LiceDoctors’ Dr. Stephen Beck Answers Frequently Asked Questions About Head Lice.
LiceDoctors Head Lice Treatment and Nit Removal Service gets calls on a daily basis, asking us a variety of questions about head lice. Here Dr. Stephen Beck, our on-staff medical doctor, addresses commonly asked lice treatment questions by parents.
Interviewer: Are lice dangerous and do they cause disease?
Dr. Beck— No, lice can cause itching and a rash, but do not carry disease. You can get an infection if you scratch too much. Lice are more of a nuisance than a danger. Lice can not kill you, which is a question we have been asked.
Interviewer: Can you describe the appearance of lice?
Dr. Beck—Adult lice are about the size of a sesame seed, have 6 legs, are wingless and have a brownish tinge. They move very quickly across the head so may be difficult to see.
Interviewer: What do nits look like?
Dr. Beck—Nits range in size from microscopic when first laid to about the size of a sesame seed when mature. Nits are oval shaped with a pointy front and an antenna. Nits have a translucent shell with a brownish baby bug (nymph) inside. They are glued to the hair shaft about ¼ of an inch from the scalp.
Interviewer: How long does it take lice eggs to hatch?
Dr. Beck— Lice eggs take 7-10 days to develop and hatch. They are not contagious; only live lice can be transferred o another person.
Interviewer: Will lice medication kill the bugs?
Dr. Beck– The medication may kill some of the bugs but usually not all of them. There is an increasing resistance among lice to the drug store lice shampoos as well as to prescription chemical lice shampoos. In addition, some of the more effective chemicals have been taken out of the lice shampoos due to their potentially harmful effects. These highly resistant lice are called “super lice”.
Interviewer: How do you get rid of nits?
Dr. Beck – The most effective way to eradicate nits is to comb and handpick them from the hair. You must get out all of the nits because if some are left in the hair, they will hatch and the case will start up again. That is one of the key reasons that lice are so prevalent. People think that they have gotten rid of all of the nits but there are some small ones left in the hair.
Interviewer: What do I have to do to treat the house?
Dr. Beck – At LiceDoctors we say, it’s the head not the house. When off the head, head lice will die within a day so you don’t have to scrub down the house in order to kill the lice. You do not have to vacuum and put toys in bags. With head lice, the follow-up treatment on the head, not the home, is the key.
Interviewer: What can you do to prevent lice?
Dr. Beck– Children with long hair should wear it pulled up and cover it with hair spray, gel, or mousse. This puts a protective coating over the hair which makes it more difficult for the lice to adhere to the hair. Having said that, there is no way to absolutely prevent your child from getting lice.
Interviewer: What are symptoms of head lice?
Dr. Beck– Some people have very itchy scalps as a result of head lice, while other people with lice may have no symptoms. Since head lice move quickly in the hair, they are harder to find then lice eggs. Use bright light and look for translucent eggs that are stuck to the hair shaft.
Interviewer: What does LiceDoctors do to get rid of lice and nits?
Dr. Beck—LiceDoctors sends technicians to the client’s home to ensure maximum privacy and convenience for the client. Our technicians are highly trained and knowledgeable and they realize this is a stressful time for families. They are reassuring and get to work applying oil to immobilize the bugs and loosen nits. Next they comb through the hair in a proscribed manner using a professional grade comb. Next step involves hand picking any remaining nits. Because our technicians are trained, they know how to find the nits that may be difficult for the untrained eye to see. The final step is to go over our follow-up treatment plan that the client will do at home following our treatment. This is a plan that I developed 20 years ago to ensure that any microscopic nits that were just laid will be addressed. Our plan is simple, all natural, and it works; we guarantee it.
Interviewer: Thank you, Dr. Beck.
Dr. Beck—My pleasure.
LiceDoctors operates in forty states across the U.S. and has successfully treated over 150,000 clients. LiceDoctors has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau. The service is available day and night, 365 days a year. Call 800-224-2537 for an appointment today.