Easiest Ways Reduce and Remove Head Lice
The easiest way to spot head lice is through identifying their eggs in the hair. Lice eggs are called nits. Head lice will lay these eggs on the hair shaft close to the scalp. This is why a head check requires looking at the scalp.
Before the baby louse hatches, nits look tan, brown, or yellow.
Once the nit has hatched, the shell will remain attached to the hair shaft. This is the easiest thing to identify, as it is whitish, looking somewhat like dandruff.
The main difference between head lice eggs and dandruff is dandruff will easily shake off of the hair shaft, while nits are fused to the shaft.
Sometimes you will be able to see adult head lice on your child's hair, particularly if the hair is short.
These critters are small, no bigger than a sesame seed from your hamburger bun and they tend to have the same coloring as the person's hair. Some people realize their children are infected when they see the adults climbing through their children's hair.
Scratching the head is, of course, another indication of a head lice infestation. But, not all children find head lice to be itchy. Also, itching the scalp can be an indication of other problems, such as eczema or dandruff. The itching from lice is usually described as a tickle, or the feeling of something crawling on the scalp.
Children who have sensitive skin and spend a lot of time itching due to the head lice will often develop a rash on the scalp. This rash looks like red bumps on the base of the scalp. It can sometimes develop into a more serious infection that requires antibiotics.
If you think your child might have head lice, part his hair and check the base of the hair for the nits
Pay particular attention to the areas around the neck and ears. If you have trouble focusing up close, you might want to use a magnifying glass. Be sure to do this exam in bright light. If you find nothing, but the scratching does not go away, it is time for a trip to the doctor.
If, however, there is persistent itching and you have heard of an outbreak at school or daycare, you probably can be certain that the cause is head lice.
To treat head lice, purchase a medicated shampoo that will kill the lice. Make sure you follow the instructions to the letter, because improper use will not kill all of the lice. You will also want to comb through the hair with a fine tooth comb to remove any nits that are not killed by the shampoo.
Once you have treated your child, wash any clothes in the house, as lice can live up to three days off the scalp if they are on clothing.
Also, boil anything that comes in contact with your child's head, including brushes, bows and combs. It is particularly important to wash any bedding. If you cannot wash it, put it in a bag and seal it for two weeks. This goes for stuffed animals as well. Vacuum all floors and furniture. Then, watch carefully for signs of re-infestation. If it occurs, start the process again. It is not easy, but you can get rid of head lice with the proper steps.