Millions of Americans have had an experience with head lice. Head lice are parasites that feed on human blood. They lay their eggs on the nape of the head and behind the ears because these areas are dark. Head Lice are commonly present in children aged 3 to 10. Therefore, children’s parent, siblings and classmates also get infected with head lice due to direct contact. Although head lice are not carriers of infectious diseases, most people are still fearful of it. Having head lice maymake a person feel embarrassed and isolated from others. There are several ways to treat head lice. There are chemical-based and natural shampoos that target head lice and nits. Special combs and tweezers can also be used to get rid of head lice.
An infestation of lice in any part of the body is called pediculosis. Although head lice do not have any wings and do not jump, they use their powerful claws to move from hair to hair. Thus, a person gets head lice from close contact and sharing of objects such as combs, brushes, towels and clothing. They can live off the human head for 48 hours in hairbrushes, pillowcases and coat hoods. In the United States, an estimated 6-12 million people get head lice annually. Most schools in the U.S. advocate a no-nit policy as part of their head lice prevention program.
Contrary to popular belief, head lice do not prefer dirty hair. Instead, they like clean and dry hair because it is ideal for adhering their eggs or nits. And even if a person shampoos regularly, it will not protect him against head lice. Head lice cannot be found in animals although animals get other types of parasites. The first tell-tale sign of head lice is the extreme itching of the scalp. This is followed by the appearance of nits at the root of the hair. Nits are hard to remove and often stick to the hair follicle’s base. But they must be taken away or else they will hatch and become adult lice that prolong the infestation.
There are several remedies to get rid of head lice. Head Lice Treatment includes natural methods. A good example is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is added to shampoo and then put into the hair. One can cover the head with plastic wrap and then a shower cap. It can be left overnight and removed by morning. Aside from tea tree oil, mayonnaise, olive oil or petroleum jelly can also be used. Using a fine-toothed lice comb or tweezers is another method. These treatments must be done for several consecutive days to totally eliminate all nits and adult lice. There are prescription shampoos for those who wish for a quick fix (be cautious of harsh chemicals). Prescription shampoos often get rid of head lice, but the nits still have to be removed by hand. To prevent recurring infestations, towels, beddings, combs and brushes must be laundered in hot water (and hot dyer).