Head Lice Symptoms

Recognizing a Problem

head lice symptoms

Head lice symptoms? Want to know for sure what are the symptoms of head lice? How to tell if you or your kid has got hair lice?

The truth is that most head louse infestation remain asymptomatic for a long while, and only about 1 out of 3 cases of lice infestation manifest with clear symptoms. Nevertheless, we shall show you how to check for lice in anyone and make a diagnosis of head lice infestation.

Due to the life cycle of head lice, head lice symptoms are kept to a minimum for the first week or two of the infestation. So by the time most people realize they have head lice they have far more than one or two.

Most people are aware of the basic head lice symptoms, but confirming a lice infestation and then eliminating it can be a bit trickier than just saying 'my head itches'. If you're trying to get a handle on the main signs of lice, here's a look at the basic principles that you should keep in mind.

Symptoms of Head Lice

The symptoms of head lice in children and adults are more or less similar. The only diffrence being that louse infestation in adults tend to be more covert, as they get de-sensitized to these bugs over time and may not even know they carry head lice on them. The main symptoms of head lice include:

  • Itching on the head over several days and nights
  • Appearance of small rash at the back of the neck
  • Finding of live louse or a couple of them running in the hair
  • Presence of nits in the hair
  • Finding of damaged lice floating on the surface of bath water
  • Lice on the pillow or hair comb

Lice survive by drinking your blood, pure and simple. They're sort of like nature's tiniest vampires. And those lice bites are the main cause behind the most common lice symptoms. Itching of the scalp is the main reason that most people begin to suspect that they have lice. The more lice you have, the more lice bites you'll suffer, and the more your head will itch.

Note that in some cases, especially when one is infested with head lice for the first time, it may take up to 8 weeks before the symptoms of itching starts.

head lice symptoms

The other main signs of lice are tiny red blisters or sores that may appear as a result of the bites. These small bumps will likely show up on the neck, scalp, and even the shoulders depending upon the severity of the lice infestation.

If you're experiencing head lice symptoms then you'll need to take the time to check for signs of lice to confirm their presence. To do so you'll need to know what they look like.

To identify head lice, start by parting the hair and looking near the scalp. A lice infestation won't be near the tips of the hair – there's no blood for them there. Look closely at the scalp in numerous spots, trying to work your way across the entire head.

You're looking for small bugs no larger than a sesame seed, so don't hesitate to grab a magnifying glass to help spot them. When disturbed, they do not stay still, but move very rapidly away from sight. Nits are also something to look for when you're detecting head lice. These are tiny dots that will be attached to the hair. Spotting lice in hair can be tricky since they constantly move, but since lice eggs won't move they may be easier to spot. They're smaller, however, and nearly clear, so take your time to really check for them. Look near the base of hair follicles and pay close attention around the nape of the neck and around the ears since those are the main spots lice lay their eggs.

Remember. You only have head lice infestation if you have live moving lice on your head. Finding nits or louse eggs alone does not mean that you have head lice infestation, neither do they need treatment.

Scalp eczema, psoriasis, and even the so called "hair lice phobia" with psychogenic scalp itching, can all lead to what may look like symptoms of head lice. If in doubt whether you are experiencing headlice symptoms, a visit to your doctor is advised.

How To Check For Lice

Because head lice symptoms may not manisfest in time, it is important to know how to check for hair lice at home. How to check for head lice? Also referred to as head lice detection can be done with ,i>detection combing. This can be wet or dry combing. Hair lice wet combing is the best approach with better yield in detecting hair lice. There is also the use of electronic head lice comb.

Hair lice wet detection combing is done as follows:

    Wet your hair with warm water and then dry it with a towel, leaving it supple but not dripping with water

  • Use a special detection comb also called head lice comb (you can get one ordered online here or from your local chemist)

  • Run the teeth of the comb as low into your hair to touch the scalp and comb your hair from th ebottom to the top of the hair. Cover the whole scalp in a systematic way

  • Keep a close eye on the teeth of the comb or around you for the presence of a live louse

  • Since your aim is to detect a louse, you do not actually need to use a lotion or hair louse shampoo during a detection combing. Only use such if treating.

Detection combing should be done weakly for three week if one suspects that he or she is in contact with someone with hair lice infestation, whether you have head lice symptoms or not yet.


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