Head lice are considered to be parasitic organisms infecting the hairs of the head. The term lice is plural for louse which is composed of several species of small, wingless insects, usually infesting humans and other mammals. Measuring only about 0.3cm long, head lice typically deposit their eggs on the follicles of the hair, thus creating a medium for transmitting their young. Head lice infestations occur mostly in young children for they are exposed mainly to pets or other environmental interfaces that grown-ups usually don’t encounter. Discovering that you or your child has a head lice infestation is a serious and grave matter despite being only bothersome and not overtly dangerous. You would need the right amount of caution and initiative to prevent the parasites from spreading and to ultimately destroy the said organisms. Here are some tips on how to tell if you or your child has head lice and some necessary measures to perform when confronting an infection.
- Gather the needed items for the job. In detecting a head lice infestation, you would need a nit comb, specifically designed to take out head lice from the strands of your hair. When treating infections, you would need a lice removal shampoo and a head lice insecticide for disinfecting furniture.
- Notice outward signs. If you have that feeling of itchiness occurring on the hair of your head or if you see your child continually scratching his head, you would want to investigate for the presence of head lice. You may say that some other abnormality could have caused the itchiness such as dandruff, but it is always a good thing to examine further to prevent the spread of parasites, if ever present.
- Examine the hair. Using a pencil or any other appropriate object, part your or your child’s hair then look for small white flakes attached to the strands of hair near the scalp. These are probably nit or lice eggs. In order to facilitate the process, utilize your nit comb, which could easily take out these eggs. If you observe several of these structures, then you may be positive for a head lice infestation. Inspect also for adult head lice.
- Consult a doctor. Although most doctors do not actually specialize on the disorders of the hair, you could opt to consult your skin doctor or any other general practitioner who could give you a tip or two to determine whether you truly have head lice on your hair. It is a good practice to check with your doctor about the parasite, how the infection works and the other complications of the infestation.
If you indeed find out that you or your child has contracted head lice,
it is best to treat the whole family from the said parasites. You could
use a lice removal shampoo such as Nix or Permethrin, which could
effectively remove head lice from your hair or your child’s hair. Since
it is inevitable to stop the spreading of the parasite, you may use a
head lice insecticide for your furniture as well.