Lice are small insects which live in human and animal’s hair and survive on a small quantity of blood sucked from the scalp. They are really troublesome as they cause a lot of itching and look very gross. This is a common problem amongst kids, especially girls between ages of five to twelve.
It is found that lice can reduce life expectancy of the patient. Lice can transmit microbial diseases, create irritation and inflammation in the head. Again, if a single member is affected by lice, maximum possibility is there all members of the family and who ever comes in contact of the person will also be affected. Hence it is advised to take immediate action when infested with lice.
Signs of Lice in the hair
They are very small but can be seen with eyes. They can be in 2 forms:
- Lice eggs: They look like tiny dots, generally brown in color. These are laid by the lice near the scalp ad these remain warm before they hatch. They cannot be removed by brushing of the hair or shaking the hair.
- Lice (adult and nymphs): The louse is bigger than the eggs and is black in color. It is the size of a sesame seed.Nymphs are smaller and become adult lice in 1-2 weeks.
When the louse bites, it causes itching and scratching. The saliva of lice reacts with the scalp and causes itching. Children complain of something moving in their head or tickling sensation in their head.
Scratches or sores from scratching
In case of some kids, the irritation is mild but in some cases, it may be more causing him/ her to scratch all the time. Excess scratching causes bacterial infection and rashes.
One must consult with the doctor in case the child complains about this problem and the doctor will be able to treat this well. Also, it is important to talk with the school teacher to ensure that the kids in the same school are being treated for lice.
Lice are contagious and spread from one person to another. They can climb and travel through hair and spread mainly from head to head contact.
The doctor will generally tell you to use a medicated shampoo which will kill the lice in the hair. It will still take some time for itching to stop completely. The doctor will suggest that you use the lotion or shampoo and then use a thin comb to remove the lice.
The lice can also be removed by hand. This can be practiced in case the child is lesser than 2 years of age and he scalp is very tender. One can use a thin comb available in the market to remove the nits on wet hair of the children.
- Using lemon juice and almonds: Crush 10 peeled almonds and mix well with 4 tbsp. of lemon juice, make a paste and apply this on your scalp. Leave this on the scalp for 30 min. Wash with normal water.
- Onions: Crush onions (5-7) and press the paste over a sieve. Use this juice to massage over the scalp. Let it stay for 1 hour and then wash with water.
- Combine 10-15 drops of tea-tree oil with rosemary oil and 10 drops of lemon. Rub this mixture on the scalp and wash off after one hour.