Unfortunately, head lice are a problem that many of us have to deal with at some point in our lives. When dealing with them, like all problems, the best place to start is by identifying the source. With head lice, we can begin from the top down. Below are answers to the questions: “Where do lice live? Where do lice come from? And What do the symptoms look like?
Head Lice Begin at the Scalp
Head lice can be found anywhere on the human head, but they’re commonly found on the hair near the back of the neck and around the ears. These are the warmest places on the head. Sometimes, lice will be visible in these areas as well.
When lice infest the scalp area, the female louse produces a sticky substance that adheres each egg to the base of a hair shaft. These eggs hatch usually in six to nine days.
Where Do Lice Come from?
Lice come from the larger louse family. Head lice specifically have evolved to only affect human hosts. Transmission of these parasites occurs when people come into contact with lice or their eggs. A common misconception is that lice jump or fly. This simply isn’t true. They only can pass through head-to-head contact or contact with shared and infected items. Common items that carry lice are combs and brushes, or hats and scarves.
These transmission events can and do happen at school. However, school is not the only place that children or adults can catch head lice. It can also happen anywhere where people are in close proximity and may have direct head-to-head contact with each other.
What do the symptoms look like?
The most common symptoms of lice involve itching on the scalp. This is caused by the saliva of the lice which irritates the skin on the scalp, neck, or ears. The itching can sometimes become severe enough to cause people to lose sleep.
The scratching of lice bites can cause additional skin infections if not treated properly. These infections usually lead to large red rashes present on the scalp. In some cases, swollen lymph glands under the arms. Other signs include blue-black marks on the skin where the lice have been feeding.
With this information in mind, you can see how large of a problem these tiny lice could present. Children aren’t any more likely to contract lice than adults, but schools and shared areas like locker rooms are hot spots for these pests. Always make sure you instruct school children not to share personal items if you suspect there to be a lice infestation event.
Do You Think You Have Lice?
For most all of us, head lice are a nuisance that we are far too familiar with. If you suspect that you or a loved one are dealing with some lice symptoms or are looking for a lice clinic near you, visit the experts at Lice Clinics of America- Upstate SC in Anderson and Greenville or start by giving us a call at (864) 548-4265.