Head Lice - What they don't always tell you!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015  |  Editor

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Head Lice - Did you know? (They don't always tell you!)

  • There is no need to check for infestation by daily nit combing with conditioner. In many countries people check dry hair (once or twice a week is enough) and look for live nits (eggs), which are attached to the hair and are much easier to spot than head lice. If live eggs are found, logically, there must be a louse to have laid it and therefore treatment is required (and because the nits will hatch!). This "child friendly procedure" takes only a few minutes, does not require washing hair, pulling with a fine-tooth comb, irritating the scalp or spending money on a conditioner. It can be easily done when children watch TV or have a chat with mum or dad. That way the threat of infestation is turned into something positive where the parent makes time to be with a child for this "grooming" procedure in a stress free situation. No better time for bonding, after all, monkeys do it daily and seem to enjoy it - why shouldn't we humans
  • Products which kill head lice do not require the use of a nit-comb, even if they only kill lice but their eggs – there is still no need for a nit comb. All one has to do is to repeat the treatment a week later    
  • If the formulation works on lice only, this means that it should be used twice approx. a week apart. After the first application all live lice will be dead and drop out during washing hair (the law of gravity!). After the second application the newly hatched insects will be killed and will fall out during washing hair, just like the first lot
  • If the product works on lice and their eggs (nits), then only one application is required and the infestation is eliminated completely (the dead bugs will drop out and the eggs will not hatch as the organisms inside are killed)
  • People with clean and dirty hair can get head lice. The insects actually prefer clean hair as it provides better breeding environment
  • Some children get head lice more often then others. It is believed to be linked to other factors such as general health, body temperature, hormonal changes, immune system and not just the direct head to head contact
  • It is possible to have head lice and not to itch (but most people do)
  • Head lice are not "normal" part of childhood like some other common children's illnesses
  • Children will not "grow out" of head lice and the condition should not be ignored
  • Prevention and general hygiene play an important role in containing the spread of infestation (but there is no need to fumigate houses!)
  • Head lice infestation can cause embarrassment, severe itching, scalp redness and irritation, flu like symptoms, increased body temperature, irritability, sleep problems, lack of concentration and the general loss of the quality of life. Head lice as they feed on blood inject poison into the scalp, which may cause allergic reaction in some people (a four year old girl needed a skin graft at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage due to the scalp infection caused by nit combing with chemical shampoos)
  • In countries with high level of infestation (like the UK) it in not shameful to get head lice - it is almost unavoidable. In such cases it is of utmost importance to be a responsible parent and a member of a community and treat an infested child as soon as possible to stop the infestation from spreading
  • Head lice are not a universal problem - there are countries where these parasites are rare
  • Nobody knows "WHAT" head lice spread as they feed on blood and move from head to head. In this day and age with so many blood borne diseases head lice might be posing greater health risk then anybody can expect or is prepared to admit
  • Head lice infestation in Britain is reported to have reached epidemic proportions and there are no signs of it easing off
  • All English speaking countries such as Eire, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have a big problem with head lice infestation (the same ineffective products are sent from one state to another) - no need to change packaging, no language problems, no translation costs)
  • Many health professionals are playing down the head lice problem because they simply do not know how to deal with it any more as most conventional chemical treatments are proving less and less effective and some are said to be harmful
  • We have noticed the increase of body lice cases since the year 2000
  • Head lice pose various health risks and cause a lot of frustration so please do not ignore them - the sooner you do something about them the less they'll spread and fewer people will suffer
  • When buying any product always read the label and if in doubt do not be ashamed to ask questions. Use common sense approach. Do not part with your money unless fully satisfied with the answers
  • REMEMBER: head lice are a big money spinner for many manufacturers. Over £30 million is spent every year in the UK on various treatments. Lots of products claim to kill head lice and nits (eggs) speedily and then, surprisingly, instruct the user to keep re-applying the product on various days and to nit comb afterwards.
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