The life cycle of a louse is divided into three parts:
Stage 1. Eggs or nits take 6 to 9 days to hatch.
Stage 2. Baby lice or nymphs are born. They grow into adults after 9 to 12 days.
Stage 3. Adult lice can live for about a month on a person’s head. A louse typically dies in 24 to 48 hours after it falls from a person’s scalp. Generally, female lice are larger than male lice and can lay 6 eggs a day.
Head lice can move from person to person through close contact with lice-infested hair. Children often catch them since they are around other kids in school. Similarly, it can spread at home when family members share haircare and head-related items:
- Hairbrushes or combs
- Hair accessories such as scrunchies and headbands
- Hats and other items that cover the head
- Pillowcases, towels, and other personal items that touch the hair
There are several ways to remove head lice permanently, including:
The comb method
In the Philippines, a fine-toothed comb or suyod is commonly used to get rid of lice. Here’s how you do it:
- Find a well-lit area where you and your child can comfortably do the extraction.
- Wet your child’s hair and divide it into small sections.
- Starting with one section, run the fine-toothed comb from the scalp down to the ends of the hair.
- Gently flick or tap the comb on a white towel or cloth to get rid of the lice, nymphs, and nits.
- Repeat this process for all the other sections.
The comb method is more effective when combined with other treatments.
One of the best ways to remove head lice permanently is to use medications. They can come in the form of medicated shampoos, lotions, and creams, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicine. The type of medicine you need will depend on the severity of the infestation and the age of your child. If the infestation is causing your child discomfort, consult your pediatrician for a prescription.
Be sure to read the instructions carefully before administering medicine to your child. Too much or too little product can have a negative effect.
Here are the things you can do to ensure that your child and the whole household are free from head lice:
- Wash your child’s personal items like clothes, towels, bedsheets, pillowcases, blanket, and hair accessories.
- Put dry-clean-only items in a bag and keep it sealed for two weeks to kill any remaining lice.
- Vacuum all upholstered furniture.
- Check everyone in the house for lice.
Head lice are a common scalp problem in children. However, if left untreated, a lice infestation may worsen and spread to other people. Thus, parents should address the infestation right away so that their children can enjoy their time in school and at home. Aside from lice, there are other infestations your child may be carrying to watch out for such as worms.
Learn more about Other Child Health Issues, here.
Share your thoughts
Be the first to let Hello Doctor know your thoughts!
Join Us or Log In to join the discussion