Causes of Head Lice
Head lice are small parasites sustained by human blood. They only infect human head and would certainly not survive outside this environment. The key questions asked by many people is ‘what causes head lice?
Head to head contact is the main cause of head lice. Personal contact with infected person is necessary for the transference of infection, and this is common during sporting activities and is the reason why they are rampant in children.
It can also spread by sharing contaminated items such as clothes, combs, scarves, hats, brushes and hair ribbons among other personal items. Head lice can also crawl from couches, bed, furniture, pillow and carpets to your head, but the risk is very minimal.
Can head Lice Jump?
No, head lice cannot jump. In fact, they cannot live for prolonged hours- a maximum of 24 hours after they fall from the host’s head. Head lice depend entirely on their host for survival.
These creatures can only spread from one person another through crawling since they cannot fly or jump. They have claws which they use to grab onto the hair and personal items such as clothes, hats and scarves from where they can move to the next host for survival. Also, you should know that head lice do not have the ability to walk, swim, hope or even fly.
Signs of Head Lice
Head lice signs and symptoms can go unnoticed for several days in many persons. On signs of head lice, Mayo Clinic provides a number of common signs and symptoms that signal head lice infection. These signs include:
- Itching– Itching is usually the initial symptoms of head lice infection. You are likely to experience itching on areas around ears, back of the neck and the scalp in general. However, for initial lice infection, itching may not occur for weeks after infestation. Some people can also develop tolerance to itching in subsequent infection.
- Spotting a live louse on the scalp– Even though they are difficult to spot by necked eyes; they can be easily seen when you use comb detector. Detecting a live louse is the sure way of confirming active head lice infection.
- Presence of nits on hair shafts– Nits on hair shafts and closer to the scalp is also a sign of head lice infection. Even though nits are microscopic in size and difficult to notice, it is possible to spot a bunch of incubating nits in areas around ears and the back of the neck- this environment ideal environment to thrive..
Head Lice Eggs Treatment
Head lice eggs treatment is usually difficult than head lice treatment for a number of reasons.
- First, unlike head lice, nits are tightly held onto hair shafts by special glue. This makes it difficult to comb them out of your hair.
- Secondly, hair nits have hard coating that makes it difficult for treating substance to penetrate and kill the larvae.
There is no known insecticide or lice remedy that is capable of killing head lice eggs. But they usually killed on second application of treatment. A number of remedies including spray and lotions are approved by FDA to treat hair nits. These medicated lotions and sprays are effective nit elimination agents in all types of hair.
These treatments can be purchased over the counter from supermarkets, pharmacies and online drug stores. In most cases, lotion and spray kits come with fine toothed lice comb for removing eggs and dead lice. Repeat application is necessary to kill newly hatched lice.
Always check the park labels on how to use the substance and also to establish active ingredients and whether they treatments is suitable for your condition.
For those who not prefer treatments with chemicals, they can use detection comb- a special comb designed to comb out nits and live head lice from your head. These combs are also available in drug stores, supermarkets and online stores.
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of metal combs as opposed to plastic combs which are less effective. While it is important to follow instructions, general guidelines demand that you:
- Use the comb for both dry and wet hair, but wet combing with conditioner is usually the best way if you want to get rid of hair nits and head lice.
- Remember to comb the entire hair from the roots to hair ends
- Combing should be repeated daily or after a few days for two weeks.
Lice (Nits) Removal Products
Head lice treatment products include conditioner to shampoos and special combs. These are currently available in the market today. A look at Amazon, Wal-mart and Walgreen stores reveals several products including Licefree spray, Rid kits, Nix Family Park, Vamousse lice treatment and Cozy Boo products.
Others include Lyclear brands, Nitty Gritty, Hendrin, Derbac and Full mark spray which are effective for Lice (nits) removal. Most of these kits have conditioner, shampoo and lice combs for removal of lice and hair nits.
Always look for approved ingredients in your products such as pyrethrins which is found in Nix products; Permethrin lotion such as Nix; Benzyl Alcohol Lotion which is present in Ulesfia lotion; Ivercmectin lotion rich products like Sklice; melathion lotions in Ovide and Spinosad or Natroba.
Lindane product is a type of organochloride recommended for second line treatment for lice and nits removal.
Natural Remedies for Lice
Most products found over the counter such as pyrethrins rich products, ivermactin lotions, lindane and melathion have harmful chemical substances for human health. They are particularly inappropriate for small kids, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and HIV positive people.
The good news is that natural remedies for lice treatment and prevention have proved to be effective in treating lice and nits. Specifically, homeopathic lice treatment, organic lice treatment, and head lice repellant are some of the most effective natural remedies for lice treatment and prevention.
The following section describes some natural remedies for lice and nits treatment and prevention.
Homeopathic Lice Treatment
It is also possible to treat lice and hair nits using homeopathic lice treatment approaches. Homeopathic methods of lice treatment are also suitable for chronic- recurrent and unending cases and also for acute lice infection.
The essence of homeopathy is to help the kid to become naturally resistant to future lice re-infestation. Staphysagria is the main remedy used in recurrent and acute lice infections.
Funny enough, this remedy provides victimhood feelings of lice infection in the child’s mental symptom picture. Consequently, the child is able to suppress emotional feelings and sensitivity associated with lice infections.
It is important to find the right remedy capable of supporting and healing susceptibility of the child to lice infestations as this would enhance their resistance to several rounds of lice infections.
This approach is time consuming, but would certainly strengthen your child and replaces common nasty chemicals present in most treatments for head lice.
Alongside homeopathy, physical support is needed to eliminate the current crop of lice. This may involve using natural remedies that is free from dangerous chemicals. They include almond oil and olive oil used together with essential oils such as tea tree oil.
These oils are mixed and used to smoother the hair, then wrapped into a towel or shower cap. The mixture will certainly suffocate the lice if left for about eight hours. After waiting time, comb out suffocated and slow moving head lice as well as loosened eggs or nits from the hair.
Take your time to comb carefully and thoroughly to completely free the hair off the lice and nits. Finalize by washing the hair and repeat the process after two weeks. A two week cycle is imperative in getting rid of any hatched nymphs from the hair thus breaking their life cycle.
Organic Lice Treatment
These are natural remedies for nits and lice treatment and prevention- commonly used by people who do not want chemicals staffed products for lice removal. The recent outbreak of lice resistance to common medications has necessitated the need for home made natural remedies for lice treatment and prevention.
Remember that any substance applied to the skin is absorbed directly into blood system within seconds and could be a health hazard. As stated above, organic lice treatment is a concoction of essential oils such as tea tree oil and base oil like almond and olive oil.
This process has been extensively explained in the last part of homeopathic lice treatment above.
Head Lice Repellent
According to head lice center, it is possible prevent head lice by using essential oils. Besides, DIY lice prevention and treatment spray also works effectively as a natural remedy.
Essentially, head lice are usually attracted to human smell; hence masking could potentially retain them on their current host and will not spread to new hosts.
A variety of essential oils have natural repellant properties that work by making human body unattractive to head lice. The following oils have shown some degree of repelling lice thus preventing any future attack:
- Geranium and clove
- Lavender and olive oil
- Tea tree essential oil
- Cinnamon leaf oil.
Sources and References on causes of head lice