Updated on April 16, 2017
Adults can get head lice even if they are not in direct contact with children. Louise, a single woman called us at LiceDoctors two weeks ago from Multnomah County and she was upset and perplexed. She had been quite itchy on her scalp over the past couple of weeks and finally went to the dermatologist, thinking that she had some kind of dry skin situation. Much to her chagrin the dermatologist informed her that she had a case of head lice and recommended that she call us at LiceDoctors. "How is it possible that I have lice?" she inquired. "I have no children and I haven't even been around children.", she said. Like many other people, Louise was under the impression that only children get head lice. Hugs can transfer bugs. While it is true that head lice infestations are more common in school age children (due to more frequent direct head-to-head contact and fewer personal space boundaries), adults are also susceptible to contracting a case. How can that be? To pick up a case of head lice, you only need to have one bug crawl into your hair. If you are with somebody and get close enough to that person and that person has been exposed to children and has contracted lice, then she or he can pass it along to you. Basically if you are close to anybody who is close to children then you are at risk. Remember each louse only needs a warm head and human blood to survive. While it is less likely, it is indeed possible to pick up head lice from an inanimate object. That means if you are shopping and try on a shirt or hat that somebody who has lice tried on an hour before you, she or he might leave behind a bug or two. Those bugs will be seeking a human head fast because they will die when off of the human head for a day. Given how commonplace head lice infestations are today if you are a person who is out and about in the world then you are at risk for head lice. If you find that you have contracted lice, it can be particularly challenging to eliminate it in your own head. Call LiceDoctors any day or night in Portland or surrounding areas at 503-715-1726 or 541-632-4545 in Salem and Eugene and surrounding areas. We will take the burden off of you and leave you lice-free.