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   Head Lice Infestation


What are head lice?

Also called Pediculus humanus capitis (peh-DICK-you-lus HUE-man-us CAP-ih-TUS), head lice are parasitic insects found on the heads of people. Having head lice is very common. However, there are no reliable data on how many people get head lice in the United States each year. Read more about Head Lice...

 

Who is at risk for getting head lice?

Anyone who comes in close contact (especially head-to-head contact) with someone who already has head lice is at greatest risk. Occasionally, head lice may be acquired from contact with clothing (such as hats, scarves, coats) or other personal items (such as brushes or towels) that belong to an infested person. Preschool and elementary-age children, 3-11, and their families are infested most often. Girls get head lice more often than boys, women more than men. In the United States, African-Americans rarely get head lice. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice. Read more about the Risk of getting Head Lice...


What do head lice look like?

There are three forms of lice: the egg (also called a nit), the nymph, and the adult.Read more about what Head Lice looks like...


Where are head lice most commonly found?

They are most commonly found on the scalp, behind the ears and near the neckline at the back of the neck. Head lice hold on to hair with hook-like claws found at the end of each of their six legs. Head lice are rarely found on the body, eyelashes, or eyebrows. Read more about where Head Lice is found...


What are the signs and symptoms of head lice infestation?

" Tickling feeling of something moving in the hair.
" Itching, caused by an allergic reaction to the bites.
" Irritability.
" Sores on the head caused by scratching. These sores can sometimes become infected.

Read more about the signs and symptoms of Head Lice...


How did my child get head lice?

Contact with an already infested person is the most common way to get head lice. Head-to-head contact is common during play at school and at home (sports activities, on a playground, slumber parties, at camp).
Less commonly,
" Wearing clothing, such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, or hair ribbons, recently worn by an infested person.
" Using infested combs, brushes, or towels.
" Lying on a bed, couch, pillow, carpet, or stuffed animal that has recently been in contact with an infested person.

Read more about how your child may get Head Lice...


How is head lice infestation diagnosed?

An infestation is diagnosed by looking closely through the hair and scalp for nits, nymphs, or adults. Finding a nymph or adult may be difficult; there are usually few of them and they can move quickly from searching fingers. If crawling lice are not seen, finding nits within a 1/4 inch of the scalp confirms that a person is infested and should be treated. If you only find nits more than 1/4 inch from the scalp (and don't see a nymph or adult louse), the infestation is probably an old one and does not need to be treated. If you are not sure if a person has head lice, the diagnosis should be made by your health care provider, school nurse, or a professional from the local health department or agricultural extension service. Read more about how Head Lice is diagnosed...


Head Lice Articles - 4/16/2014

Head lice are parasitic insects found most commonly behind the ears and near the neckline at the back of the neck. The medical term for head lice infestation is Pediculus humanus capitis. There are 6 – 12 millions cases of head lice in the United States every year more commonly in children than adults...

Read more articles about Head Lice..


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