Lice are small insects that feed on the blood of the human scalp. They are very common in young children and their families. A lice infestation is not a sign of poor personal hygiene or an unclean living environment. Insects are collected by head-to-head contact.
While the condition cannot be prevented, it is important to know the key symptoms so that a person can take steps to get rid of them.
According to the Mayo Clinic, itchy scalp, neck and ears is the most common symptom. "When a person has an infestation for the first time, itching may not occur for two to six weeks after the infestation," the health site explained.
Head lice can also create the feeling that something is moving in a person's hair.
Lice can be difficult to spit because they are small, avoid light and move quickly. They tend to measure up to 3 mm long, and lice eggs can be a more noticeable sign.
"Lice eggs (nits) are brown or white (empty shells) and stick to the hair," the NHS explained.
The only way to make sure someone has lice is to find live lice, the health agency said.
You can do it by combing your hair with a special fine tooth comb (detection comb).
How to get rid of lice
Head lice expert Hedrin, Ian Burgess, revealed to Express.co.uk how to get rid of an outbreak of lice.
Is there any preventive measure?
"Avoidance tactics will not prevent you from getting lice, although minimizing head-to-head contact can help," Ian said.
"Hedrin has a clinically proven lice protection spray called Protect & Go. It helps protect children from parasites by breaking the life cycle and killing lice before an infestation can be established. The spray is also good for children's hair and should be used as part of the regular cleaning regime, almost the same as cleaning teeth or using shampoo, "he said.
If you have them, what should you do?
If a person finds live lice, first of all, don't worry, Ian said. He explained: "Lice are a normal part of life and there is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Research suggests that lice have become resistant to traditional pesticide treatments, so choose a pesticide-free treatment that works by suffocating them. and stripping them of their waxy coating, making them dehydrate or interrupting their ability to handle water.
"These physical modes of action mean that, in theory, there is no chance of head lice building resistance. Try a treatment that contains dimethicone or octanediol. If you are not sure about treatment options, talk to your pharmacist." .
Are you using the right treatment?
It is known that some parents use mayonnaise, olive oil, raw eggs and vinegar to get rid of lice, but there is no evidence to show that these remedies work to eradicate lice, according to Ian.
He said: "There is a great deal of incorrect information about head lice online that gives concerned parents the wrong confidence in ineffective methods. When they follow this advice, head lice are allowed to spread faster and faster. The key to killing those lice and to truly eliminate an infestation is to use a clinically proven pesticide-free treatment or a protective spray such as Hedrin All-In-One Shampoo, following the instructions and repeating a week later if directed. Then it is vital to check the hair every week looking for signs of recurrence infestations. "
Are you using the treatment correctly?
Apply everything? Ian said: "It is important to apply the right amount of treatment directly on the hair, making sure to cover the entire head and all the hair."
Work in? Ian advised: “A good tip is to use a comb or fingers to ensure that the hair is covered from the root to the tip. Hair must be completely saturated with product to ensure that each lice is drowned. ”
Leave it alone? Ian said: "One of the most important and crucial tips to follow when using the treatment is to leave it in the hair for the recommended time."
Washed? Ian said: "Some treatments require you to wash your hair normally, but others require you to apply shampoo before getting wet."
Repeat? Ian said: “Some treatments require you to repeat the same process several days later.
Head lice can also be confused with other causes, so it is important to keep this in mind.
Dead or empty nits from a previous lice infestation
Residues of hair products.
Grain of dead hair tissue on a hair shaft (hair mold)
Crust of tissue, dirt or other debris.
Other small insects found in the hair.