Head Lice Advice

Head Lice Advice

What actually are Head Lice?

Head Lice are tiny wingless insects and they're found on human hair.  You tend to find headlice on the heads of young children.

Head Lice start off life as nits, nits are inside shells which break open and then grow up to be about the size of the sesame seed.

Can Head Lice Jump?

It is a common myth that head lice spread by jumping from one person to another, this just isn't true they don't have wings.  Head Lice can't jump, they can't fly, they can't swim.

How Does Head Lice Spread?

Head lice spread from hair to hair contact, so if two heads are touching together and one has head lice, they literally just climb over to the other person's head and then that person can be infected with head lice.

Are You Like To Get Head Lice If Your Hair Is Dirty?

It's a common myth that you're more like let's get head lice if you've got dirty hair. 
This just isn't true, head lice have no preference to how clean your hair is or whether it's clean or dirty you still have still the same chance of getting head lice.

If you've been in contact with someone else who has got head lice also it doesn't matter how long or short your hair is in terms of how easy it is to catch head lice.

Head Lice Symptoms

Some people do not get symptoms of head lice at all.  you just notice little nits in the hair or you may even notice live lice in the hair.  Sometimes you do get itching associated with the head lice.

The itching is not actually the head lice biting you but it is an allergic reaction that the body develops towards the head lice.

The signs of itching are when you suspect your child as head lice, but you can't actually see them.

Head Lice Detection

You can buy a detection comb from your pharmacy. 

  • Use the detection comb on wet or dry hair.
  • Comb through the hair and this is a good way of trying to spot them.

Head Lice Treatment

There are two main ways to treat head lice.

  • You can use head lice lotions or shampoos
  • You can use a wet combing technique

Wet Combing Technique

1) Wash your child's hair, put some conditioner in and use head lice comb to systematically work your way through the whole of the heads all of the hair.  and if you pick up any head lice just wipe them way of the tissue and continue till you finish going through the whole head.
2) Repeat every four days and each time you should really go over the head four times.

once you have repeated step 2, three times without finding any lice it can be fairly sure that you've cleared the problem.

Head Lice Lotions & Shampoos

You can also use medicated lotions or shampoos to get rid of head lice.  Ask your pharmacist who will be able to recommend you a product.

Head Lice Products



Full Marks

Do You Have To Treat Everyone In The Household?

if you find that someone in your household has got head lice the first thing to do is to check everyone because they may have passed it on to someone else.

Once you've figured out who has got head lice make sure you treat those people only.
It's best practice to treat everyone who has head lice all at the same time.

Head lice treatments shouldn't be hazardous but like most medications, ask the advice of the pharmacist with certain groups of people so if the person affected is under the age of six months if they're pregnant or if they've got lots of allergies.

Are there long-term complication with head lice?

Head lice do not carry any diseases, fortunately, though they can be a bit irritating at the time.  Once you've cleared them you shouldn't have any long-term complications.
Head lice are a really treatable problem if you're finding that you can't seem to shift them it may be worth going on to see your school nurse or your GP to make sure you're using the right techniques.

Head lice are something taffectsly affect humans so you won't be able to pass it on to your pets or catch it from your pets.

Fleas and mites which are common in household pets, are completely different.

If you need more information, please speak to your pharmacist or NHS Choice