why do nits make your head itch
What are lice? Lice are tiny insects called parasites that spread by personal contact, as well as by sharing belongings. Children are particularly likely to catch and spread lice. Learn how to identify symptoms that indicate you or your child may have lice. There are three main types of lice. They all come from the same parasite family, but theyБre each a different species:
You can find head lice on the scalp, neck, and ears. Body lice start out on clothing or in beds, but they move from those locations to peopleБs skin. Pubic lice are also called Бcrabs. Б You can find them on pubic hair and skin. The most common symptom of any type of lice is itching. Lice bites cause an allergic reaction that causes this itchy feeling. However, you may not feel itchy right away, especially if itБs a light infestation. You may not notice any symptoms for up to six weeks the first time you get lice. In addition to intense itching, lice can cause other symptoms, such as: a tickling feeling of something moving on your head, hair, or body red bumps on your head, neck, shoulders, or pubic area the appearance of lice eggs, or small white objects in your hair Lice eggs are also called Бnits.
Б They appear on hair shafts and are difficult to brush out of the hair. Head lice can cause an itchy scalp, but so can other skin conditions, such as dandruff, eczema, or even allergies to shampoo and other hair products. Therefore, itБs important to know how to check for lice, especially on children. First, wet your childБs hair. This slows the lice down and makes them easier to spot. Use a fine-toothed comb to part your childБs hair, then shine a bright light onto their scalp. If your child has lice, youБll notice small, brown insects the size of sesame seeds moving around or nits that look like theyБre cemented on to individual hairs. You may be unsure if you see dirt or lice and nits. Lice and nits are often difficult to comb out, while you can easily remove dirt. Head lice are contagious. You should take precautions to avoid catching or sharing them.
DonБt share personal belongings such as hairbrushes, hairclips, combs, and hats. Launder clothes and sheets regularly. If you think you may have a lice infestation at home, vacuum the floor and furniture, and then cover furniture for two weeks with a plastic drop cloth. ItБs difficult to prevent the spread of lice in school or childcare settings. You can ask your child to avoid head-to-head contact with other kids during playtime. Avoiding shared spaces for clothing and hats, such as closets and lockers, may also help prevent the spread of lice. However, even with good hygiene practices, your child may still develop lice. If so, the best way to treat symptoms is through medications that your doctor can prescribe or recommend. You can treat lice with some, as well as prescription medications. You can purchase that contain ingredients that treat lice, such as pyrethrin or permethrin. malathion, which you rub into your hair and scalp before rinsing off benzyl alcohol lotion, which is a lotion that you apply to your hair and scalp for 10 minutes before rinsing off Make sure you read the labels of all prescription medications and follow the directions.
If youБre uncertain whether you or a family member has lice, see your doctor. Your doctor can use a special light called a WoodБs light to make the nits more visible. They can identify whether or not you have lice. If you do have lice, itБs possible to use home treatments to get rid of lice and avoid further symptoms. Wash contaminated clothing, sheets, and towels, and use over-the-counter treatments as needed. Healthline and our partners may receive a portion of revenues if you make a purchase using a link above. If youвre looking at over-the-counter (OTC) treatments for lice, keep an eye out for these ingredients: Pyrethrins: This is a natural extract from chrysanthemums. Itвs safe for children age 2 years and older. But this ingredient only kills live lice, not nits. Youвll need a second treatment after nine to 10 days if existing eggs have hatched.
This shouldnвt be used by any individuals allergic to chrysanthemums or ragweed. , 1 percent (Nix): This is a synthetic treatment similar to natural pyrethrins. It kills both live lice and nits. Permethrin also leaves a residue on the hair that is designed to kill any newly hatched lice arising from eggs not killed in the initial application. Shampoos and conditioners may interfere with the effectiveness of this residue, so you may need to do a second treatment after 7-10 days if live lice are seen. Permethrin is safe for children age 2 months and older. Talk to your doctor if you still see lice after full treatment. Your doctor can prescribe something stronger. Children younger than 2 years shouldnвt use most OTC lice-removal products, so try simply using when your childвs hair is wet. Metal combs are more effective than plastic. Repeat this combing every three to four days for no less than two weeks. Ask your pediatrician if combing should be used in conjunction with other treatments for your young child.
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