Head Lice

What is head lice?

Head lice is also known as pediculosis. Head lice are parasitic wingless insects. Head lice is the sucking lice that is seen in human and animals also. Head lice in human is seen in the head. It is mostly appear in the children's head and feed on their blood. The age of children is having in between of 3 to 12 years. Head lice do not spread disease. It causes itching to the body's allergic reaction to the bite.

The head lice in the animals is appear in different parts of body. Lice and nits are present at the neckline and behind the ears. Head lice are contagious. Head lice are mainly acquired by direct head-to-head contact with an infested person's hair, other products which are direct contact with body. In the United States, African-Americans rarely get head lice. Head lice spread easily among children who are together in one place.

Types of Head Lice

The types of head lice are as follows:

  1. The egg - It will stick to hair very close to the scalp. Eggs are usually within 1.5 cm of the scalp.
  2. The nymph- Nymphs are immature adult head lice. Nymphs mature into adults about 7 days after hatching.
  3. The adult- The adult louse is like a sesame seed and is brownish tan. The life span of an adult louse on a host ranges up to 30 days.

Diagnosis of Head Lice

  • An infestation is diagnosed by looking closely through the hair and scalp for nits, nymphs, or adults.
  • Finding nits within a 1/4 inch of the scalp confirms that a person is infested.
  • The children affected will notice itching of their scalps.
  • The diagnosis of head lice is done by health care provider, school nurse, or a professional from the local health department.

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