Head lice can be seen in all societies, and for example, 2% of Canadian elementary school children are infected with head lice. In other words, getting infected is not related to the economic situation and it could happen to any social class, even in the dead bodies of mummies in ancient Egypt.
Overcrowding allows lice to pass from one head to another, and since close contact is common in children, head lice are more common in this age group, although anyone can get them in any weather.
Saliva and secretions of head lice are irritants and cause significant itching, but almost all people suddenly experience it when they find out about the presence of head lice in their relatives! Therefore, it is natural that the mere presence of itching is not enough, it is necessary to conduct a more detailed examination. Many times, the school or neighbors may inform you about the presence of lice in students, and it is necessary for you to check your family in this regard.
Head lice often hides itself from your eyes by sticking to the base of the hair, while it is evasive from light and heat, it is often located far from the crown of the head, so it is more likely to see lice attached to the head that raises the suspicion of the disease.
How to make sure that we have found Head Louse?
The important thing is to distinguish dandruff from louse and other similar conditions, dandruff is actually dead skin that easily separates from the hair. Sometimes the remains of hair sprays can be mistaken for head louse, but paying attention to a few points will help us recognize louse: The head louse is always the same shape which is egg-shaped, it is attached to the hair near the scalp. They are mainly seen above the temple, ears and behind the neck, and it is necessary to use nails to separate them from the hair, which they are not easily separated.
Anyway, in order to find lice eggs, one should patiently search the hair from one side to the other, and it is better to do this under the right light, and of course, using a magnifying glass can also help. At the same time, it should be noted that the close proximity of the head to the person being examined can cause lice to be transferred to the examiner's head.
Knowing the opponent!
To fight lice, it is better to first know some facts about it:
- A head louse is a wingless insect that lives on the human head and feeds on it.
- Head lice feed on blood approximately every four hours.
- It has six legs that are designed to be able to grab hair but not jump. Breaking each leg (by combing) will kill the lice.
- Its size is about one to two millimeters, in other words, tiny, but visible.
- An adult female louse lays 4 to 6 eggs per day during its life which is about one month. These eggs stick to the hair near the scalp, which has the right temperature and humidity, and after 7 days, the lice hatch from the egg and turn into adult lice during 3 molts.
Head lice treatment
In any case, head lice are transferred from another person's head to yours or your family, and breaking the chain of transmission is only possible with effective treatment and examination of all contact cases. As it was said, lice are considered insects, so to deal with them, you should use an insecticide that is made in the form of a washable shampoo or cream. For treatment of head lice, two important points should always be remembered:
1- Two treatments with an interval of 7 to 11 days are necessary, because although with the first treatment, head lice and most of their eggs are destroyed, but since it is possible for them to grow 7 days after the eggs are placed there, so it is better to retreat after 7 to 11 days to kill these new lice before they become mature and able to move.
2- All possible contacts must be treated, otherwise there will always be a possibility of reinfection.
But for the treatment of head lice, some effective products are available in pharmacies. Products that are used in our country for this purpose is 1% Lindane and 1% permethrin shampoo. These products have been used for more than 40 years and often do not have any side effects other than rare transient ones, but it is important that they are used exactly as recommended and not consumed excessively. Also, all the hair should be well moistened with the product because the head lice will not be killed unless it comes into direct contact with the medicine. In addition, like using any other medicinal product, it is necessary to consult a doctor for pregnant women, nursing mothers and infants.
A few more points!
After treatment, it is not necessary to remove the louse neither to continue the treatment nor to control the disease. At the same time, for many people, this issue is important in terms of appearance, or cause of problems in school. Therefore, there will be no choice but to separate the louse with nails or using fine-toothed combs. Anyway, as a general rule, if lice eggs are not seen at a distance of less than 4 cm from the scalp, the disease is considered cured, and the louse on the hair at a distance of more than 4 cm are not important in terms of disease transmission.
Head lice, unlike body louse, do not transmit any other disease and there is no need to worry about this.
Hair length, type, age and hair color have no effect on the transmission of lice, regular shampooing does not eliminate or prevent head lice, and washing with vinegar has no effect either.
Although shaving is effective, it is not a suitable solution and is completely unnecessary.
Keep in mind that if you get head lice again after two treatments, it means that there is an untreated infected person near you. However, with reinfection, two courses of retreatment are necessary.