How To Know If You Have Lice

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How To Know If You Have Lice

Pediculosis is a very unpleasant disease. Anyone can catch lice, regardless of their lifestyle and attitude to hygiene. Lice are easily transmitted from person to person; there are no special conditions for infection. You can get head lice in any public place. This article will give you a complete guide about how to know if you have lice.

Many do not even know where and when they picked up the parasites. And they do not always start fighting them on time. Sometimes it takes quite a long time until a person finds lice in him. During the incubation period of lice, they manage to breed and bring a lot of trouble. How to detect lice, head lice symptoms, and how to deal with parasites we will figure it out below.

Why and where do lice come from

The louse is a human parasite. The insect feeds on his blood and lives on his body. This applies to head and pubic lice. There is also a body louse, which only feeds on a person but lives in clothes, bedding, or other textiles next to a person to have access to food. This insect cannot fly or jump but crawls quickly. It can travel considerable distances for itself on any surface.

Therefore, it is unnecessary to touch its heads for the louse to move from the carrier to a new victim. Sometimes you can pick up a pest from the headrest in public transport or from the lounger in the sauna, where previous visitors left them. Knowing if you have lice, you can live outside the human body without problems for up to two days. They survive even in water so that you can pick them up anywhere.

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The riskiest places where you can become infected with head lice are places with a large concentration of people. Children bring lice from kindergartens, schools, summer camps, leisure complexes. Adults can become infected in a hospital, sanatorium, long-distance train, airplane, prison, care center, hairdresser, or swimming pool. If you visited an institution in which there were a lot of people at the same time, and they were there for a considerable time and could be in close contact, then after visiting such a place, you should be especially vigilant to detect lice in yourself on time and start treatment.

How to know if you have lice: First Signs

When infested with lice, one or more individuals first appear on a person’s head. In such a quantity, they do not manifest themselves in any way. Single bites do not cause much discomfort. If one unfertilized female, nymph, or male appears on the head, then head lice will not develop since the insect will live its life cycle without leaving offspring. But if males and females appear on the scalp, or at least one fertilized female, then the reproduction process will begin immediately along with the feeding process. The head louse lays an average of 4 eggs per day. Within a few days, the number of parasites on the head will begin to increase exponentially. After 16 – 20 days from laying the nits, the louse becomes sexually mature.

Lice signs:

  • intolerable itching from bites, which does not go away even after washing your hair.
  • The feeling of wiggling hair.
  • Insects in the hair, as well as their remains and excrement.
  • Scratches on the head, scratches, redness, papules, swelling at the bite sites.
  • With many lice and nits – matted hair, tangles
  • human nervousness, restless sleep, decreased concentration.

These signs are enough to diagnose head lice. To understand if there are lice, you need to scrutinize your hair and scalp. Lice on the head are clearly visible with light hair, especially in children. In adults with dark skin and dark hair, the examination will need to be done more closely. With individual characteristics of the body, lice bites cause allergic reactions to fever and swollen lymph nodes. The only common thing in these diseases is the skin condition after bites – irritated, edematous, reddened, with scratches and scratches, infected wounds.

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How to spot nits: How To Know If You Have Lice

Adults cannot always be seen without aids. They cling to hair tenaciously and can be motionless. These insects are brown or gray-brown in color, darken when saturated with blood. So sometimes, they are indistinguishable from the hair. In the presence of lice on the head, there must be nits – eggs of parasites. But females lay eggs in a crowded manner – on adjacent hairs.

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They are as small and white as flaky scalp scales. But the difference is that dandruff is located directly on the skin, and nits are located on the hair. When examining your head, to determine if you know if you have lice and nits, you need to look at the hairs in the back of the head and temples. They sit tightly by a thread, as the female secretes a special secret that sticks them. When trying to remove the nits, you have to make an effort.

A mechanical method of diagnosis and treatment

The most important assistant for detecting lice is a comb, or rather a comb with very densely spaced long teeth. They comb their hair to comb out, how to know if you have lice and nits from them. This must be done subject to the following rules:

  • comb out wet hair.
  • It is desirable that the person who picked up the lice does not comb out, but his assistant.
  • Cover your shoulders with a white towel so that the combed out parasites fall on them.

You need to spread out white paper or fabric, tilt your head in its direction and start combing your hair from the back of the head forward. The teeth of the comb should go through the hair and touch the scalp.

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Note that brushing is a way to detect and reduce parasites but not eliminate them. This control method is suitable for a minimal number of insects and nits if the infection has occurred recently. In this case, you do not need to resort to special means but try to comb out the parasites.

Hair lice how to recognize them: How To Know If You Have Lice

louse length of the louse is about 2-4 mm, but the nits (i.e., the eggs) are less than a millimeter in size. The latter has a mother-of-pearl color (unlike lice, which are darker), and hatch after 7-8 days at the optimal temperature of 32 ° C, freeing the nymphs which, after a period of about two weeks, finish their process of maturation, becoming real lice able to reproduce. The female louse can lay up to 5 eggs per day.

The life cycle described is common to the three species of lice that generally parasitize humans:

  • the head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis).
  • The body louse (Pediculus humanus corporis).
  • Pubic louse (Phtirus pubis).

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Head lice are termed parasites as they cannot survive long away from the host.

How pediculosis manifests itself

Pediculosis manifests itself with intense itching, leading to scratching and rubbing the itchy areas, sometimes causing abrasions. It is possible to establish how long the infestation has been going on by evaluating the proximity of the eggs to the scalp (if they are far from it, it means that the infestation has already occurred in the previous days or weeks).

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Eggs cannot be confused with dandruff, as the latter is easily removable. On the other hand, the nits remain adhered to the hair, which is why it is necessary to carry out wet combing. It consists of combing the hair, from root to tip, using a fine-toothed comb. This technique is, in reality, also an effective therapy and represents, together with the inspection of the head, the only way to prevent pediculosis. They are actually useless and even harmful if used in the absence of the parasite.

How to prevent head lice: How To Know If You Have Lice

Since no product can be used for prevention, it is necessary that, in addition to what has been said, people and children are educated to adopt correct behaviors to reduce the probability of contagion. Lice, in fact, do not jump from head to head! They are transmitted by direct contact. Therefore, it is necessary not to exchange hats, hair clips, scarves, towels, combs, or personal effects to be considered a “vehicle for moving lice.”

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Once the infestation occurs more frequently in crowded places (as the probability of having direct contact with other people increases) and ascertained that the most affected age groups are school and pre-school, it would be necessary and essential that parents and health personnel present in the schools periodically inspect the children’s heads. It would also be useful to educate the latter, telling them not to exchange personal items with their classmates and to put away a locker that several pupils should in no way share. In the event of a school infestation, families must also undergo systematic checks, especially in other children’s presence.

It consists of combing the hair, from root to tip, using a fine-toothed comb. This technique is, in reality, also an effective therapy and represents, together with the inspection of the head, the only way to prevent pediculosis. They are actually useless and even harmful if used in the absence of the parasite.

How to prevent head lice

Since no product can be used for prevention, it is necessary that, in addition to what has been said, people and children are educated to adopt correct behaviors to reduce the probability of contagion. Lice, in fact, do not jump from head to head! They are transmitted by direct contact. Therefore, it is necessary not to exchange hats, hair clips, scarves, towels, combs, or personal effects to be considered a “vehicle for moving lice.”

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Once the infestation occurs more frequently in crowded places (as the probability of having direct contact with other people increases) and ascertained that the most affected age groups are school and pre-school. It would be necessary and essential that parents and health personnel present in the schools periodically inspect the children’s heads. It would also be useful to educate the latter, telling them not to exchange personal items with their classmates and to put away a locker that several pupils should in no way share. In the event of a school infestation, families must also undergo systematic checks, especially in other children’s presence.

How to get rid of head lice: How To Know If You Have Lice

The treatment is carried out using a specific pesticide. And continuing to inspect the garment and wet combing at least every 3-4 days. And vinegar solution, as the latter can disfavor the adhesion of the nits to the hair. Contrary to popular belief, vinegar cannot replace a specific product. It only favors the “detachment” of the eggs.

The best known and most effective seem to be those based on synthetic pyrethroids, among which Permethrin can be included. The latter generally appears as an emulsion, which, after application, must be left in place for about 10 minutes and then removed with water. It generally comes as a gel or shampoo and can be used from 6 years of age, as it has not been tested on younger children. Usually, a single application of these products, together with the wet combing carried out both after the treatment and often during the infestation period, effectively eradicate how to know if you have lice. White petroleum jelly is useful in case the infestation also affects eyelashes and eyebrows.

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Among the myths to dispel, therefore, certainly. There is the one concerning the existence of a preventive product which, as already stated, does not exist. It is useless to start treatment if there is no real lice infestation. Which occurs more easily in crowded places and among children. It is useful to have small but important hygienic precautions. In addition to a thorough inspection of the garment and in addition to avoiding the exchange of personal effects, clothes and sheets must be washed in water at 60 ° C, that all objects that come into contact with the infected person are wrapped in a bag of plastic that must remain closed for about two weeks.

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