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Why Are Lice So Contagious?

Stylized graphic of children's faces, drawn with a crayon or watercolor technique.

Updated on July 19, 2020

Lice are very hearty and crawl from head to head seeking warmth and blood. The more social you are, the more likely it is that you will be exposed to head lice. Anyone with hair is a candidate for lice.

Most of us come in contact with other people which means we are at potential risk for getting head lice. Lice are contagious, extremely so. All they need to survive is a little hair that gives them access to the scalp where they find their food: human blood. Once the louse is on the head it lays 6 to 10 eggs a day and lives for 30 days. Within a couple of weeks, the eggs start to hatch and anyone who comes into contact with that person is susceptible to getting lice. This is how the process works and why lice are so prevalent today.

Any group of people provides lice with the opportunity to spread and NO ONE is immune (except for people who are totally bald). If your child plays a sport, he or she is vulnerable every time there is a group hug. If kids are working together on a school project and they are sharing a table and are in close contact, they may be passing around head lice. These are just the facts of lice as we have it today.

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A major contributing factor

Head lice have become resistant to common chemical treatments. Treatments that used to be effective in killing lice are no longer successful. As long as people continue to rely on these sorts of treatments, there will be many head lice lingering around and they will continue to be contagious.

Having long hair increases your chances of getting head lice as the hair is more accessible to the bugs. If your child has long hair, putting it up in a bun will be a deterrent. LiceDoctors also recommends that you spray your hair with LiceDoctors Lice Repellent as it coats the hair and has a scent that repels the bugs. Lice like clean hair as it is easier for them to attach to the hair strand. Applying product to the hair gives it a protective layer and decreases the ability of lice just to get into the hair

Good News

You really do not have to be overly worried about lice in the house. Lice have a strong survival mechanism; they do not want to depart from your head, where the temperature is optimal and the food is plentiful, to go to a bed or chair where they will die after a day of no food.

Head lice have become a fact of life, a very common occurrence in today's world. In fact head lice are the second leading cause of absenteeism from school, after the common cold. Since you can not absolutely avoid them, you can rest easy knowing that if you find that you have a case, you can call LiceDoctors and we will answer your questions and come to help you eradicate the lice. Call us at your convenience anytime of the day or evening, any day of the week in Rockville at 240-720-7491.