Head Lice Treatment
Head Lice Treatment
Head lice are tiny parasitic insects that live in human hair and feed on small amounts of blood obtained from the scalp. Their bites cause the scalp to become itchy and inflamed, especially in the case of a full-blown infestation. Because lice are easily spread, they can be a common problem, and it is important to be able to recognize head lice symptoms.
Intense itching on the scalp or neck is the most prominent head lice symptom. The itchiness results from an allergic reaction that occurs when the lice bite the scalp. Although most infestations cause intense itching, this may not be true in some cases where the infestation is not severe. An infestation can often be overlooked when itching is attributed to dry skin or an allergic reaction to hair products.
Red Sores Develop from Repeated Itching
For some, irritation from the bites may be mild, but for others, it can be quite bothersome, even causing red sores and rashes to develop. If left untreated, such symptoms can put the individual at risk for bacterial infection, which can be identified when sores become pussy or begin crusting. In the event that an infection does occur, it can be treated with antibiotics.
Lice Eggs or Nymphs on The Hair Shaft
The presence of nymphs or lice eggs on the hair shafts is a clear indication that at least a mild infestation is occurring. Lice eggs can be easily mistaken for dandruff flakes, as they tend to be similar in size and color, making them a difficult head lice symptom to detect. Although they do not cause any pain or discomfort, they eventually hatch, and are important to remove in order to prevent further infestation.
Adult Lice on The Scalp
One adult louse is roughly the size of a sesame seed, and grayish white in color. Although they can be difficult to locate because they are constantly moving about, they can be found by parting the hair into small sections or combing it with a fine-tooth comb. Sometimes noticing a repeated tickling feeling on the head or neck can be an indication of their presence, and should be a red flag to inspect the scalp thoroughly.
Irritability and Difficulty Sleeping
In severe head lice infestations, the constant itchiness of the scalp and perpetual annoyance can result in irritability among many individuals. Also, due to the fact that lice are most active in the dark, many will experience difficulty sleeping because of more frequent biting during nighttime hours. Sometimes these head lice symptoms can occur for long periods of time (about a month) without being attributed to a lice infestation.
Ultimately, the best way to prevent an infestation is to be aware of head lice symptoms. Although lice is not necessarily a dangerous medical condition, it can certainly cause extreme discomfort. The good news is even though the severe itching, red sores, irritability, and difficulty sleeping can be annoying, these symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter remedies and shampoos.