Hair lice are more common than most people think.
For years they've been given a stigma that isn't accurate – that they only occur to dirty people or those with unsanitary living conditions. In reality, anyone can contract head lice at any time and in most cases they won't realize that they have for some time. A thorough understanding of how lice spreads, the basics of the lice incubation period as well as adequate cooperation between parents, children with head lice and their healthcare provider is central to overcoming the menace these tiny creatures could pose.
Once you understand where lice come from and see why the issue is so common in the population, especially in school children and others who operate in close proximity to one another, it makes it easier to deal with the social fallout associated with hair lice.
The basics of how lice spreads are easy to understand. Despite what you may have heard, lice don't jump or fly in the slightest.
Instead, lice crawl to move about and are spread by close contact or sharing items. Head to head contact is the most common, especially in children.
Playing or interacting with someone who has lice will give the insects the chance to move to a new head and begin an infestation again. Other methods of spreading head lice include sharing items like brushes, towels, combs, pillows, blankets, and anything else that comes into contact with the head.
Contrary to what many people think, adults do suffer with headlice infestation too and because they could easily become less sensitive to the presence of lice in their head, they may serve as a reservoir of lice, re-infecting children they come in contact with.
While some itching may be experienced quickly after the infestation begins, the lice incubation period normally means that intense itching and real problems don't start for weeks. Once that lice infest your hair, they'll not only feed one to eight times per day, but lay eggs as well. These eggs, known as nits, will hatch within ten to fifteen days. An adult louse can lay as many as ten eggs each day and over the course of their life can lay as many as 125 eggs. With this in mind it isn't hard to understand why an infestation can grow to huge proportions very quickly.
Knowing how hair lice spreads is important if you must succeed in getting rid of hair lice fast. It's also good to know what lice look like so that you can identify a potential problem quickly if itching begins. Adult lice are roughly the size of a sesame seed and resemble very tiny bugs. Nits are white, nearly clear specks that are attached to the base of hair follicles. Dandruff is often mistaken for these eggs, but nits won't be easily removed from the hair.
Early detection of live lice in the head of someone suspected to have an infestation, as well as inspection and detection of lice in the head of close relatives and contacts, with treatment of all involved, using an approved hair lice insecticide or effective wet combing, or the use of any other effective lice control method is the sure fire way of getting rid of hair lice.
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