Lice


Head lice are found throughout the world and can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or social class. In the US alone, it is estimated that between 6 million and 12 million people are affected by head lice each year. Lice are wingless insects that live on hair and feed on the skin. A common indicator of lice is itching around the ears. Head lice are transmitted mainly through close head to head contact. There are many treatment options available that are very effective at removing lice.

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This guide answers some of the most frequently asked questions about lice. You’ll learn how to identify lice and where they occur, as well as some common medical treatments to get rid of them.

About Lice

What Are Lice?
Lice are wingless insects that live on hair and feed on the skin. They six-legged and feed off blood in the skin. They are about the size of a sesame seed and their hook-like claws make it difficult to remove them from strands of hair...

The Lice Lifecycle
The female feeds on blood and then mates. Within one to two days, she will lay her eggs on the hair very close to the scalp. Ten days later, the first nymphs emerge, and over the following ten days, the next generation of adults is ready to mate...

How Lice are Spread
Lice are most commonly seen in children, particularly between the ages of 3 and 11. They are more common in girls, perhaps because of their longer hair and...

Detecting Lice

Itching
The most common signs of lice are itchy skin and finding live lice or live eggs on the hair...

Live Lice and Lice Eggs
To be sure that you have lice, you need to observe live lice on the hair close to the skin. In an untreated patient, the presence of eggs (or nits) will confirm the diagnosis...

Secondary Infections
A secondary infection is sometimes a sign of lice...

Misdiagnosis of Lice

What Else Looks Like Lice?
Eggs (nits) are glued onto the hair shaft, dandruff, on the other hand, easily flakes off the hair...

Treatment of Lice

Louse Comb
A louse comb can be used to remove lice and nits. Metal combs are more sturdy than plastic ones, and many people recommend soaking the combs in rubbing alcohol...

Anti-Lice Insecticide
The best way to eradicate head lice is to treat the scalp and hair with insecticide (a medicated anti-lice treatment)...

Washing Clothing and Bedding
Bed linen, pillow cases, towels and clothing should all be washed in water that is at least 50 degrees Celsius and dried in a hot...

Treatment Issues
People sometimes think that lice are not responding to treatment. Some common problems are...


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