Lice isn’t only an Indian problem, but a huge one across the world where one in every four people are infested at any given time. Also almost every individual experiences head lice at least once if not twice or thrice in a lifetime. Head lice are nothing but parasites that infest the heads of people and they are known to be doing this since the beginning of time. Lice has existed as long as the humankind has! It is no surprise that anti-lice shampoo companies and the packed teeth lice comb companies are always in business throughout the year irrespective of social and economic conditions that influence consumer choices.
You’re rather lucky if you’ve never faced this infestation but you must still know the common symptoms and signs because more likely than not, given the reputation and statistics, you’ll have to deal with it in some point of your life. From a tingly sensation of something crawling in your hair to severe itching and irritation, the infestation can cause sores with all the scratching and the sores are even prone to further infestation.
In case you’re wondering how lice look like and their life cycle, let me tell you that there are three main kinds or phases among them, namely the nit, the nymph and the adult louse.
The nits are small whitish yellowish oval shaped eggs that are very firmly attached to the hair and are often just confused with dandruff. They take around a week to finally hatch on a general basis and turn into nymphs.
Nymphs are baby lice that look just like the adult lice and need your blood to grow into adults. With regular blood feeding from your scalp, they take about a week again to grow.
The adult louse has different colors depending on the hair color of the people they feed on, those with lighter hair often have grayish whitish adult louse while those with darker hair color usually have darker lice breeding on them. They have six legs and need blood to survive for up to thirty days on the individual. They die within two days if they fall off humans and don’t have blood supply.
Once lice infest your head, they need to be removed with special anti-lice hair oils and shampoos along with those special combs. It’s a tedious procedure that is needed as soon as infestation takes place to avoid spreading it to others along with prolonged inconvenience. Here are a few prevention tips.
– Avoid selfies with people you think have lice, it may be surprising but ever since selfies became common, they stand as the largest cause of lice spreading.
– Always wear a swimming cap because it’s very easy to catch lice from fellow swimmers.
– Avoid sharing caps, hats, hairbands, scarves etc. with others, especially random people.
– Don’t share combs, hairbrushes or other hair grooming items with others either.
– Ask for fresh pillow covers when in hotels, hostels or at others houses since using the same pillows or stuffed animals that have been in contact with people with lice can increase your risk of contracting.