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Head Lice

Not-so-nice lice and nits

The head lice is prolific: In a typical lifespan of about one month, the female lice lay 7 to 10 eggs (or nits) per day.

The little blood suckers that sometimes infests our heads may not cause any symptoms. Some people, however, react to the lice saliva and may feel itching or skin irritation of the scalp, neck, and ears.

Ack! Lice!

Got lice? Don’t freak out. Head lice is not a sign of poor personal hygiene. They are a nuisance but head lice do not carry bacterial or viral infectious diseases.

The American Academy of Dermatology has some great tips on how to check for and treat head lice like a pro.

Head lice prevention

Lice love to colonize fresh, new heads. Don’t panic. Here are a few ways to prevent lice spread among members of a household:

  • Anyone who sleeps in the same bed as the person with lice infestation should be treated for lice, even if no lice or eggs are found.

  • Do not share hats, brushes, and combs.

  • Clothing, bedding, and towels used within 48 hours before treatment should be washed in hot water and dried in a dryer on the hot setting.

  • Head lice can not survive off the body for more than 48 hours. As such, items that the person used more than two days before treatment are not likely to be infested.

  • Vacuum furniture, carpet, and car seats.

  • Items that cannot be washed or vacuumed can be sealed inside a plastic bag for two weeks.


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