Useful information, lice facts and how to prepare for your visit.
Useful information, lice facts and how to prepare for your visit.
Although the feeding bite of the louse is painless, its saliva can cause an allergic reaction in many people. There can be red marks and itching at the site of the bite. Reaction severity depends on host sensitivity and number of prior exposures. Initial infestation may produce no signs or symptoms for 4 to 6 weeks. Subsequent infestations may cause itching within 24 to 48 hours. Thus, first-time infestations are often asymptomatic, and severe itching usually indicates an infestation that has been present for several weeks. Fifty % of the population are asymptomatic and never itch. This may account for the high rate of re-infestation among individuals who appear to be lice-free.
Intense itching at the site of the bite compels a person to scratch, often breaking the skin. The open scratches, in turn, create an entryway for germs and lice feces and may lead to secondary infections and swollen glands in the neck.
Secondary infections are far worse than the lice themselves and often lead to far more serious problems. One of our male clients went to a pediatrician with what was assumed to be mumps. Upon examination, the pediatrician discovered that the child had head lice and a reaction to the lice saliva caused his enlarged glands. Likewise, the child’s mother had been feeling lethargic. She had complained to her doctor that she was feeling “lousy” for no apparent reason, and he treated her for depression. When she found out that her child had lice, we checked her and discovered that she also had lice. Upon the elimination of their lice problem, both returned to being physically normal.
Other lice symptoms are:
With a large number of lice bites, the infested individual may be feverish and feel tired and irritable due to lack of sleep, hence the term “feeling lousy.” Chronic scalp infections are not uncommon in individuals with active head lice infestations, especially in tropical climates or when daily hygiene is difficult to maintain.
Despite what you may have heard or done in the past, cleaning your home or classroom need not be very difficult. Studies have shown that there is less than 2% chance of anyone getting lice from items such as stuffed animals, bedding, carpet, linens, helmets, hats, coats, dress-up clothes, and draperies. This is because lice cannot live more than approximately 24 hours off the head.
We recommend you do ONLY 5 things:
Make an appointment for as soon as you can. As a quick fix, get a good lice comb (we recommend the TerminatorTM) and thoroughly comb your child’s hair while wet to remove as many lice as you can. You can also wash your child’s hair with a mint-based shampoo and conditioner. Use the shampoo and conditioner only a couple of times a week, as they can cause dry scalp and increased itching.
Head lice are tiny six-legged blood-sucking parasites. Each leg is equipped with a claw, enabling the lice to grasp onto the shaft of the child’s hair. They can vary in color from grayish white to reddish brown. Head lice, like chameleons, have the ability to adapt to their environment.
The female louse lays her eggs by gluing them to your hair shafts. She will produce approximately 200 eggs in her lifetime. Eggs, or nits as they’re commonly called, generally hatch in 7 to 10 days. Once hatched, they have a life expectancy of approximately 30 days.
Lice are wingless and cannot jump or fly. They can, however, move with amazing speeds.
They depend on human blood for survival. A louse separated from its human host will rarely survive more than 24 hours.
No one knows for sure. The first mention of lice existence is in the Bible.
In almost all cases, lice are transmitted from one human host to another, brought about mainly as a result of head-to-head contact.
Certain people just seem to attract lice. Head lice are always on the lookout for a favorable environment.
There are many factors that draw head lice to one individual over another. Blood type and Rh factor are among them.
While it’s more commonly spread among children, parents and other adults are not immune. When hair has contact with another’s hair (and it will), if that person has lice and you are a favorable environment, you take the risk of exposing yourself to an uninvited houseguest.
Head lice actually prefer a clean head of hair. Lice, however, are not prejudicial. A louse’s only concern is for its own survival. To accomplish this, the louse needs to feed and is always looking for the most convenient means of doing so.
While we hear this question a lot, we strongly discourage it. It is nice in theory but wrong in actuality. Shampooing daily does nothing to prevent head lice.
Since nits are glued to the hair, all the brushing and washing on earth won’t change that fact. The eggs are coated with a fixative substance, which literally cements them to the hair shaft. They are blood-sucking parasites with crab-like claws. They can attach themselves to your hair and will hang on for dear life.
The most obvious way is the usual itchy scalp so commonly, but not always, found in head lice cases. The only way to confirm your suspicions, however, is by a thorough examination of your child’s hair. Making head lice exams a part of your regular routine will allow you to identify the problem at its onset and thus prevent head lice from taking over your family, your home and your life. To be on the safe side, let us check your child. Once your child is in our system, you only pay $15 for each head check. The first time you come you pay $25 and receive a TerminatorTM comb for home use.
If you find head lice on your child’s head, take care of the problem right away. Each day wasted is an increased opportunity for reproduction, not to mention the additional chances of spreading to others. There are many options for lice removal. Of course, in our opinion, professional lice removal by Lice Solutions is the best. However, how you treat the problem is entirely up to you.
No. We do not accept insurance. However, we do provide you with the necessary code so you can submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.
Be wary of any service that claims to have a 100% success rate, and remember a truly efficient service
Head lice are one of the number one reasons for absenteeism in schools across the country.
It’s impossible to know exactly how many cases of head lice there are each year. Statistics derived from product sales, however, suggest that the U.S. alone sees over 12 million cases of head lice each year. It is estimated that parents spend 150 million dollars annually trying to be rid of this problem. The cost is far greater when you factor in the missed wages that often occur as a result of parents being forced to miss work while tending to their child’s head lice problem.
For the most part, head lice themselves are just an irritating problem. While in some cases their saliva can produce an allergic reaction among certain individuals, these reactions are usually mild compared to the risk involved with many shampoo products.
Products containing Lindane have caused the greatest concerns. Exposure to the neurotoxic product has been linked to seizures, developmental disabilities, hormone disruption and worse yet ? cancer. Thanks to the EPA, one can no longer use Lindane as a source of treatment when dealing with our animals or our environment; as it is considered too dangerous an option, BUT IT IS STILL ALLOWED AS A HEAD LICE SHAMPOO. Thankfully, many states, including California, New York, and Michigan have taken this decision out of the FDA’s hands and banned the pharmaceutical use within their states.
Adding to the dangers is the fact that many parents fail to follow proper directions, leaving the shampoo on longer than recommended or re-treating too quickly. Improper treatment is one of the biggest causes of re-infestation and among the greatest dangers to your child. Another such danger, and one clearly marked on the shampoo packaging, is the danger in treating a child under the age of 2 or the use of such products by pregnant individuals.
The National Pediculosis Association was formed in 1982. Since then the Association has made great strides in increasing awareness through research and education. The group fought to limit the use of potentially harmful products containing dangerous chemicals such as Lindane and was also instrumental in establishing the current “No Nit” policy still utilized in many schools today. The NPA was also instrumental in recognizing the importance of combing and through their research they helped to revolutionize the way we treat head lice, with the use of better and more effective combs.
Lice cannot live off the head for more than 24 hours and begin to die after approximately 12 hours.
Lice can travel 9 inches per minute! They have 6 legs, which helps them move forward, backward and even sideways!
Lice need blood to survive & must feed every 3-4 hours. A nymph must feed within 1-2 hours after birth.
Cetaphil may kill some lice, but it doesn’t kill the nits. It requires multiple treatments and is no more effective than other available OTC products.
The intense heat of a flat iron can kill lice and possibly damage some of the nits in the ironing process. It doesn’t, however, kill all of them. Furthermore, because most bugs are found closest to the scalp, and a flat iron cannot have direct contact with the scalp, far more lice and nits remain unaffected by this process.
The AirAlle is a device that kills lice and nits through dehydration. It is widely popular and claims to kill 92% of lice and nits. However, you still need to comb to eliminate all evidence. While we applaud this means of bringing safer alternatives to the market, we believe that our methodical approach, when used beginning to end, is the most efficient means of ensuring a successful outcome.
Although hairspray is often thought to be a preventative, it is not. Many people believe that a dirty head of hair can’t get head lice, therefore, they tend to over-apply hairspray, gels and similar products. While hairspray does keep hair closer to the scalp, making it less likely to have contact with another person’s head, this is not a strong guarantee that lice will be prevented.
The only difference a warmer climate makes is that the bugs have the ability to move more freely about the hair and therefore, will lay eggs throughout the hair; while in colder climates they generally stay closer to the scalp. Head lice exist virtually everywhere!
There are many reasons why some people seem to get lice repeatedly. First is the likelihood that they never got rid of it. Second is the fact that they are back in the same environment, sharing close contact with the same individuals that they were around when they had lice, thus risking re-infestation. Additionally, when the bugs feed on people, they leave a scent behind, actually acting as an attraction for more head lice. While no one knows for certain how long this lasts, we always encourage clients to be extremely cautious for three weeks and extra careful for 90 days after battling a case of head lice.
While it may seem that you see more cases of head lice during the school months, it is not due to a lice season. Lice happen all year round. However, since children have more contact with each other in a class environment than during the summer months, you obviously see an increase in numbers. Additionally, there are many schools that still enforce head lice policies, therefore making those numbers more obvious.
When in the dying stage (whether at the end of its normal life span or after its food source is taken away from it) it is not likely that a female louse will lay eggs. The nits need hair to cling to, so nits wouldn’t survive if laid off the hair. Also, when in the dying stage, the louse is in a weakened state.
While it is more likely to find nits closer to the scalp, nits can be found an inch or two or even further down the hair shaft, especially in warmer climates where bugs can move more freely throughout the hair. All the bug knows is that it’s hair, not where they belong on the strand. We have examined samples of hair with multiple eggs on it only to discover that the eggs nearest the root were empty, while eggs farther from the scalp were viable.
If the head lice are fertilized females, they can and will begin laying eggs immediately. Another point to keep in mind is that head lice generally travel in harems, often consisting of seven or eight females and one male. With this many egg-laying females laying eight to ten eggs daily, you can see how what starts as a simple case of head lice can escalate very quickly.
The only way to be certain if a nit is viable or not is to look at it under a microscope. This is one of the main reasons why no-nit policies exist. Obviously, you’re not going to stop and examine every nit. So as policy goes, if you see a nit, pull it!
A single female louse lays eggs twice a day and four to five eggs each time. Multiply that by the 10, 20, even 40 or 60 bugs that might be on the head and it’s easy to see how a severe infestation can develop so quickly.
Head lice only live on the head. But they can live in places other than the scalp. They may live in a beard or mustache, in eyebrows, or in rare cases in eyelashes. Lice Solutions has treated these extreme cases and works with a doctor if necessary.
When we look under a microscope we can see bugs breathing inside the eggs!
Mint is an offensive odor to lice, making the hair a less desirable environment.
Head lice are primarily spread through head-to-head contact. That is why communication with those individuals with whom you’ve had recent contact with is so important.
The general rule is that head lice don’t carry disease. The fact that head lice have a low morbidity rate and are fairly host-specific reduces the odds of spreading disease. Some researchers in the field, however, believe that they carry disease, and studies are being done in that area to prove it.
Pediculosis is another word for head lice.
A pediculicide is a pesticide that kills lice.
If a person who has lice dies, it is usually due to other factors, such as infections that come from scratching the scalp with dirty nails or from unsafe treatment methods.
Head lice are highly contagious. Whether or not you choose to battle them, if you don’t rid yourself of them you are spreading them to everyone around you. While not generally life- threatening, they can lead to other illnesses and, in some situations, even death.
Wouldn’t that be a perfect world? However, there is no miracle product. The product merely assists one in the treatment process. Therefore, we always encourage people to exercise caution and to use safe, non-toxic products when looking for a treatment product.
First and foremost, get a good lice comb. We recommend the TerminatorTM because its micro grooves grab the nits well. Beyond that we encourage parents to look for safe, non-toxic products, such as the ones we have for purchase.
Many products currently available have been on the market for about thirty years. In part because of over use of these over-the-counter products, the bugs have built up a resistance to them. Regrettably, we were warned over twenty years ago that these products were losing their effectiveness. User error in proper treatment methods also plays a role in treatment failure. We must now look for safer and more effective alternatives, such as the methodical combing that we do at Lice Solutions.
We recommend damp combing because the dampness makes it easier for the comb to glide through the hair, making removal of lice and nits more effective. However, if someone is itching, combing on dry hair is ok. You should comb after a bath or in the shower a couple of times a week.
It is possible to have head lice for years without knowing it, especially if the person does not experience itching. Generally, however, by the time someone identifies head lice, he/she has had head lice for a minimum of two weeks, but more likely 4-8 weeks.
Don’t treat needlessly. We like to say, “If one family member has a cold, would you give medicine to everyone?” Of course not! What you would do, however, is exercise precautionary measures. The same holds true with lice. Be aware, check, comb, and watch for signs, and only if necessary, treat. So we do a Head Check first, and only if Evidence of head lice is identified on that person, we recommend treatment. Check first and only if necessary treat.
On rare occasions, a case of head lice can go away by itself. More often, however, the case continues to multiply and to spread to others.
You should not continue to re-treat her. Instead keep looking and combing. The fact that you found more nits does not mean that she has a new case. It could be nothing more than missed nits. The question is not that you are finding them but how you are finding them. When a louse lays eggs, it lays them in clusters of three to five nits at a time. Imagine taking a quarter and setting it over the nit. Any nits within that area are considered to be a cluster. If you are finding them in a cluster, then you need to comb more and look harder as that could mean a bug still exists. If, however, you find them scattered (for example, one behind right ear, one in bangs, and one at nape of neck) then more likely these nits were missed. With a little time for hair growth, a nit that was originally at the root of the hair has now grown away enough to become visible to the eye.
Hot spots are areas of the scalp where you are more like to find lice – the nape of the neck, behind the ears and the crown of the head.
These are all types of lice.
In order to remove the lice from your hair, dreadlocks need to be cut off and extensions need to be removed.
To emphasize how severe a neglected problem can get, we like to share a story. Several years ago, one of our local middle-school nurses called about a seventh-grader who was battling a head lice problem. The school was well aware of it, but since the child had already missed so much school, she was allowed to continue in class.
What the school wasn’t aware of was the real severity of the situation! Our technician, ill-prepared for how severe the problem was, quickly had to call for reinforcements. The child’s head was so infested that it took two technicians four hours each to comb through her hair and even then they didn’t get it all.
Because her case of head lice had been neglected for so long, it was difficult to work on her ?tender head. She suffered with multiple open wounds that had blood and puss oozing from her.
The technicians worked diligently, each taking a side of the child’s head. Working as gently as possible they attempted to remove the lice and nits. They had to soften the hair before they could even start and had to have the child rewash her hair three more times during the treatment process. Hundreds of live lice literally ran from this child’s hair and there was little free space for head lice to lay their eggs on. Not needing to work for their food, the lice were literally basking in the blood.
Finally the technicians admitted they had done all they could to do more required medical help. A doctor prescribed antibiotics to heal the sores and kill off any remaining lice.
This also became a child-neglect issue since the situation should never have gotten that out of hand. Mom, knowing the child had head lice, felt that at 12 years of age she was old enough to tend to her own head. It also became a serious school problem. Upon notification to her school nurse, they did a head by head check of the entire seventh grade and sent 86 children home in one day!!
While I know this description has probably made your stomach turn, it’s important to understand how quickly a neglected case of head lice can become a very severe problem. The most important factor that can’t be stressed enough is that having head lice should be no more embarrassing than having chicken pox! As parents, we’re sorry for those to whom we unknowingly spread it, but it happens.
We need to stop the blame game. That means, don’t look to blame and don’t stress over being blamed. Again, lice happens! The only fault you should accept is for failing to act in the first place. We always tell our families, “It’s not just about where you got head lice, but who you gave head lice to as well!” Get over the blame game, accept that it happens, and deal with the problem.
We like the TerminatorTM comb because it works well! The TerminatorTM’s micro-grooved design in a spiral form and the length and width of its prongs makes combing easier to grab the lice and nits! The end result of combing with the TerminatorTM is less time than manually picking and a greater success rate upon completion. A comb comparison study performed in our West Palm Beach office in May of 2007 on 100 lice-infested individuals found that the TerminatorTM comb outperformed the Lice Meister by 2 to 1 and the Rid comb by almost 4 to 1. The TerminatorTM comb can be purchased from Lice Solutions on this site. Click here to purchase the TerminatorTM comb.
VOLUNTEER! Volunteers at Lice Solutions to help us fulfill our mission of removing lice from every child who suffers from it. Click here to contact us.
We believe that, “If every parent of a school aged child had a good lice comb and used it (for two to five minutes on wet hair) once or twice a week, lice would not be a problem because we as parents would find it at first onset, before it had a chance to escalate or spread to others.” It’s a great policy; now we just need more schools incorporating it and more parents acting on it.
Only through improved “No Nit” policies, as well as parents and school administrators working together, can we hope to bring about a positive end to this ever-increasing problem. Remember you’re in a potentially “no-win” situation! If you rid your child of head lice, only to return the child to an environment that is not being checked, you’ll be pretty much guaranteed that you’ll be treating it again and again!!
By volunteering at Lice Solutions you will have support in: