The Nitty-Gritty: What Do You Need to Know About Head Lice?

Lice-B-GoneNothing irritates family wellness quite like head lice. When your child returns home from school with a letter alerting you that he or she may have nits, you can almost want to send them straight back. However, this is when the race to treat the infestation begins.

Tiny, wingless parasites, head lice feed on human blood and live close to the scalp. Though you may have heard that nits can affect your wellbeing through contact with items such as clothing, brushes, towels or pillows recently used by someone with head lice, this is uncommon, as the crawling parasites are mainly spread by head-to-head contact. Another myth is that head lice have something to do with your personal hygiene and cleanliness, but this isn’t the case.

The most common sign that head lice have infected your wellness is an itchy scalp, caused by an allergic reaction to louse bites. However, this symptom may take four to six weeks to develop from the first time you become infected. Live head lice are commonly found behind the ears and near the neckline at the back of the head, so this is a good indication that an infestation has taken place.

So how do you treat the problem? According to David M. Pariser, MD, a dermatologist at Eastern Virginia Medical School, ‘If head lice hit your home, your paediatrician or family physician can be your best resource. There are a variety of treatments with varying effectiveness, and Sklice (ivermectin) Lotion, 0.5% is a prescription option parents may want to consider.’ This treatment can get rid of nits in one session, and doesn’t necessarily require nit combing.

However, Sklice can have certain side effects such as eye redness or soreness, eye irritation, dandruff, dry skin and a burning sensation of the skin, but none of these have occurred in more than one percent of treated patients. Further, if you or your child has any skin conditions or sensitivities or medical conditions, this treatment may be best avoided. It is also unknown whether Sklice Lotion can harm an unborn baby or affect your breast milk, so if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning on either of those things, consult your doctor about other ways to tackle head lice in your home.

Comments are closed.