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Symptoms of Head Lice

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Updated on July 13, 2020

Although, not everyone reacts the same to head lice, there are some telltale signs.

Head Lice Symptoms

  1. The number one sign of head lice is persistent itchiness of the scalp. As with a mosquito bite, the louse injects saliva into the scalp and most humans react to that bite.

  2. Some people will have red bumps at the sites of the bites if they have a higher sensitivity (allergy) or if they scratch the bites.

  3. Not everyone feels itchy; some people have no symptoms at all.

  4. Lice bites are most visible behind the ears and along the nape of the neck.


How to Determine if You Have Head Lice

  1. If you or a family member is scratching the head a lot, you may very well have head lice.LiceDoctors Technician shining light on lice

  2. To be sure, bring the person into bright lighting and look carefully in the hair. You are looking for sticky, hard eggs that can be pulled down the hair strand by squeezing your fingers around the eggs.

  3. Take the possible lice eggs (nits) and place on white paper towel. If they look brown against that background and have a pointy front with an antenna, then you are looking at lice eggs.


How to Treat Head Lice

  1. The most effective way to eliminate head lice is to physically remove the nits and bugs from the hair. Consumer Reports advises that the safest way to get rid of lice is with a metal comb and lubricant. (Source: Consumer Reports)

  2. To do this, you need to have a lot of patience and it helps to have a lot of experience and proper tools.

  3. The first step is to use a lubricant to loosen the nits and slow down the bugs. Comb through the hair.

  4. Next on dry hair, hand pick the remaining nits. This is where experience really comes in handy. You need to be able to find and identify the nits, which are small and blend into the hair.

  5. Make sure that you get out every nit. If you leave nits behind, they will hatch and you will end up back where you started.

  6. We do not recommend using chemical treatments. They are often ineffective (Google “Super Lice”) and they may have side effects.


Often people need help with lice treatment and nit removal and that is where we come in. LiceDoctors makes house calls and we ensure that you are lice-free. Whether you have symptoms of head lice but are unsure if you have it or you have ascertained that you do have lice, we can help you. Call us today at 800-224-2537.

LiceDoctors technician combing child's head with oil