A louse is a small parasitic insect that is usually found in human hair. The wingless parasite derives its food from the human body by piercing the skin, resulting in itching for the host. The insect is easily spread through contact and is more likely in public places. They can be found on the head, the pubic hair and the body.
After lice infestation, many people tend to develop an allergic reaction to the bites causing itching. The severity of itching varies from one person to the other depending on the skin and history. Some of the symptoms tend to take weeks and even months to be noticed especially during a first-time case. Subsequent infestations develop symptoms faster as the body has already developed sensitivity to the bites. Other lice symptoms are category specific which include:
Lice are external parasites that are spread through contact with the infected people. Crowded places such as schools, social and political gatherings form some of the avenues that one may get infected. There are three categories of lice classified depending on the part of the body that they tend to occupy. They include:
With many children attending day care centers and kindergartens, the risk of infestation is increased owing to playful nature of the children. They tend to play while exchanging personal effects. Head lice and body lice are the most common in children as they are spread through contact.
Treatment cannot be done without a proper diagnosis that can be done in a clinic or at home. The doctor may use a microscope to ascertain the presence of lice or their eggs in a visual examination. When doing it at home, one needs to:
Over the years, lice have been a common problem in most regions with children being the most affected lot. Identifying the parasite and eliminating them is vital for a person’s health. Traditional insecticides were found effective in combating their spread and hence used to control. However, the insects frequently manifested resistance against the insecticides making them ineffective.
The treatments have since been replaced by oil-based and silicone therapies that are more physical than insecticides. Wet combing is a treatment method where the infected uses a customized comb to remove the organisms. Washing the hair thoroughly with a lice shampoo allows the comb to move freely and remove any lice. The procedure should repeatedly be done at three days intervals up to five times.
Back to all Health Conditions