Head lice are wingless insects of a grey or brown colour that can live in human hair. They are particularly common in children, especially those who are between 4 and 11 years old. Indeed, while there are no official statistics, it has been estimated that every year at least a third of children in the UK will have a lice infestation at some point. It is sometimes thought that infestations occur as a result of poor hygiene, but this is not the case. Lice can infest any type of hair. Neither do they infest long hair any more than what they do short hair. They are unable to fly,swim or jump, but they can be spread by head to head contact.

One of the main symptoms of lice is itching, but itching only really occurs if the individual experiences an allergic reaction to lice bites are not painful. The best way to find out if someone has lice is to comb their hair while it is wet with a very fine-toothed comb. You can get one of these special combs from a local chemist or from a number of shops that have a health section.


Prevention and Treatment

Lice shield products are available that can act as a repellent. Prevention of lice is not always possible, but using a comb to check regularly will detect the problem early. Female lice lay their eggs, which are called nits, close to the scalp of the human so that the eggs can be warmed from the heat omitted from the patient's head. As they are no bigger than a pin head, it is almost impossible to spot nits, however, they become more obvious, especially in darker hair when the hair grow and removes the nits from the scalp. The female will normally lay eggs within seven days of hatching, so treating the problem early will stop them from spreading.

Lice can be treated by using a medicated shampoo or spray. They can also be treated without medication by regular wet combing with a lice comb, but this will take longer. Those who prefer not to use chemicals can try natural remedies, such as tea tree oil.

There are plenty of online resources where you can find out the facts about lice. Information is also available online regarding the different products that are available to treat lice, as well as any natural alternatives.

Price comparison sites can be useful for choosing a remedy, as these contain customer reviews on the products.

In short:
  • Lice are not caused by poor hygiene
  • Lice treatment is available in the form of medicated treatments or combs
  • Combs can be used to detect an infestation and for removal of lice