The hair on a person's head is home to small, crawling insects known as head lice. The lice attach their eggs, known as nits, to the hair that is exposed at the surface of your skin after sucking blood from your scalp to feed (hair shafts). Pediculosis is an infestation of head lice. In this blog, we will discuss the symptoms and causes of lice.
Although head lice can affect anyone, they tend to affect families with young children most frequently (ages 3 to 11). Children are more at risk because they play with other kids head-to-head and might exchange items that come in contact with their hair.
An estimated 6 million to 12 million persons worldwide are affected by head lice infestations each year. School-aged children are more likely to share combs, brushes, caps, and other items that come in contact with the hair or to be in close proximity to one another.
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Common symptoms and signs of head lice may include:
Itching: The itching of the scalp, neck, and ears is the most typical sign of head lice. An allergic reaction to a louse bite caused this. Itching may not start for 4 to 6 weeks after a person discovers they have head lice for the first time.
· Lice on scalp: Although you might be able to see the lice, they are frequently difficult to find since they are little, shy away from light, and move swiftly.
· Lice eggs (nits) on hair shafts: Nits are small and adhere to hair shafts, making them difficult to spot. The neck's hairline and the area around the ears are the best places to look for them. Because they are lighter in color and farther from the scalp, empty nits might be simpler to see. Nits do not necessarily indicate that there are live lice present.
· Sores on the shoulders, neck, and scalp: Scratching can cause tiny, red bumps, which can occasionally get infected with bacteria.
A head louse is a strawberry seed-sized, tan or greyish insect. It consumes scalp-based human blood as food. Less than 1/4 inch (5 millimeters) from the scalp, the female louse secretes a sticky material that firmly adheres each egg to the base of a hair shaft.
The louse life cycle
A louse goes through three stages:
· Eggs that hatch 6 to 9 days later.
· Nymphs, the louse's immature forms that develop into adults in 9 to 12 days.
· Adult lice have a lifespan of three to four weeks. 6 to 10 eggs are laid daily by the female louse.
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