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How to get rid of head lice, according to science

The nit, nymph and adult are the three life stages of the head louse (Getty)

The Pediculosis is an infestation with eggs or larvae of lice (slow) or adult lice on the head, eyebrows and eyelashes. Caused by these parasitic insects, whose scientific name is Pediculus Humanus Capitis, The image is usually more common in children, but many adults who have a certain propensity can easily catch it.

According Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention According to the CDC, “Head lice infestation is most common in preschool children attending day care centers, elementary school-aged children, and adult household members of infested children.”

And despite the fact that they are generally linked to a lack of hygiene or an unclean environment, the specialists assure that “lice prefer clean hair to attach and lay their eggs.

The head louse, or Pediculus humanus capitis, is a parasitic insect (Getty)
The head louse, or Pediculus humanus capitis, is a parasitic insect (Getty)

Another common misconception is that lice can jump or fly from person to person. “Head lice are crawling, and most often transmission is through direct head-to-head contact.”

It may interest you: When he was 4 years old, his mother poured gasoline on him to fight lice and he found himself on fire and with a deformed face

Indirect transmission is less commonbut it can happen when sharing items, such as hats, scarves, brushes, combs, hair accessories, headphones, pillows, and towels,” CDC experts clarified, adding: “Sharing a locker or coat rack at school, or hanging multiple hats or scarves in the same place could also lead to flanking transmission.

Itching on the head and neck is the most characteristic sign of head lice (Getty)
Itching on the head and neck is the most characteristic sign of head lice (Getty)

The intense itching of the scalp and the neck could indicate the presence of lice. The feeling of something dragging or moving in the hair can also be a sign of head lice. To determine if lice are present, look for signs of nits attached to the hair shaft. “If it comes off easily from the hair, it’s probably not a nit, but dandruff or residue from hair products,” explain the specialists.

Along with using shampoos or head lice products, combing through will help remove nits (Getty)
Along with using shampoos or head lice products, combing through will help remove nits (Getty)

1- Shampoo to kill lice. There are several over-the-counter options.

Shampoos only kill adult lice, not nits, so ideally follow product directions and repeat use in seven to 10 days as directed.

2- Fine comb. Use a fine-toothed comb every two to three days to remove any nits or lice that may remain after shampooing. Check the comb to see if it actually removes nits or lice. Clean the comb after each small section of hair.

3- Disinfect combs and brushes. Soak combs and brushes that the person with head lice uses regularly in warm, soapy water after each use.

Contagion is always face to face, or by sharing objects like combs or hats
Contagion is always face to face, or by sharing objects like combs or hats

4- Wash the belongings of the person with lice. Bedding, stuffed animals, clothing, hats, towels and other personal items should be sanitized with hot water and soap.

Drying them over high heat is sure to kill lice and nits.

5- Empty. Vacuum carpets, mattresses, pillows, furniture, upholstery and car seats.

6- Essential oils. Tea tree oil can be mixed with shampoo to help prevent lice infestation.

7- Prescription treatments. In cases where over-the-counter shampoos do not work, your GP may prescribe a stronger prescription shampoo. It is always advisable to consult a specialist if the lice cannot be eliminated with home treatments.

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