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What You Need to Know About Head Lice

What You Need to Know About Head Lice



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Published by imnocost
Learn the Myths, Causes, Signs, Remedies of Head Lice and how to prevent it.
Learn the Myths, Causes, Signs, Remedies of Head Lice and how to prevent it.

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Published by: imnocost on Feb 10, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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What You Need To KnowAbout Head Lice
Learn The Myths, Causes, Signs, Remedies, Prevention
Compiled by Michael Greenburg
Head Lice Myths Exposed
Myths about head lice have been around for years and the myths have develop and changed over time.Many of the myths were started by misunderstandings and so they are not accurate.
Myth 1: You can treat head lice with petroleum jelly.
Not true, petroleum jelly can be used tosmother the lice but it will not be able to treat the head lice alone. It will not kill the lice or the nits. Theeggs of the head lice will also not be harmed by petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly can actually be veryhard to get put of your hair once applied and so it is not recommended.
Myth 2: Head lice can jump from one person's head to another person, infecting them as well.
This is untrue because head lice cannot jump or fly. The only way that head lice can be spread is bydirect contact and indirect contact which would be by a hat, brush, comb etc.
Myth 3: Head lice can carry diseases.
This is also not true, although head lice is a terrible pest itcannot transmit diseases. There is actually few risks associated with head lice. One danger would be breaking of the skin due to constant scratching on the scalp and the wound could become infected.
Myth 4: You have to shave your hair off if you become infected with head lice.
Treating a head lice infection without shaving off your hair is possible, but it will be slightly moredifficult. In the case of children, shaving their heads might leave them having to face the criticism andteasing from school peers. This can add to the trauma of dealing with the head lice infestation. Boyscan normally get away with shaving their heads, but not in the case for girls. It might be better to treatthe infestation properly using specially designed combs and certain measures.
Myth 5: Petrol/Gasoline and Kerosene can be use to kill head lice.
False, gasoline and kerosene will NOT work when dealing with head lice. The fumes and toxicchemicals that come from gasoline and kerosene can be dangerous to your health. The chemicals andfumes will be absorbed into your body through your skin and the chemicals will go into the brain.Many people have been badly hurt and even killed using gasoline and kerosene when trying to stophead lice.
Myth 6: Clean people do not get head lice.
This is completely untrue because anyone can get head lice. No matter how clean a person is they arestill at risk of catching head lice. It is actually a fact that head lice prefer clean hair.Although head lice myths are very wide spread and common, with a little research and common senseyou will be able to avoid being caught out. Head lice can be treated effectively by following the correct procedures and using the right equipment.
Head Lice Signs and Symptoms
Only dirty people get head lice is a myth. Probably the only sure way to stay clear of the little critters isto go bald. Baldness is not for everyone of course and especially children. This means every child is atrisk sometime to the scourge of head lice.Kids hug, wrestle, sit close, share hats and generally do all the kind of the things they should and wewant them to do so they grow up into normal sociable adults. However this kind of contact is exactlywhat your average head louse wants as they are passed on through head to head contact.Although lice are very contagious it should put it in perspective. Head lice cannot fly, jump or swimthey can only crawl, they live close to the scalp where it is warm and their food source, i.e. blood isaccessible. So to infect another head they must crawl from one person's hair into the next which willtake at least twenty to thirty seconds. After saying that they often spread through entire classes and theinevitable letter to parents promptly follows.Once established a head lice infection is not dangerous but is a nuisance and a social stigma of uncleanliness as well as a pain to get rid of. The biggest favour you can do yourself is to be vigilant sothat if these horrors come along you can counterstrike fast and minimise the spread. The main thing ishow do you know what to look for?
The basics of head lice signs and symptoms.
- Usually the first sign to flag this problem is a constant head scratching. The louse bites the scalp to suck blood and feed. Although the bite is painless it causes irritation and aslice crawl around they may tickle.
Spots and Scabs
- Lice are not disease carriers themselves but can cause tiny red irritationspots after biting. If the infested person continually scratches at the scalp they may break theskin causing small scabs and possibly resulting in infection from grubby fingernails.
Dandruff -
This is not dandruff in the true sense of the word but the actual lice falling from or  being combed/brushed from hair. The lice have powerful claws and cling to hair but can becombed out. However they tend to be grey / brown in colour so are more easily visible againstwhite clothing.
Inspection -
Regular hair inspection for head lice is by far the surest and best method to use.For young children close investigation can be performed while bathing them or washing / brushing their hair. Other than that, weekly inspections should be employed.Head lice favour long hair and especially girls so you will need to be methodical and thorough.Start behind the ears and the nape of the neck looking for tiny red bite spots or the actual licethemselves. Lice are about the size of half a rice grain and they glue their eggs (nits) to the baseof hairs to incubate.The nits are pinhead sized and almost clear. Work you way through the hair in small sectionsand ensure you have a good light source. You might find a magnifying glass helpful but headlice can be seen easily enough without.

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