head liceDid you know that September is National Head Lice Prevention month? With kids back in school, this is the perfect time to raise awareness on this topic in order to help recognize head lice and learn how to get rid of those annoying pests if infected!

Head lice, also known as Pediculus humanus capitis is most commonly found on the human scalp. The lice like to feed on human blood.

A louse is found in three stages:

  1. the egg (also called a nit)
  2. the nymph, (basically  a baby louse, looks like an adult but smaller)
  3. the adult

Something important to note is that lice eggs can sometimes be mistaken as dandruff. Eggs are yellow/ white in appearance, and hatch typically within 8-9 days.

Common symptoms of lice include a tickling feeling of something moving in the hair, itchiness, irritability, especially at night time (that’s when they like to move), and sores/ scabs found on the head.

How is Lice Spread?

One may wonder how did I catch lice and how can I prevent the spread of it to others? Lice is spread from head to head contact whether that be in the classroom, at summer camp, during sports, etc. Lice can also be transmitted from sharing hats, scarves, laying on an infected persons pillow, sharing hair ties, brushes ect.

How is Lice Treated?

If one is diagnosed with lice, there are OTC medications, along with prescription medications prescribed from a health care provider. If someone in the household has been diagnosed with lice, the other members should be checked as well since it’s EXTREMELY contagious. One should also be sure to wash sheets, pillow cases, clothes, hats, ect. Also don’t forget to take proper care of hair accessories and brushes. One can either soak them in rubbing alcohol, medicated shampoo for an hour, or toss them and buy new ones.  

If one is unsure if the condition is lice or not, a medical provider will be able to provide a diagnosis. Here at HRUC one of our specialties is General Medicine. Our caring team will be able to provide you with the correct diagnosis and treatment options needed. Our clinic is open 6 days a week, Monday- Friday from 8am-7pm, and on Saturdays from 10am-4pm. No appointment is necessary and walk-ins are always welcome!

For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/gen_info/faqs.html