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Head Lice

Head Lice

Head lice are small insects that live in human hair. They are often thought of as afflicting only people with poor hygiene, but this is not true. They afflict anyone they come in contact with. An adult louse lives about 20 days and is about the size of a sesame seed. The female lays 5 or 6 eggs or nits per day. The new lice hatch in 8 days. Check the hair daily for adult lice and nits. The lice will most commonly be found around the ears and nape of the neck, but be sure and check the entire head just in case. Nit combs can be purchased cheaply that help remove the eggs from the hair shaft. Be sure and wash all bedding and what can't be washed can be placed in tightly closed plastic bags for two weeks. This effectively starves the lice that have fallen off the head and may be on toys, bedding or other items.

Symptoms

Head lice cause the scalp and neck to become itchy. Red bumps may be visible. When you look into the hair, you may see small insects moving about among the hair, or small nits attached to individual hair shafts. Nits are cemented onto the hair shafts and may be difficult to remove.

Causes

They are a common pest in school children or anyplace where large groups of people come into close contact. They can be passed from one head to another by head to head contact, sharing hats, hairbrushes and other items that come into contact with hair. Family members can become infected by each other through contact with bedding, stuffed toys that are held closely by infected family members and any method where one person comes into contact with another's head.

Cautions

Lice can weaken the hair shaft at the root and eventually cause hair loss. In severe cases, they may cause fever. The insecticide shampoos are increasingly failing to kill all the lice as they become more resistant. Exposing yourself or your child to these insecticides can cause other problems in sensitive people.

Herbal Treatments

Internal Applications

External Applications

Aromatherapy

Essential oils that may be useful in treating headlice include geranium, lavender, rosemary, myrtle and teatree oil.

Head Lice Herbal Remedies Top