Lice are miniature parasites that spread via direct contact as well as sharing belongings. Children are likely to acquire and spread lice.
What are the types of lice?
There are 3 main types of lice. All originate from the same parasite family, but there are different species:
- Lice on the scalp, ears and neck (head lice)
- Body lice
- Pubic lice or “crabs”
Dealing with itchiness
The usual indication of any variant of lice is itchiness. The bites can trigger an allergic response that causes itchiness. Nevertheless, the individual might not experience itchiness immediately, particularly if it is a minor infestation. The symptoms might not be evident for up to 6 weeks the initial time lice is acquired.
What are the other signs?
Aside from the intense itchiness, lice can trigger other symptoms such as:
- Sores that form after the site has been scratched
- Tickling sensation or something moving on the hair, head or body
- Reddened bumps on the neck, head, shoulders or pubic region
- Difficulty sleeping
- Presence of lice eggs in the hair
The lice eggs or “nits” are usually present on the hair shafts and hard to brush out of the hair.
How to check for an infestation
When it comes to head lice, it causes an itchy scalp but can also be caused other skin conditions or even allergic reactions to shampoo and other hair products. Due to this, it is vital that you know how to properly check for lice.
The first step is to wet the hair of the child. This helps slow down the lice and make it easier to spot. With a comb with fine tooth, part the hair and shine a bright source of light onto the scalp. If lice are present, they are small-sized, brown insects shifting around or nits that are stuck on the hairs.