The Facts About Head Lice

Head lice is every parent’s nightmare, and it causes most people to squirm.

School is back in session after the holiday break, which means the chance of your child getting head lice is even higher. But it’s important to remember that it’s not a serious disease or disorder, and that it’s easily treatable.

head lice factsSo What is Head Lice?

Head lice are parasites that are found on human heads. They typically show up on the back of the head and the neck. Head lice can be spread in a variety of ways including sharing combs, brushes, caps, and clothing.

How Do I Know If My Child Has Head Lice?

Some people with lice infections have no symptoms. However if a child does have symptoms, they usually include:

  • Itchy Scalp – Some people itch their scalps so much that it can cause redness and irritation, especially on the back of the neck
  • Crawling sensation on their heads
  • Finding lice eggs
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Pink eye

I Found Head Lice, What Do I Do Now?

Treatments from head lice vary from using combs to simple olive oil treatments. Here are a few of the most popular, effective treatments:

Over-the-counter topical insecticides. Permethrin or pyrethrin are over-the counter medications that attack the nervous systems of live lice. However, they don’t always work because some lice have become resistant to the toxin.
Comb the area. The first step in any treatment is to comb hair section by section with a special comb to remove lice and nits. The comb can usually be purchased at a drug store.
Olive Oil. Olive oil can be used for more than cooking your food. If applied overnight and under a shower cap, the lice will suffocate. It’s important to use a comb to remove nits, but the olive oil will help loosen it.

Regardless of the treatment option you choose, the most important thing is to follow the directions.

Should I Be Concerned About Head Lice?

As with any health concerns, it’s always important to consult your pediatrician. Call our office at (908) 508-0400 to discuss head lice symptoms and treatment.

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