Tiny parasitic insects that live on human hair and survive on scalp
blood are known as Head Louse. Head Lice is a very common problem
worldwide. Head louse are host specific and do not live for long once
detached from their Host. Lice that infest pets do not infest humans
nor do human lice infest pets. Just like Dandruff, Head Louse too
does not cause disease or infections. However, dandruff
treatment and head louse treatment are both extremely necessary.
There are usually three different stages in the life cycle of a louse. The nit or the eggs are tiny oval shaped white or yellow in color that clings to the hair. They are generally found at the base of the hair shaft, near the scalp. The nits hatch in about one week's time. The second stage, that is the nymphs are smaller head louse, which matures into an adult louse. The adult louse, which is the final stage in the life of a head louse, is generally gray-white in color. The adult head lice generally live for 30 days and feeds on scalp blood. Once separated from the host it dies within a day or two, as it cannot subsist without the host.
Head Lice is commonly found in children's up to 11 years of age. Girls are more prone to be infested by head lice than boys. Head to head contact for a small period can transmit head lice from one infected head to another.
Symptoms of Head lice are at times very difficult to understand. Unless seen one can easily miss it. Head lice generally reside on the scalp behind the ears and close to the neckline near the base of the head. Some symptom can be tickling sensation on the head, as if something is moving around on the scalp or itching of the scalp primarily caused by the allergic reactions to the bites of the lice.
Although several home remedies are used for head lice treatment, none of them has proved to be an effective treatment to cure the problem. Nit combs are usually very helpful. Regular combing, being sure to come in contact with the scalp, can help remove the nymphs and adult louse.
Shampooing is considered as yet another treatment for head lice. However, these shampoos contain toxic chemicals, which might prove harmful to the hair and scalp.
Common chemical head lice treatments include, permethrin, synergised pyrethrins, malathion, lindane and wet combing. Wet combing is a method of combing hair with a hair conditioner. Studies reveal the effectiveness of permethrin and synergised pyrethrins as equivalent. Another comparison between malathion lotion and wet combing proved wet combing ineffective. Reviews on comparative chemical treatments for head lice reveals variation in effectiveness of one chemical over another. Generally the effectiveness of the cure also depends on local resistance patterns.
However, if head louse is found on the eyebrows or on the eyelashes, do not use chemicals near your eyes. Pluck them mechanically.
If head lice persist for a long period and none of the home remedies fail to be useful, it is recommended to consult a doctor for a treatment that would prove helpful.
Some preventive measure can be taken to avoid head lice infection. These can be taught to children to avoid being infested by head louse. Avoid sharing combs, brushes, towels, hat or any kind of headwear like helmet, scarf etc. Avoid head to head contact.