14 Sep Lice
What is head lice? Tiny bugs – yes we said bugs – that live on your scalp. They actually feed on bits of blood there…. eww, we know.
How do you get them? They are transferred from person to person either through being in close contact with a person that has head lice or by using various articles that are infected with lice, such as clothing, bedding, hats, combs, brushes and towels. By the way, head lice does NOT mean you have poor hygiene – you can be a very clean person and still get these little buggers.
And they are little – the eggs (nits) are the size of the “U” in United States of America printed on a penny. The adults are the size of a sesame seed or the “UNIT” in United States of America on that penny. This is why head lice can be SUCH a problem – they are so small that getting rid of all the eggs (which are basically glued onto your hair shaft) can be a tedious task.
How do you know if you have head lice? Three possible symptoms:
- itchy scalp
- small red bumps around the neck and shoulders
- tiny white specks on the bottom of your Hair shaft that are hard to get off (that’s how you can tell them apart from dandruff—dandruff comes off easily, nits don’t)
How do you get rid of lice? By being thorough! You can go to specialty salons that deal solely with lice and have professionals deal with it, though this is costly, but effective. Or if you want to take care of it yourself and save the money:
First, you will want to get a metal nit comb (available at pharmacies or even at a pet shop!) to comb out any nits and adult lice. Start in small sections and work methodically through the hair to remove every last one (quite a task). Using olive oil on the hair can help loosen the “glue” nits use to stick to the hair.
Second, use a lice lotion or shampoo. You can get one at a pharmacy. Just follow the directions.
Third, wash ALL bedding, clothes and towels in hot, hot water.
Finally, repeat, repeat, repeat. Go through your hair every day with that comb (that you thoroughly cleaned since last time) and keep washing items. You want to be lice free for several days before coming into contact with others. Everything must be re-washed two weeks later (yep, go through the same process) because any nits that are missed will hatch within that time.