Whether you have good or bad hygienic practices you may have to deal with the effects of lice. It has nothing to do with you being clean or dirty. If anything, lice like silky, healthy and often-shampooed hair. Without the coating of dirt and other natural oils produced by the scalp, they can better latch on to their host and thrive merrily for the month that they are alive.
What are lice?
Lice are tiny oviparous parasites that attach themselves to the scalp and feed off their host’s blood for survival. Having a constant blood source can strongly affect their quality of life. With a fixed host, these parasites suck on human blood about 4 to 5 times a day to survive.
Lice believe in greatness in numbers. As such, they are constantly trying to reproduce. A female louse, for instance, can lay a maximum of 150 nits or louse eggs in her lifetime. That’s the sort of multiplying power lice have. This means if you have, say, roughly 9 fertile female lice with 9 male lice, you can expect as much as 1,350 would-be lice in your hair. So apart from the disgusting fact that you have 18 insects actively having sex on your head, you will also have the promise of 1,300 more doing the same thing and multiplying into 975,000 (granted that half of 1,300 are female). That’s around 7% greater than the population of the state of Monaco.
Are they contagious?
Apart from being highly uncomfortable and disgusting, head lice are also easy to catch. It’s not enough that they have found one host to fix themselves on; no, they want to travel. They make like explorers discovering new territories. To them, new hair is like a rich and untouched rain forest they can exploit.
What are the symptoms?
Because they feed by sucking blood with their mouth parts, they leave traces of saliva and feces behind. These things irritate the scalp and cause it to itch. They also leave bumps on the scalp, along with the nape of the neck and the area behind the ears.
What are the effects of lice?
Having head lice is itchy business, which means that you will be constantly scratching the surface of your scalp and skin, aggravating the existing irritation and causing your skin to break into a flesh wound. These flesh wounds, depending on how you treat them, can get irritated and become infected.
How does one get rid of lice?
There are many over-the-counter treatments that you can try that contain pyrethrin and permethrin. There is also pesticide shampoos designed to kill the pests. However, if you haven’t warmed up to the idea of a pesticide shampoo for your kid, you might also want to look into non-pesticide solutions and home remedies. You can use a variety of items available in your home such as olive oil, heavy hair creams, mayonnaise, etc.