Lice are an extremely common problem, especially during the school season. Almost 12 million kids between the ages of 3 and 11 get lice every year, so it is important that you and your family know how to check yourselves for lice. If you are worried or have concerns about lice, here are some tips on what you can do to perform a self-check for lice at home.
Helpful tools to check for lice
These tools are optional, but they help a ton when it comes to checking yourself for lice:
- A fine-toothed comb which can be used for both checking and removing lice.
- A magnifying glass to help see the nits and lice at the roots of the hair.
- A mirror to help check the back of your head and behind the ears.
- A flashlight or a bright light source to help look through dark hair
- Water and detangler or conditioner, to help comb through hair as you conduct your search.
What to look for when checking for lice
Checking yourself for lice can be quite difficult as lice are only a few millimeters long and tend to stay rooted towards the base of the hair. Lice change over the course of their lives, so there are a few things to look out for. The lice eggs, called nits, are tiny white-grey dots that are firmly attached to the base of the hair. If the egg has yet to hatch, they appear grey, brown, or yellow. After hatching, the eggshell will still be there, but it will take on a lighter appearance that can be mistaken for dandruff. After the nit hatches, it becomes a nymph, which is just code for baby louse. These nymphs, like adult lice, look light brown and are about the size of a sesame seed. They move quickly and will avoid light.
Where to check
Lice love to hide around the nape of the neck and behind the ears, so those should be the first places you check. Another common place they are found is along the hairline.
How to check for head lice
If your hair is long, the first step should be to put your hair up into several sections to make the process more methodical. Once your hair is divided into groups, you can use the mirror and magnifying glass as you sift through the first section to try and spot lice. This is where the bright light comes in handy. After you’ve gone through and checked the first section visually, get your hair a little damp, add some detangler or conditioner to make it smooth, and start combing.
If you missed a louse on your initial inspection, it would be a pain to restart the whole process later, so it’s best to comb as you go. As you are combing, make sure to comb through in multiple directions to get any stubborn nits that may be clinging on. After you have inspected and combed through each section, you will know whether or not you have lice.
Head Lice Treatment in Greenville & Anderson, SC
If you do find lice, don’t panic! Lice Clinics of America located in Greenville and Anderson, SC, is a lice removal clinic dedicated to a chemical-free lice treatment that is guaranteed. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us.