We all know that head lice infection is common among children. Higher incident among girls are frequent. Is it true that personal hygiene and cleanliness is the main reason for the said infestation? Well, let’s see. Given the fact that girls are the usual victim, how will a college student feel if she can’t resist scratching her head in public? This problem may cause her so much embarrassment right and may lower her self-esteem. How will she eliminate the parasites in her head?
Let’s Talk About the Lice
There are three varieties of lice (pediculosis) which attack body parts like the head, body, and pubic area. Each variety resides in specific parts of the body and seldom migrates to other regions. The head louse or pediculus humanus is a wingless blood- sucking insect that thrives on the scalp and hair. A female louse has a life span of about 25 days and deposits up to 10 eggs a day. The eggs are called nits. After about a week, they hatch and eventually become lice, and the same cycle is followed. The lice feed by sucking blood into the scalp. As they suck, saliva and fecal materials are deposited into the scalp. This, and the puncture wound itself, cause the itch. Head-to-head contact is the main reason for this infestation. Sharing of combs, towels, pillows and hats are factors which may transmit head lice infection.
The other kind of infection is from pediculus pubis or more commonly called crab or pubic lice. These lice attach themselves to the skin and live upon the blood that they extract. In piercing the skin, the parasites exude a poisonous salivary excretion and together with the mechanical puncture, they produce an itchy type of dermatitis. Pubic lice are contracted mainly by intimate body contact. Therefore, it is considered a sexually transmitted disease. Occasionally, they can be transmitted via the beddings, towels or toilet seats.
Home remedies to get Rid of Head Lice
- You can use commercially available medicated shampoos such as crotamitron and permethrin. Apply it to the hair and make lather. Leave for at least four minutes. Then rinse and use fine-tooth comb (suyod) to remove lice and nits from the hair and scalp. Repeat the application after two weeks.
- You can pull out the nits from the hair strands. Nits are deposited very near the scalp, and they usually hatch before the hair grows ¼ inch in length. So if you find nits beyond ½ inch from the scalp, and adult louse no longer exists, these do not need further treatment as they are just egg shells from past infection.
- Request other members of the family or dorm mates who have similar problems to treat also. Never share personal effects such as hairbrush, comb and pillow. Soak hair accessories in lice shampoo or in alcohol for hours.
- For pubic lice, you can kill those hidden in the undergarments and other personal clothing by using boiling water as last rinse then pressing them with hot iron, particularly at the seams.
For non- responsive cases of lice infection or if infection is complicated with signs of bacterial infection or pus formation, consult your family doctor or a dermatologist for additional management.
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