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Do I Have Lice or Am I Just Paranoid?

Do I Have Lice or Am I Just Paranoid?
Updated on 
November 6, 2019

Head lice. Just hearing the topic makes most people immediately start scratching their heads. We don’t all have the knowledge or experience to know what is or isn’t head lice. This may lead you to the question: Do I have lice or am I paranoid?

No one wants head lice, but for some, they represent a near phobia (or even a true phobia: Pediculophobia, is the fear of lice). Just the idea that there are seemingly invisible bugs crawling on you is too horrifying to imagine. But that’s exactly what many people do. Imagine. Just reading about lice or hearing the word can make many people start scratching!


So you’ve had your head checked and re-checked and now you wonder why is my hair so itchy but no lice are there? There are a few reasons people ask why is my head so itchy no lice are there? Here are a few:

- Dandruff is a condition of the scalp that everyone gets. It causes itching resulting in flaking off of the scalp.

- Weather can suck the moisture out of your skin, making you itch. Hot humid weather can make you sweat which can build up on your scalp and also make you itch.

- New hair treatments. If you’ve started a new hair care regimen, it’s possible that your skin is sensitive to the new products. If you’ve recently had your hair colored or permed or treated, those salon chemicals can have a very drying effect.

- New laundry products. It’s possible if you’ve changed from your regular products that your clothes or bedding are making you itch.

- Head lice treatments. Unfortunately, most of the products that are available over the counter or by prescription are by design and necessity, harsh. These are known to dry out the scalp – which again, makes you itch. Even if you haven’t used any chemical products, just the simple act of excessive physical combing (and rubbing and poking and prodding and pulling) can irritate the scalp, and you guessed it – make you itch.

- Phantom Lice Syndrome – Psychosomatic lice. Just thinking about lice can make you itch, and the more you scratch, the more you itch. And the more you may think you have head lice.


Any time I talk about my job, with few exceptions, the person I’m speaking with will inevitably start to scratch their heads. Can thinking about lice make you itchy? Yes – we call these phantom lice. Sometimes they will even say “is my hair so itchy but no lice are there?” This is an emotional response to being in close proximity to someone who has or is speaking about lice – something nobody wants to have. This is based on a heightened awareness of what is going on on the scalp.

psychosomatic lice


You can also experience phantom itching after lice. When we speak with clients who are experiencing this, we understand it is important to reassure them that this is entirely normal. Here are a few practical tips to get over the hump:

- Stick with your follow-up lice treatment.

- Be patient – the farther away from the infestation you get, the farther away from your mind lice will be.

- Resist the urge to scratch – scratching begets itching, then scratching – it’s a vicious cycle!

- Know that you need a full-blown infestation for lice to be the root cause of itching. You have just been treated so there is no way that you have a full-blown infestation.


If your head is itching and you are afraid you have head lice or if you are worried that everything you see or think you see in your hair might be lice, call LiceDoctors and a competent professional will come right away to do a thorough examination and let you know one way or another whether you do or don’t have lice. If your worst fears are realized, your LiceDoctors technician will take care of the lice, removing the bugs and nits by hand and educating you so you KNOW what you need to watch for in the future and how to effectively deal with head lice. Call 800-224-2537 for peace of mind. Because knowing the truth will help you sleep at night again.

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