LiceDoctors Dr. Stephen Beck Answers Your FAQs About Head Lice

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What do head lice look like?

Dr. Beck--Adult lice are about the size of a sesame seed, have 6 legs, are wingless and are brownish in color. They may be elusive as they move very fast across the head. Often cases are diagnosed from eggs rather than from the bugs.

What do eggs (nits) look like?

Dr. Beck—Nits are very small and grow in size from microscopic when first laid to about the size of a sesame seed when mature. Nits are oval with a pointy front and an antenna. They have a translucent shell around a brownish baby bug (nymph) inside. Nits glue themselves to the hair strand about ¼ of an inch from the scalp.

What are symptoms of head lice?

Usually people feel a bit itchy as a result of the lice biting the scalp in order to get blood, which is their food source. The cause of the itchiness is the saliva that the louse secretes; the saliva causes an allergic reaction which in turn results in bumps, akin to mosquito bites. In addition, people who are particularly sensitive may feel the bugs moving around on their scalp, but most people are oblivious to that. Lice do not carry disease; they are a nuisance rather than a health hazard. Some folks are completely asymptomatic and may be unaware that they have lice until they actually find a bug crawling out of the hair.

Does 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 OTC lice shampoos as well as to prescription chemical lice products. These highly resistant lice are called “super lice”. In addition, some of the more efficacious chemicals have been removed from lice shampoos due to their potentially harmful effects further reducing the effectiveness of the lice pesticides.

Will head lice go away if untreated?

Dr. Beck– The answer is no. Lice continue to lay their eggs, which will develop, hatch, and yield new lice. As these lice mature they will eventually lay more eggs and the case progresses indefinitely until all nits and bugs are eliminated.

How do you get rid of nits?

Dr. Beck – The best way to eliminate nits is to comb and hand pick them from the hair. You must get out all of the nits so that they don’t perpetuate the case. A key reason that lice are so commonplace is that people inadvertently leave behind nits, which in turn hatch. Nits are small and camouflage in the hair and thus are easy to overlook. Often the easiest and best way to get rid of head lice is to call in a professional. LiceDoctors techs are experienced and have a wealth of information to share with you both in terms of getting rid of your current case as well as helping you to prevent future cases. Call LiceDoctors at 954-606-6473 for immediate relief from head lice. Your lice professional will be sure to end your lice infestation!

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