It estimates lice to affect 6 to 12 million kids especially before the age of 11 years. Lice affect not only children, but they can also infest in the young individual’s scalp. Lice are parasites which belong to Pediculus humanus capitis species. You need to learn about what lice look likes which helps you in controlling their spread. Once you can identify the look of lice, you can detect them.
Lice are parasites which are tiny creatures. These parasitic creatures stay on human heads. They feed on blood from the human scalp for survival. They reproduce in hair by laying down eggs. The lice look like the wingless and creepy creatures. The lice are annoying and contagious. It is hard to get rid of the lice.
Lice are not dangerous parasites. These lice do not cause the transmission of diseases. The bite of the lice can cause itchiness and irritation for the child’s scalp. If you don’t treat the lice immediately, they can transfer from one individual to other.
WHAT do THE LICE LOOK LIKE?
The head lice look like the sesame seed with six legs. Their color varies from beige to gray. The lice become darker when they feed on human blood. Lice usually have the same color to the hair where they infest. The observer finds it difficult to view the lice with the naked eye. You can easily pinpoint the lice near the ears or the hairline over the back of your neck. Female lice can lay up to ten eggs within a day. The nits or lice eggs are oval-shaped. These eggs have the same color to the host hair i.e. white, yellow or brown.
The lice look like creepy crawlers. They cannot fly. They crawl on the scalp to fulfill their nourishment. The lice spread through personal contact. They can spread from belongings like hairbrushes, clothing, towels, hats, and others. The lice cannot jump but it moves at a faster pace around 23 centimeters in each minute. It has three pairs of legs which lice use for hooking over the head.
WHAT ARE DIFFERENT LICE?
There are three different lice:
- Head lice are present on the scalp
- Body lice are present on clothes or beds
- Crabs or pubic lice are present on the skin and pubic hair
WHERE CAN YOU FIND LICE?
Poor hygiene and poverty are the main myths which result in an increased spread of lice. The head lice are parasites which you can find in the clean and dirty hair. The lice can flourish even in wealthy communities. Children are the main source of spreading lice. These head lice are most commonly seen in elementary or pre-school children. You also find it in caregivers and such families. According to different studies, they conclude it that lice are more commonly found in girls than boys. They have long hair, more warmth, and darkness which the lice prefer.
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Lice are less commonly seen in African American kids because they have tougher hair. The sharp claws of lice cannot grasp the tighter hair of African American.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF LICE?
When you look for lice, look at the following signs:
ADULT AND BABY LICE:
The adult lice look like the sesame seed. It is tan or grayish-white. Baby lice are smaller compared to the adult lice. They grow up into adults within 2 weeks. The lice feed on the human blood many times within a day. They can survive without blood for 2 to 3 days.
The lice egg look like tiny spots with brown, tan or yellow color. These nits are present over the hair shaft are in close association with the scalp. The warm temperature of the scalp allows the proper growth of lice. Nits are same as dandruff but you cannot remove them with a brush. If you have few nits on a child’s hair, you can easily view them compared to the adult lice crawling over the head. The nits hatch within 2 weeks. After the eggs hatch, they are clear and white. These eggs remain attached with the hair shaft. You can easily detect the nits as they grow downwards with the hair length.
The bite of the lice causes scratching and itchiness. The lice release the saliva which causes scratching. Some children feel tickling of lice over the scalp.
SORES AND RED BUMPS:
Some children perform severe scratching when there are head lice. It causes bacterial infection, makes the skin red and bumpy. You can observe nits or lice while performing hair partition.
The movement of lice over your child’s scalp causes the tickling feel. It results in irritability and makes your sleep difficult.
HOW TO LOOK FOR LICE?
- You can identify the lice while you do hair partition on wet hair. Use a fine-toothed comb for removing the lice especially behind the child’s ears or hair around the neck. The wet hair allows the lice to drift so you can easily detect them.
- You can also use the bright light and the magnifying glass to look for lice.
- Consult your doctor if your child is suffering from the severe scratching and itchy scalp.
HOW TO PREVENT LICE?
Lice infestation is annoying and feels uncomfortable. It is a treatable condition which rarely causes infections and serious conditions. You can prevent the lice by avoiding to use your family member’s belongings. Try using your own items for personal care.
HOW TO TREAT LICE?
- You can treat head lice with a comb. You can use shampoos which helps in killing the lice.
- Wash your clothes, towels, and bedding in hot water to avoid infestation of lice.
- Vacuum your furniture upholstery and carpets which allows you to get rid of lice.
Follow these simple preventive tips and measures to control the spread of lice. Keep the identifying features of lice in mind to control their spread.