Mosquito season is coming to a close. The hours you spend desperately trying not to scratch that bite on your leg will soon be a distant memory, which is good, because now you can focus on scratching your head. Head lice season is back. It’s time for those icky little guys to set up camp on your scalp, or more likely, your child’s scalp. Head lice infest between 12 and 25 million people each year. Most of those infestations are in children under 12. To prepare you for that joy, here are a few things you might want to know.
First, head lice don’t fly, jump or swim from one scalp to another. The only way you can become infected is through direct contact either with an already infected person or with that person’s headwear/care items. These include hats, bed linens, combs and brushes. Should lice be transferred to something like a brush or comb, they will only live for 36 hours. On a person, however, lice can live for up to 30 days. During that month, a female will lay between three and five eggs each day. Meaning, the longer you’re infested the more lice you’ve got. So, try to catch lice early. If you or your child starts scratching, comb the scalp, literally. The best method of checking for lice is using a lice comb, which are often sold in kits such as the ones we have on LuckyVitamin.com. Should you find lice or nits (lice eggs), it’s time for treatment, but be careful! Make sure it really is lice and not something that can look and feel similarly. Allergic reactions to shampoos or gels can cause symptoms that mirror those of head lice.
Once you’ve confirmed that it is lice, try an over-the-counter anti-lice shampoo. Despite all of the “natural” methods advertised online, this is the best way to get rid of lice. If you don’t believe me, go ahead; wash your hair with mayonnaise. In fact, take a picture before you rinse it out. I’d love to see it. Then when it doesn’t work, buy the shampoo. If you’re still scratching, DO NOT over use the product. There are chemicals in that shampoo that can irritate the scalp. Besides, you don’t want the lice to build up immunity to the pesticide. Your doctor can prescribe a stronger treatment. Once you’ve killed them, continue to check your head for the next couple of days, just to be sure. Hopefully, you won’t be itching for too long.
Any questions I haven’t answered? Check out HeadLice.org.�