a day or two. Never share anything that comes into contact with the head to avoid lice.
Are you concerned that you may have been exposed to lice? When lice are exposed to temperatures of 128.3°F or higher for 5 minutes or more, they perish. Toss your apparel, hat, jacket, scarf, gloves, and any other items into the washer to avoid a lice epidemic. Use hot water (130° F or more) and a high-heat dryer. Put your combs and brushes in the washing machine as well. Can’t wash something? Place it in a plastic bag and store it for two weeks.
Personal Hygiene: Bathing daily, shaving facial and pubic hair on a regular basis, wearing washed and clean clothes and so on are all simple procedures that can help avoid a variety of illnesses, including lice.
Hair Care: Wash your hair at least twice a week and be on the lookout for indicators of lice infestation.
Nails: Always keep your nails clipped. Scratching with long nails can increase pain and lead to secondary infection.
Sharing Personal Items: Sharing combs, towels, and clothes with friends or relatives should be avoided, especially if they are sick.
Physical Contact: Children have a natural desire to sit near their peers, and playing together also fosters close connection. They should be told to stay away from people or children who have lice in their hair.
To eliminate lice, don’t use a damaged comb. Instead, use a fine-toothed comb.