Lice and Nits

 

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What are Lice Nits?
The word 'nits' is a loosely used term to describe head lice and/or lice eggs. In the UK, Australia and New Zealand 'nits' can be used as a substitute for 'head lice' (plural of head louse). However, in the US and Canada it is the eggs of lice that are referred to as the nits (sometimes all eggs and others say it's just the empty casing left once the egg has hatched). No matter where you are from and how you use the word, it's going to relate to lice on humans, which are ectoparasites that need to be located, treated, killed and removed.

Hair Lice and Nits
Nits occur primarily in children, usually between the ages of 3-12. Contrary to belief by some, nits are not only found in dirty hair or on people of poor personal hygiene. They can and will infect the heads of any human they have the opportunity to crawl onto. Lice survive by feeding on the blood of a host and for head lice; their entire three stage life cycle takes place in our hair (eggs/nits, nymphs, adults). Therefore, if nits are spotted adult lice must have been there to lay them in the first place. When conducting a thorough check for nits, unless live lice are found - it is not deemed to be a lice infestation.

What does Lice Nits look like?
This doesn't mean that the nits should be left to remain in the hair because they're no longer a threat! All nits and lice need to be removed and killed if still carrying embryos) and it is also beneficial to determine the source of the problem and to ensure that any further spread is avoided. What color are lice nits? Lice nits look like small whitish or yellow specs in the hair, located very close to the scalp (in mild climates) which are attached to the hair strands by glue-like saliva. They are often mistaken for dandruff or flaky dry skin on the scalp; however there are two simple ways you can confirm if they are dandruff or nits.

Lice and Nits
An everyday dandruff shampoo (like Head and Shoulders) will wash dandruff out of the hair, but it will not loosen the nits from the hair shaft. Another quick and easy way to confirm is to get a torch and magnified glass for a close up inspection and to see if they are live, hatched or dead nits. They can be removed with fingers, tweezers or detection combs (also known as lice/nit combs). Metal combs are meant to be more effective than plastic and the closely packed fine teeth will draw the nits out of the hair. The hair should be washed, damp dried and a little conditioner added prior to using the detection comb. It may also pay to get any tangles/knots out with an ordinary comb/brush first.

Lice and Nits

nits and lice
 
Lice and Nits Treatment
In addition to combs, nits can be treated using a number of lice related products such as shampoos, lotions, creams, liquids and sprays. These could be bought over the counter at your local pharmacy or drug store; you could try homemade remedies or if the nits are really bad, there is evidence of live adult lice and the skin is irritated from the saliva left on bites, consult your doctor or GP for direction. Medicated products that can only be prescribed may be necessary. Ensure that everyone who has come into close contact with an infected person is checked and treated at the same time. This may include friends, family, neighbours, after school clubs, sports team etc. Wash all hats, scarves, school uniforms and bedding if there's a chance lice could remain hidden and disinfect or dispose of any infected brushes and combs.
 

 

 

How to treat Nits and Lice
The best way of preventing nits is to educate people on what they are and how they can be caught. Avoid unnecessary head to head contact at school, do not share hair brushes, hats or combs and perform regular checks to ensure you are free of nits. As there are little to no symptoms for some people, nits can be setting up shop in your hair for weeks.. maybe even months before they're noticed. If this is the case, then it is likely that they have spread to others in that time and before you know it, there's a local outbreak and lots of irritable and uncomfortable heads. Regular checks throughout the year may lessen the chances of epidemics and outbreaks.

Thousands of people search to find out about different types of louse and how to get rid of them. Fortunately there are so many products available on line, you should be able to find what you want without too much of a problem. We hope that you have found this article a useful guide and that any questions you may have had have been answered. You will find that this website is a great resource, whether you are looking to learn more, purchase products or just seek some quiet information. Men, women and children are all affected by these parasites and we hope you have located the treatment you may need, be it a comb, lotion, cream, medication or shampoo. Lice & Nits treatments and remedies should be sought after quickly and if you have crabs you should seek medical advice so they cannot be spread or infect others.

Lice Nits Eggs

Head Lice and Nits

  • Lice & Nits
  • Combs, Liquids, Lotions, Insecticides and Medication for control
  • Facts and Information about a body louse, head louse, hair louse and pubic louse
  • How do you get head-lice? Dandruff? Remedies for head-lice!
  • Need pubic-lice treatment? Find out what to do here
  • Symptoms of head-lice? Search our information on Combs!
  • Life Cycle of head-lice and information on possible prevention methods, treatment and avoidance
  • What is a lice-body? Take a look at our Pictures Pages!

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