Lice are parasites that have been around for a very long time. These critters cling onto human hairs and feed on the blood of their hosts. Though head lice cannot fly and don’t live anywhere outside of hair, they still manage to spread from head-to-head with ease, which begs the question; where do lice come from?
Lice and Human Evolution
Lice have been plaguing humans for thousands of years. The genetic separation between head lice and body lice occurred around 100 thousand years ago, about the time that humans are thought to have started wearing clothes. While head lice remained on the head, other lice developed claws that could latch on to the smoother fibers of clothing rather than the thin strands of hair. Though there are a handful of lice variations, the ones that we are most familiar with originated in North America and migrated to eventually inhabit Australia and Europe as well.
How Do They Spread?
In order for head lice to spread from person to person, direct head-to-head contact has to be made with someone that has head lice. One of the most popular misconceptions surrounding head lice is that they can live away from the host for long enough to crawl into someone else’s hair. As it turns out, it would be nearly impossible to contract a case of head lice by borrowing a hat or hairbrush. Head lice are most successful in places like elementary schools and summer camps because they are full of kids that are interacting within head-to-head proximity almost all year round.
How To Protect Yourself From Lice
One of the simplest and most effective ways that you can prevent head lice is by keeping your hair up and out of the way of others. If you have children that are in grade school, it is important to teach them the basic signs of head lice and prevention techniques. Putting your hair up in a bun, braid or ponytail can go a long way when it comes to reducing the risk of lice. Having loose hair only increases the odds of accidentally coming into direct contact with others.
Lice Treatment in Greenville, SC
If you or one of your family members have come into contact with lice, seeking a lice doctor is the best course of action. Here at LCA Upstate South Carolina, we are dedicated to the treatment and removal of head lice. If you have any questions concerning head lice, or you would like to find out more about the head lice treatment options we offer at our Greenville and Anderson locations, don’t hesitate to call!