Head lice are tiny, wingless insects that live in the hair, close to the scalp, and feed on blood from the scalp. Tiny eggs (nits) are laid close to the root of the hair and are stuck tightly to the hair making them difficult to remove. Symptoms of infestation include itchy scalp, rash on neck, lice and eggs visible in the hair – although they are fairly difficult to see. They are most commonly found in children of school age and are easily spread by close contact although the lice can’t jump.
Head lice should only be treated once an infestation has been visually confirmed. The best way to detect the presence of head lice is to use a special fine-toothed comb on wet hair coated with conditioner. Each section of the hair should be combed through thoroughly and the comb should be wiped on a clean, white tissue to detect lice.
There are several options for treating head lice:
1. Pesticide treatments work by poisoning the lice but resistance to the pesticide is common
2. Non-pesticide treatments work by suffocating and dehydrating the lice
3. Wet combing the hair every three days for at least two weeks until all lice are removed
There are also sprays available that can be used in the hair to prevent infestation.
Contact us or your local pharmacist for more advice and recommendations of the best product to use. Products our Pharmacist recommends include: