Dr. Stephen Beck, LiceDoctors’ Medical Director, answers some frequently asked questions about head lice.
Do head lice cause disease?
Dr. Beck— No, lice do not cause disease, but they usually cause itching. Although not common, if you scratch too much, you may experience a rash. Lice are more of a nuisance than a health hazard. Lice can not kill you, which is a question we have been asked.
How do you identify a case of head lice?
Dr. Beck—Lice move quickly and run away from light so it is can be difficult to find them. Use of a magnifying lens and a fine-toothed comb can help. If you don’t see a live bug, continue to look for nits (eggs) which are attached to the hair within a ¼ inch of base of the hair. Nits that are found more than ¼ inch from the base of the hair shaft have usually already hatched. Nits may be confused with other things found in the hair such as dandruff, secretions from the oil glands, or pieces of dirt. If you are not sure if you have head lice, call in LiceDoctors and we can let you know for sure.
How long does it take nits to hatch?
Dr. Beck— Lice eggs take 7-10 days to develop and hatch. You can not “catch” a nit; only live lice can be transmitted to another person.
How do I kill lice in the home?
Dr. Beck—You do not need to kill lice in the home because they will not survive off the head, which is their host. You do not need to put away all the toys or vacuum everything in the home. You can wipe down the car seats and couch with a cloth or lint brush but at LiceDoctors, we say, “It’s the head not the house” that makes the difference.
What are symptoms of head lice?
Dr. Beck– Some people have itchy scalps as a result of head lice, while others have no symptoms. Don’t assume that because you are not itchy that you are lice-free. If you have been exposed to head lice, get yourself checked out.
What does LiceDoctors do to get rid of lice and nits?
Dr. Beck—An experienced technician will come to your home to make the experience private and convenient. Technicians are supportive as they understand that this is a stressful time for families. They get to work applying oil to immobilize the bugs and loosen nits. They comb through the hair thoroughly using a professional grade comb. When the hair is dry, they hand pick remaining nits. Because technicians are experienced, they know how to find the nits that may be difficult for an untrained person to see. Before the tech leaves, she leaves the client with an after care plan that I developed 20 years ago to ensure that any microscopic nits that were just laid will be addressed. The plan is simple, all natural, and it works; the treatment comes with a full 30 day guarantee.