Head lice - what do head lice look like? How to get rid of them?

Head lice are tiny wingless parasitic insects that inhabit human hair and feed on a small amount of blood. The appearance of uninvited guests in their hair is a common problem. Head lice, nits are very contagious, and getting rid of them is sometimes quite difficult. In medicine, infection with parasitic insects is called pediculosis.

Head Lice: Causes of Lice

It is believed that pediculosis is common only among those individuals who lead an asocial lifestyle and do not follow the rules of personal hygiene. However, this opinion is erroneous, since even rich people living in luxury have head lice. Where do these insects come from? What are the causes of head lice infection? These questions are of great concern to many.

The most common infection occurs in kindergartens, schools, boarding schools and other public places. Indirect transfer of pediculosis is carried out from patient to healthy with the general use of one comb, the exchange of hats, scarves, hair accessories, as well as through towels, pillows, garments and so on.

If a person has head lice, the reasons for their appearance will not necessarily be associated with a violation of hygiene. You can pick up a parasite anywhere. They crawl from one head to another by direct contact, as head lice are transmitted in this way, because they do not know how to fly or jump. The most frequent infection is carried out when visiting baths, saunas, swimming pools, using bed linen in train cars, etc.

Head louse - what is it?

To detect a parasite, you need to have an understanding of what head lice are, how they look, how they move. For example, it is known that these insects do not know how to jump or fly, but only creep from hair to hair or from head to head.

Head lice are tiny insects that parasitize a person’s body. They have a gray color, but, as a rule, change their shade, disguised as a person's hair color.

The female has a long torso of a flattened form measuring about 2-4 mm. Males are slightly smaller than females. The parasites have three pairs of legs, at the ends of which there are specific hooks with which they are attached to the core part of the hair. These parasites are very mobile: in a minute an adult insect is able to cover a distance of 25 centimeters. In addition, head lice are fertile enough to increase their population at times in a short time.

Adults lay eggs called nits, which are firmly attached to the root part of the hair. After about a week and a half, nymphs hatch from them - this is how young offspring of lice are called. The development of head lice from the nymph stage to the adult individual lasts approximately 10-12 days. After that, the female is ready to reproduce offspring. Insects feed on human blood. Proculling the scalp, they cause itching, irritation, burning of the integument.

The life cycle of the parasite

Lice spend their entire lives on the scalp of a human head. If uninvited guests leave human hair in any way, they die within 1-2 days. Such insects cannot exist on animals.

To assess the rate of lice development, it is important to know how quickly head lice multiply. The development cycle of the insect is 30-40 days, during which time the louse manages to set aside 2-3 hundreds of nits. Lice eggs are small translucent or white-yellow seeds, similar to sesame seeds. As a rule, the female fastens the larva in the root part of the hair, about 5 mm from the skin surface. After 10 days, young individuals hatch out of eggs - nymphs. During this time, the hair has time to grow back a bit, so all the nits, located more than 1 centimeter from the skin, are already empty.

After 2 weeks the nymphs turn into adults capable of laying eggs. With each new offspring, reproduction of head lice is becoming more and more spontaneous. The sooner pediculosis is detected, the easier it will be to get rid of it. The main thing is to be able to recognize it by symptoms.

Signs of Pediculosis

Here they are, head lice. Where the parasites come from, we already know, now let's figure out how this problem manifests itself. The main symptoms of the disease include the following:

  • Itchy scalp. Most often, the discomfort is manifested behind the ears, in the neck and neck. Itching acts as a peculiar allergic reaction to insect saliva. In the first weeks after infection with parasites such as head lice, symptoms in the form of itching, as a rule, do not appear. An unpleasant sensation arises after the first nymphs hatch from the eggs and begin to look for a “feed” for growth and livelihood. When a sufficient amount of louse saliva accumulates in the layers of the epidermis, an itch will appear.
  • The presence of lice in the scalp. Parasites can be seen, although they are quite difficult to detect: they are small, they move very quickly, and are almost indistinguishable in hair without an additional source of light.
  • The presence of nits on the hair shafts. Lice eggs are mounted on the hair, besides successfully masked by its color. The most common place for attaching nits is around the ears and along the hairline on the neck. Often the lice larvae are confused with dandruff, dermatological diseases of the scalp, which significantly complicates the diagnosis of lice.

When should I see a doctor?

If your child or another family member has a head louse, treatment should be started only after consulting a doctor. Studies show that many patients were treated with insects with drugs or home remedies at a time when the parasites were not active. Moreover, sometimes nits can be confused with dandruff, remnants of cosmetic products on the hair (for example, varnish), dermatological diseases of the scalp, empty nits left from a previous infection with pediculosis, and so on. It is harmful to treat the head unnecessarily, since almost all the drugs for lice are toxic and have various side effects.

How to remove head lice?

For all the time that a person is familiar with lice, they have tried many methods of destruction from these insects. Lice head - very tenacious parasites, so the usual shampoo to get rid of them will not work. Effectively deal with parasites can be drugs and folk remedies.

Drugs that kill lice and fleas contain substances called insecticides. Among such means - "Permethrin", "Malathion", "Cypermethrin", "Fenotrin" and others. Unfortunately, the use of medications containing the above substances can be dangerous to humans. Therefore, wondering how to remove head lice with these drugs, you should carefully study the instructions and follow all the prescribed recommendations.

If you have a head louse, treatment can be carried out by less toxic means (for example, vinegar, kerosene, hydrogen peroxide). Such methods also have their drawbacks: if used improperly, you can face a chemical burn of the scalp, baldness or baldness. Parasites can be combed thick comb, which is used specifically to combat lice. Now, such ridges are not cheap, but this method of removing lice has no side effects. However, in order for it to bear fruit, you should spend a lot of time and effort.

Lice Remedies

In the treatment of pediculosis, people are concerned about the question of which remedy for head lice is the most effective and at the same time safe. After all, if we expose the scalp to chemical attack by aggressive substances, then we want the result to be high. To combat parasites used aerosol preparations, sprays, lotions, special shampoos and mechanical means (for example, combs for combing nits and lice). Each option has its pros and cons, contraindications and features of the application.

Sprays against pediculosis

The most effective drugs for lice and nits include funds "Para-Plus" and "A-par." These aerosols are intended for the treatment of linen and clothing for pediculosis. Some of them are suitable for treating the scalp. To achieve good results, it is recommended that things, linen (especially in the seams and folds) and the head be processed at the same time to avoid re-invasion.

The composition of the aerosol "A-steam" includes piperonyl butoxide and esdepalletrin. The preparation does not leave stains on clothes, and the things processed by it do not need the subsequent washing. However, such things can not be used immediately: first, they should be ventilated before use, and they can be washed in 2-3 days, not earlier.

Precautions include treatment with open vents. In case of contact with eyes, rinse thoroughly with water. The instructions noted that the uncontrolled use of hair treatment products is undesirable because it is very toxic. It is not recommended to spray it near other people with asthma, children, pregnant women. The components of the drug may be an allergic reaction, often there is lacrimation, burning of the mucous membranes, sore throat.

A safer drug against pediculosis is Para-Plus aerosol. The active ingredients in him are permethrin, malathion, draned butoxide. Despite the fact that Para-Plus is considered a more benign remedy for killing lice, its action is very effective. The aerosol is sprayed directly onto the hair and scalp, after treatment the hair is not covered.

After 10 minutes, you should wash your head with ordinary shampoo, and comb out dead lice and nits with a thick comb. Linen, clothes, combs also need to be treated with the drug to avoid reinfection. The tool is not recommended for children under 2 years of age, people with asthma, who are sensitive to the active components of the aerosol. Leave the product on the hair for more than 10 minutes is also not worth it, otherwise there may be risks of chemical burns.

Nits and Lice Sprays

Parasites are effectively eliminated by using sprays such as Pediculen Ultra, Paranit and Nuda. These drugs are well proven and have high efficiency. They are an oily, odorless, oily, yellowish liquid that first paralyzes parasitic insects and then kills them.

"Paranit" (spray) is applied to dry hair, and when it is fully moisturized, the product is rubbed into the hair roots. If the curls are rather thick and long, then they are combed out by separate strands. The product is left for 15 minutes, and then wash your head with warm water using regular shampoos. Dead lice and nits should be combed with a thick comb. After that, the head is washed again with a special “Paranit” shampoo, and if necessary, repeat the procedure in 7-10 days. Contraindications to the use of the drug are:

  • age under 3 years
  • dermatological diseases
  • hypersensitivity to spray components,
  • pregnancy and lactation period.

Spray "Nuda" has a highly effective anti-pediculosis effect. Just like Paranit, the drug is allowed to be used by adults and children over 3 years old. It is sprayed onto dry hair and then rubbed into the roots. The exposure time for parasites is 45 minutes, after which the hair is thoroughly washed with regular shampoo and combed out with a thick comb, which is sold complete with a Nyud spray.

A pedicle for combing dead nits and lice is provided with Pediculen Ultra. Its difference from the above preparations is that it cannot be used for children under 5 years of age. The active ingredient is anise oil of 6% concentration.

To destroy the head lice, the hair is abundantly moistened with the preparation, carefully rubbed into the skin, and after half an hour it is washed off first with clean water and then with the help of a shampoo. When re-invasion procedure is repeated. It is necessary to work in gloves, if the patient uses contact lenses, they must be removed before the treatment begins. Contraindications are the same as those described above.

Shampoos as a remedy for head lice

Compared to aerosols and sprays, head lice shampoos are less effective agents that belong to the group of insecticides of phosphoorganic origin. The principle of action of such drugs lies in their deep penetration into the body of the parasite, as a result of which they die. These products include Pedilin, Parazidoz shampoos and others.

The product is applied to wet hair, carefully rubbed into the skin and left on the hair for 5-10 minutes. After that, the hair is thoroughly washed and combed thick comb. A week later, the procedure must be repeated.

It is important to remember that shampoos against pediculosis are used only on prescription and for children older than 3 years. Pregnant and lactating women should not use such tools, and people who are sensitive to the active ingredients of drugs should be used with caution.

Chemerichnaya water against head lice

Head lice are susceptible to elimination by using the cemeric water. This fluid is a drug that not only fights parasitic insects, but also has a beneficial effect on the hair in general. The composition includes ethyl alcohol and rhizome extract of hellebore Lobel.

Chemerichna water is sold in pharmacies in bottles. Reviews let you judge him as an effective drug against lice. In addition, the price of the product makes me happy - only 25 rubles per 100 g bottle. Alcohol tincture is applied to the scalp. When biting through lice of soft tissues, a drug that has a destructive effect on the parasite's organism also gets into its digestive system. The disadvantage of the tool is its low effectiveness against nits. The drug is contraindicated in people prone to allergies, pregnant women and children.

Folk remedies for pediculosis

Sometimes it is not possible to eliminate the problem with pharmaceutical preparations. As a rule, such cases include infection in pregnant or lactating women, as well as young children up to 3 years. There are many recipes to help beat head lice. Treatment with folk remedies, of course, is less effective, sometimes it may take more than one treatment procedure of the head, but these methods are safer for humans.

Acetic water is used to etch adult parasites and their offspring. For the preparation of funds required to take in the same amount of vinegar and hot water (the temperature of the latter should be about 60 degrees). The components should be mixed, the resulting solution to process the scalp, then the hair is covered with a plastic bag and wrapped with a warm towel. After half an hour, the hair can be washed with regular shampoo and combed out with a thick comb. With a strong infection, the procedure is repeated several times for two or three days in a row.

Dustov soap has the same effect. They wash their heads instead of shampoo, and, as a rule, after the first use there is a complete destruction of lice and nits.In order to exterminate the parasites on the head, you can use cranberry juice, which has a stunning effect, kerosene (it is applied along the entire length of hair from horses to ends). After skin treatment, the head is wrapped, leaving the product for 2-3 hours, and then the hair is thoroughly washed with shampoo several times, the dead insects are combed out with a comb.

Such plants as mint, pomegranate, geranium, burdock, onion, garlic, cumin and others are widely used to kill head lice. Burdock is used in the preparation of decoctions for washing the head, instead of it, you can use the roots and stalks of the elecampane. Medicinal raw materials finely chopped (or take the dry ingredients in the pharmacy), pour water and boil. Then the broth is allowed to infuse and filter.

Geranium oil is mixed with ordinary shampoo, applied to the hair along the entire length, rubbed into the scalp and left for an hour. After that, still soaped hair comb combed. Then the agent is washed off. For rinsing in a liter of water, add a few drops of oil and wash hair.

A good therapeutic effect gives a mixture of decoction of mint and pomegranate juice. From the leaves of mint they prepare a concentrated decoction, mix it with the juice of pomegranate in the same proportions and rub it into the scalp. After that, the hair is wrapped with a warm scarf, and after 2 hours it is washed off in the usual way.

Prevention of infection with head lice

To avoid lice infestation, you should try to avoid direct contact with people who neglect the rules of the hyena, and especially with those who have symptoms of pediculosis. Do not use other people's combs, hats, scarves, hairpins and other hair accessories.

Linen should be washed regularly at high temperatures. At the first sign of infection, the heads of all family members should be carefully inspected. Sometimes with a view of prophylaxis it is recommended to treat hair with low concentrated shampoos for lice and nits.

What does a louse look like?

A louse is a small and agile insect. In just a minute, it is able to cover a distance of 23 cm. It is difficult to notice the parasite.

The color of the louse is gray or whitish. In length, it does not exceed 3 mm. The parasite has 3 pairs of legs.

On the head it is easier to detect eggs that lay lice. They are called nits. Lice lay them in significant quantities.

Nits are represented by dense bags of yellow color. They are well soldered with hair. They can not just shake.

The size of the nits does not exceed 1.5 mm.

Lice and nits often settle on the scalp. However, sometimes they inhabit the eyelashes and eyebrows.

One insect lives 3 weeks. If it leaves the head, the life of the louse is reduced to 24 hours. Nits are able to remain viable for 14 days.

Lice feed on human blood. After infection, the head begins to itch after about 14-30 days. Itching is explained by the fact that during skin piercing, lice excrete saliva, which leads to irritation.

Causes of lice on the head

Lice do not know how to fly or jump.

They are able to get on the head of a person in such ways as:

During direct contact.

When using other people's personal care products, such as towels, bedding, and hairbrushes.

When using a hat taken from an infected person.

Lice are able to run across from one head to another, upon contact of the hair. The probability of infection is especially high if the hair is long.

Many people believe that lice are the lot of asocial groups. In fact, anyone can become infected, regardless of their status. The probability of infection increases in places such as: school, kindergarten, summer camp, sauna, bath, swimming pool, hotel, hairdresser, train.

In the stomach of lice, there are conditions for the reproduction of microbes that can cause typhus or relapsing fever. The disease is transmitted to a person not through a louse bite, but through its feces. Insect sputum causative agents of typhus are absent. Also, the pathogens of the disease go into the external environment when I get crushed. If there are lesions on the scalp, typhoid bacteria will penetrate through them into the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. Also, typhoid fever can occur when pathogenic flora gets on the mucous membranes, or when rubbed into the head. Therefore, it is important to begin treatment immediately after detection of the problem.

Symptoms of lice infestation

The fact that a person has lice can not be understood immediately. The first symptoms develop in 2-3 weeks. Once on the man’s head, the louse is attached to his hair. To breed, it needs blood. The insect eats only it. For blood extraction, lice pierce the scalp with their proboscis. In the place where the bite was taken, a small red spot may remain. These spots begin to itch. After the louse eats up, she starts laying eggs. They are called nits. Eggs securely attached to the hair. They can not be washed off with regular shampoo. A few days later, new insects hatch from nits.

The main symptom of lice infestation is itchy scalp. Most of all he will be in the occipital zone, behind the ears and at the temples. This leads to the fact that a person sleeps worse, his appetite may decrease.

If you carefully examine the scalp, you can find on it yellow crusts. Sometimes there is inflammation of the hair follicles. Where the lice are the most (on the back of the head, behind the ears, etc.), the skin is red, the rashes resemble eczema. If you carefully look at the hair, you can see nits. They have a white or yellowish color. If you crush the nits, you can hear a click.

When the disease is not treated for a long time, the hair sticks together, their follicles become very inflamed and begin to fester. Lice can cause lymphadenitis. At the same time increase in size and begin to hurt the lymph nodes, which are located behind the ears and neck.

Lice removal from the head

In past years, lice therapy was not effective enough. Insects were poisoned with kerosene, tar, dichlorvos, vinegar, cranberry juice. All these tools belong to the people, their use is not recommended in modern conditions.

Now in pharmacies you can buy various drugs for the treatment of lice. They are available in the form of shampoos or sprays.

Means for the treatment of lice:

Flu Marx (450 rubles), Emulsion D-95 (200 rubles). These are safe oils which have no smell, but have sufficient efficiency.

Pedilin shampoo with malathion.

Nittifor, Knicks, Medifox 5% concentrate, Medifox-gel, Hygia, Veda 2. All of these products contain permethrin.

Foxylon. This lotion contains benzyl benzoate.

Shampoo Drops with mineral oils.

A pair plus is a combination drug that contains permethrin, malathion and piperonyl butoxide.

Sulfuric ointment concentration of 5%.

Determine which tool is suitable for a particular person should a dermatologist. Before starting treatment, you should carefully study the instructions for use and strictly follow it. Many drugs are highly toxic, so they need to be used with caution. It is forbidden to use these products for the treatment of pregnant women, small children, people with allergies, as well as patients with respiratory diseases.

After the time of action of the drug will be released, you will need to comb the hair with a comb. Dental teeth should be rare. To make it easier to comb the nits and lice, you need to process the hair with olive oil. For combing using an iron comb.

You can not wash your hair with shampoo for 2 consecutive days after treatment. It is forbidden to use conditioners and hair balsams. They are not used for another 14 days after the treatment, as they create a film on the hair. It will not allow the active substances of the drug to destroy nits.

If lice appear in a small child, then you can cope with them by combing. It is carried out on the 1, 5, 9 and 13 day. Pre-applied hair conditioner, and then they are carefully combed with a comb.

It is important to note that either a combing method or drugs are used to get rid of lice.

Some people think that you can get rid of lice by shortly cutting your hair. In fact, nits are located no more than 5 cm from the surface of the head. Therefore, a haircut does not help.

Until a person is sure that he has got rid of the problem, he is forbidden to visit crowded places. This period is 14 days after treatment.

Repeated probability of infection is low, since lice do not live longer than a day outside the head.

To minimize the risk of head lice again, you need to follow recommendations such as:

Make general cleaning in the room.

Wash bedding and clothes at a temperature of 54 degrees. Nits and lice die after 5 minutes of this treatment.

Disinfect with combs and barrettes. They are placed for an hour in water in which lice shampoo is dissolved, or in an alcohol solution. You can wash the comb with soap and put it in the freezer for 2 days.

Those things that can not be washed, you need to pass in dry cleaning, or for 2 weeks to pack in bags. During this time, all insects will die.

How to get rid of lice for 1 day and forever?

Combing is not inferior in efficiency to the treatment of the head with chemical agents. This was proved during an experiment that was conducted in Belgium.

Drugs can destroy adult insects, but nits often survive. It is firmly soldered to the hair, so repeated treatment of the head with toxic substances is required.

The experiment involved 600 people who were found lice. Half of the subjects were treated with drugs, and the other half - by combing using a hair conditioner. As it was possible to establish, both methods had equivalent efficiency.

Prevention of lice infection

To prevent infection, you must carefully follow the rules of personal hygiene, and not to use other people's personal belongings.

Long hair in public transport should be removed under clothing, or collected in a ponytail. Do not use other people's combs, rubber bands, hairpins, towels. If you have to travel in a train, it is recommended to bring bed linen from home. You can not try on other people's hats.

If lice have been found in one family member, then all people who live with the patient in the same area must undergo treatment.

After treatment, you need to iron all bedding, hats, towels. It is important to inform the school and the kindergarten about your disease in order to prevent the spread of lice.

About the doctor: From 2010 to 2016 practicing physician of the therapeutic hospital of the central medical and sanitary unit No. 21, the city of Elektrostal. Since 2016 he has been working in the diagnostic center №3.

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Pediculosis (lice) is a parasitic skin and hair disease. According to the latest data, over the past 10 years, from 220 to 300 people per 100 thousand of the population have suffered from this disease in Russia. In the capital in 2002, 791 cases were recorded for every 100,000 of the population, children.

Scalp itching is a feeling of discomfort that makes you want to scratch an irritated area. This feeling can be both temporary and permanent, it is able to deliver discomfort to a person. Most often the head itches for a reason.

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Signs of appearance

Symptoms of lice are usually always obvious. This is a characteristic itching in the head or groin area. Also, since insects feed on blood, a person may feel dizzy, loss of strength, appetite and sleep. All this is due to large blood loss. If possible signs of lice are found, it is necessary to immediately take control and prevention measures, otherwise the parasites will multiply rapidly and begin to attack all family members, as well as pets.

Methods of struggle

No normal person will not tolerate any other creatures, especially so bloodthirsty. Therefore, many are wondering how to get rid of lice? Since in our time, this problem is extremely common, there are many ways to combat these insects. First of all, you should pay attention to chemical, physical and folk methods. Each of them has a number of advantages and disadvantages. Folk remedies do not suit everyone. Physical is better to use as a prophylaxis and supplement to other methods. But chemicals have a huge variety and high efficiency.


To combat parasites are very often used chemicals that always show the highest performance. Therefore, it is quite reasonable to use them precisely, since they are the most effective in solving the problem of lice. Today there are a lot of products designed for this purpose: these are shampoos, sprays, aerosols, emulsions, etc. With their help, you can get rid of lice and nits quickly and efficiently. Such drugs are sold in pharmacies, as well as in household, zoological and garden stores.

The list of the most popular chemical products:

  • Spray Nuda. It clogs the airway lice.
  • Comb antiqua. Enjoys the most popular.
  • Concentrate Medifox. Used in a diluted form and copes with its task.
  • Shampoo Pair Plus. With regular use perfectly removes bloodsuckers.

But wards can be poisoned with ordinary chemical poisons like Dichlorvos or Raptor.

Physical means

Can be used both as self-treatment of lice and nits, and as an adjunct to other measures. But in a separate application, they do not have such an effect as chemical and folk. These types of methods include:

  • combing with a comb
  • evaporation in the bath,
  • shaving of hair on the head.

Call of experts

To solve the problem of the appearance of lice in the house can representatives of the service to combat parasites. They use only the most effective chemicals. Therefore, when detecting wards, you can immediately contact the sanitary epidemiological station. The most important thing is to leave the premises during a time of harassment and warn your neighbors. Well, and with the head or pubic species, alas, will have to fight on their own.

What kind of lice does a person have?

Human lice are representatives of the sub-order "eared". There are 2 types of parasites. These include:

  • Head licethat appear in a person's hair.
  • Body licewho prefer to dwell in the folds of clothing, but at the same time feed on human blood.

There is another subspecies of human lice - it is pubic lice, which appear in the intimate areas on the human body. This parasite subspecies has a special limb structure. Therefore, the disease may have a corresponding name - ward pediculosis, pubic pediculosis, head lice, and also mixed variants, when a person has 2 types of parasites on his body. Below in the photo you can see how human lice look.

Appearance: description

Adults do not differ in large size: females grow in length up to 4 mm no more, and males only up to 3 mm. Because of such small sizes, it is almost impossible to consider the parasite in more detail, especially with the naked eye. But if you use a magnifying glass, then easily.

Parasites have an elongated, flat and almost transparent body.Hungry individuals are painted in greyish-brown shades, but after saturation with blood they become red, almost scarlet. In the process of saturation, the body of the parasite increases in size and becomes almost round.

Important fact! Head lice are considered very bloodthirsty parasites: adults feed no less than 2 times a day, and larvae up to 8 times a day. At the same time, adults drink 0.7 ml of blood from a person.

On the breast of the parasite are 3 pairs of limbs, armed with very sharp claws, which allows the insect to move with little effort on human skin. On this part of the body is a breathing apparatus. On the head you can look at simple eyes, as well as antennae, which serve as a rather sensitive organ of smell.

The oral apparatus has a rather complex structure and consists of:

  • From the hole around which are located chitinous hooks, which allows the parasite to firmly hold on to human skin.
  • From stilettos, which represents the needle for piercing.
  • From the tube through which human blood enters the intestinal system of the insect.

Interesting to know! Lice have a rather short proboscis, therefore, in the process of blood saturation, the parasite's head is in the wound, and the parasite itself is forced to raise its back part almost vertically.

Behavior features

As a rule, lice are always at the base of the hair follicles, where they eat. These are parasites that are always in one place of their location and do not leave their usual places, unless the living conditions change. But if a person dies, then the lice will certainly leave their homes in search of another living object, in the form of a person.

Lice feel comfortable at a temperature of about 28 degrees. Already when the temperature drops to +10 degrees, the processes in the body of parasites slow down, and they cease to multiply. At temperatures of +45 degrees and above, as well as at sub-zero temperatures, lice die. Without food, lice live no more than 2 days, regardless of what environment they are in - dry or wet.

It is important to know! It is believed that head lice appear only in those people who do not wash their hair or do it rarely. In fact, they can also appear in those people who monitor the purity of their bodies. Experts have shown that parasites feel more comfortable in clean hair, as in such conditions it is easier for them to move.

What the nits look like

The female's genitals are located on the abdomen, while in males these organs are represented by chitin stripes. After mating, already on the third day, the female begins to lay eggs, and 5-6 pieces daily. If we consider that the female is able to live up to one and a half months, then during this period she lays up to 200 eggs. But this is only one female!

Nits are eggs that do not exceed 1 mm. In appearance, the eggs resemble an elongated capsule with a cap. When the female lays eggs, she releases a special adhesive that reliably holds nits on her hair. Somewhere, in a week or one and a half lice larvae are born, opening the capsule, and the capsules remain hanging on the hair. The larvae that appeared to the world are similar in appearance to the adult individuals, but differ in rather small sizes.

It is important to know! Nits from dandruff can be easily distinguished, if only because they all have the same size, and when pressed on them, a distinctive sound appears, like something crushed. Dandruff is nothing but dead epithelium particles of various sizes. When combing the head, dandruff is strewed, but the nits are securely attached to the hair.

Young individuals, after 3 molts (for a week or one and a half) become mature individuals, ready for further reproduction. Depending on temperature fluctuations, as well as the condition of the skin, the process of reproduction can slow down. In the photo below you can see how the eggs look like lice on the hair and dandruff.

Signs of head lice

When the parasite starts eating, it pierces the skin and immediately introduces an enzyme that prevents blood clotting, as well as a substance that anesthetizes the bite site. In this regard, the moment of parasite bite does not lead to significant painful sensations. As a result of the bite, after a while there is discomfort, which is accompanied by:

  • Severe itching.
  • The appearance of pustules, as a result of combing bites.
  • Insomnia.
  • Increased irritability.
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes.
  • In severe cases, there is an unpleasant smell of rotting masses, etc.

When you carefully examine the skin of the head, you can easily identify the cause of discomfort. It is better to do under a magnifying glass, otherwise pediculosis, especially with poor eyesight, can be confused with dandruff. The occipital, temporal part, as well as the area behind the ears and on the neck are most affected by the parasite bites.

Important fact! If up to 75 thousand lice are hosted in a person's hair, then a lethal outcome is possible, as a result of psychological and nervous tension.

Pediculosis is considered a disease that needs treatment. To date, a sufficient number of methods and preparations, both for adults and children, have been developed, which helps to quickly get rid of such a problem.

Important fact! Some people confuse head lice with dandruff because they do not carry out a detailed and careful examination of the head. This disease affects mainly children who are in close contact with each other every day, attending kindergarten, school, as well as being in recreation camps and at other social events. Therefore, parents should inspect the heads of their children every day, and it must be remembered that if a child washes his head every day, this does not guarantee the absence of parasites, since they do not die from ordinary detergents.

Pubic lice

This type of lice prefers to be in the intimate areas of a person, represented by the anus, armpits, abdomen, chest, eyelashes, etc. Such a “reward” can be obtained as a result of sexual contact, as well as through other physical contact and through bed and underwear. There is a high risk of infection by these parasites as a result of visiting saunas and baths.

Breeding conditions

In order to constantly breed, the female must be in a comfortable environment, at a temperature of about +30 degrees and constantly drink blood. Without food, lice can live no more than one day, but, being outside the human body, they can hibernate and be in this state for several months.

It is important to know! Pubic lice can be without food under a 30-cm layer of sand for up to 4 days, and under a layer of water - up to 2 days.

For almost a month of her life or a little less, the female lays up to fifty eggs, which she attaches to the hairs at the very base. The further development of nits is no different from the process of the emergence of the larvae of other types of lice. To have an idea of ​​what pubic lice looks like, just look at the photo.

Symptoms of pubic lice

This disease is also called phthiriasis and is transmitted mainly through sexual contact. Due to this fact, this disease was attributed to a number of sexually transmitted diseases. Often, phthiriasis appears on the background of other sexually transmitted diseases, which indicates promiscuous sex. Therefore, it is very important to immediately seek help from specialists and not to self-medicate.

When pubic lice bite a person, spots appear on the bite site with a bluish tint up to one and a half centimeters in diameter. The bite of the parasite is practically not felt, since it releases an anesthetic agent, as well as a substance that does not allow blood to clot. Despite this, after the bites, negative sensations appear, such as:

  • Intolerable itching appears.
  • In underwear you can find a kind of dark spots, as a result of the vital activity of these parasites.
  • Wounds or blisters appear on the ground of scratching, which indicates secondary infection.
  • Perhaps the development of dermatitis.

It should also be noted that infection can occur in another way, not necessarily as a result of sexual intercourse. Therefore, ploshchitsy easily can appear not only in adults, but also in children. Ways of infection are as follows:

  • If you sleep with an infected person. For example, children often sleep with their parents.
  • If you use the same bedding and personal care products.
  • If you visit crowded places, including baths, saunas, swimming pools, beaches, etc.

It is important to know! Thyriasis in children is usually manifested on the eyebrows, as well as on the eyelashes.

Often people ignore such factors and neglect the elementary rules for the prevention of the appearance of pubic lice, as they say, on level ground. This is true in relation to visiting crowded places, and especially beaches. As mentioned above, parasites feel well under a layer of sand, so they can easily appear to those who like to bask on the sand in direct sunlight. As a rule, most people use bedding, in the form of a large bath towel or blanket, which minimizes the risks of something to pick up on the beach. Before deciding to be as close as possible to nature and feel all its charms on yourself, you should think about how you will have to explain to your spouse the reasons for the appearance of such a “surprise”. Therefore, as they say, saved and god saves. Nature, besides its charms, has negative sides, which should always be remembered.

Disposal of parasites should be carried out exclusively under the supervision of a specialist and self-treatment here is inappropriate, since human health should always be a priority.

Getting rid of pediculosis involves a number of activities. For example:

  • Getting rid of hair, including in intimate areas, greatly simplifies the treatment process, but this step is not considered mandatory.
  • Nits are securely held on the hair due to a sticky substance that dissolves under the influence of a weak solution of vinegar. Having processed such a solution of the place of accumulation of parasites, nits are easily combed out with a special comb.
  • Clusters of lice are treated with special pharmaceutical preparations, in the form of sprays, shampoos, ointments, lotions, such as Nittifor, Medifox, Veda, Pedilina, Spey-Paksa and others.
  • Mandatory disinfection of underwear and bedding.

As a rule, as a result of several procedures, if you do not ignore the recommendations of the attending physician, as well as the requirements of the instructions for use of drugs, there will be no trace of lice and nits.


It would seem that in our rather “advanced” time there should not be any lice, since the level of civilization, as compared with even the last century, is much higher. Practically in every family there is everything necessary to monitor the purity of your body, although there are isolated cases when the level of civilization is not available for some families. As life shows, lice can appear even in that category of people who rather jealously follow the hygiene of their body and wash twice a day.

What is lice?

Lice are human ectoparasites that live outside the body and feed on blood. These insects are distributed throughout the globe and are known since ancient times. Even in the prehistoric era, people tried to fight them.

Lice flourish during wars, cataclysms and other global incidents - at this time they are most dangerous because they carry pathogens. They also actively reproduce in the summer, in favorable conditions, especially in public places: parks, camps.

The feature of lice is in their classification - there are several types, each of which is parasitic on different objects. For example, a pubic louse will never get over to the scalp, a wardrobe always remains in the folds of clothes, and a dog louse will not parasitize a person.

In the absence of food insects can live no more than five days, if other conditions are optimal. You can compare them with ticks, which for months go without food. They are not able to jump far or fly, making it difficult for them to move to another person.

Insects have poorly developed eyesight, but they capture odors well. This allows them to navigate in space and choose a host that matches their specialization.

Causes of lice in children and adults

In children under the age of twelve, it is often possible to meet head lice now, in the heyday of medicine and the universal observance of personal hygiene. There are many myths about pediculosis:

  • Lice appear from stress and experiences. For some reason, some grandmothers believe that insects are caused by nerves. This may be justified if it is assumed that under stress a person sweats, it becomes more attractive for lice. However, from nowhere they do not appear.
  • Can get infected from pets. A human louse cannot live in the fur of cats or dogs, as it can only feed on human blood. Accordingly, it is impossible to pick it up from animals.
  • Lice appear only in unscrupulous people. In fact, they are comfortable to live on clean hair, as the scalp is easier to bite. Compliance with the rules of hygiene does not guarantee the absence of parasites.

Causes of lice infestation:

  • Close contact with the parasite carrier. It is enough to touch the hair so that the insects run across.
  • Staying in reservoirs with stagnant water. In warm water, lice feel as good as on human skin. They can live in it for up to three days, waiting for a new victim.
  • Common hats, hairpins, towels. Through the objects used by the infected, insects are easily transmitted. For this reason, you can not use other people's combs, wear caps.
  • Children's camps and other places of accumulation of children. Very often the child comes from the camp with lice, as they instantly run from one head to another while playing games or being at a desk. Unfortunately, to save the child from this is almost impossible. The same applies to public transport, especially during rush hours.

On the human body there are several types of lice: head, ward and pubic. Blood is food for them, and they are all incapable of living on their own. Head and wardrobe (body) unite in one form called "human." This means that they can produce fertile offspring.

Pubic louse belongs to a separate species and differs from the other two in appearance, which can be seen in the photo in close-up.

The head louse lives in the hair on the head, with a mustache or beard, it can also be found on the face. The view is very common, they can get infected with ease. It is enough to use someone else's comb, to touch the person or take a dip in the pond. Most often pediculosis occurs in children and people who do not follow their own hygiene.

Head lice are small insects with an elongated body and six legs, each of which has claws, with the help of which they hold onto the hair. Dimensions do not exceed 0.4 centimeters in length, so it is extremely difficult to notice them. Also, the search is difficult coloring - brown. The photo shows hair insects in an enlarged view.

They live no more than fifty days, of which 20 fall on the development of the larval stage. Lice eggs are called nits, they are whitish in color and half the size of adults.Mounted on the hair at a distance of about two centimeters from the scalp. To hatch from an egg, they need no more than five days.

The body louse is similar to the head louse, but flatter and larger. Unlike other varieties, she loves to inhabit clothing. Accordingly, its color contributes to the disguise - it is light. It is easy to find in the folds of trousers, in the space between the seams, in the pockets and other hard-to-reach places of clothing. However, on the body it is almost impossible to notice. In the photo you can see how louses look.

You can get rid of them, if you disinfect all clothes and wash with soap. A clothes louse lives no more than forty-five days.

Pubic lice are called ploshitsy, because they have a flat body. They are similar to ticks, but smaller in size. Often they live in the hair of intimate parts of the body, but sometimes they move to the armpits, abdomen, chest, and even eyelashes and eyebrows.

Methods of infection are not particularly different from other species. It is possible to become infected by having sex, using bed linen after a human carrier, bathing in water.

Pubic lice are the smallest - up to 0.2 cm, and are not able to withstand a hunger strike for more than eight hours. Life expectancy is 40 - 50 days.

The first symptoms of pediculosis

Of all the symptoms, itching is most noticeable, as it brings more discomfort. Often, it is because of him that people go to hospitals or carefully examine the scalp.

Also during the incubation period, a person may be disturbed by sleep disturbance and nervousness. However, one should not rely on these symptoms, as they may indicate other diseases or stress.

How to recognize lice and their larvae?

It is easy to confuse lice with other insects, if you do not know the features of their structure:

  • flat body, abdomen increases after being bitten and saturated,
  • short paws with claws with which they hold their hair and skin,
  • antennae performing an olfactory function.

A detailed look at what an insect looks like can be done under a microscope or in the photo below. Head lice live in the hair of the head, reach a length of 0.5 cm, the larvae are 5–6 times smaller. The body is usually greyish brown, the color darkens as it becomes saturated. They are difficult to see in the hair due to coloring and fast movement.

Head louse nits are yellowish white. They are fixed on the hair shaft with the help of a special secret, which allows them not to shake off during sudden movements.

Body lice reach a length of 4 millimeters and have projections on the sides. They have a grayish color and live in clothes. Rarely they can be found on the body: on the back, arms, sides.

Pubic lice are of modest size - up to three millimeters and painted in light colors. The abdomen is broad and flat, with fibers. Their legs are not so tenacious, but larger in size. They slowly move and live in the genital area, sometimes moving over eyelashes, eyebrows, armpits and vegetation on the head.

All lice are egg-laying, their eggs are called nits. They are not transmitted from person to another person. A sticky sheath is formed around the nits in the hair, due to which the egg attaches to them. Usually one person has one nit on one hair. Outwardly, they resemble dandruff, but it is impossible to comb them out. In the photo you can take a closer look at nits.

Drugs and medicines

Drugs for lice have age restrictions - this is the main thing that should be paid attention to. They have the form of shampoos, sprays, solutions. Their use should be consistent with the instructions, as they are composed of toxic substances. Do not wrap hair in cellophane or towel.

Among other drugs, experts distinguish "Full Marx" - a solution that contains substances with a pronounced anti-pediculosis effect. Also included is a special comb, through which combed dead lice.

Medifox is represented by a concentrated mixture, which is diluted with pure water before use. The peculiarity of the drug - it can be used from the year. “Paranit” is a shampoo that makes breathing of adult insects difficult, which is why they die.

There are many more tools, but it is better to contact a dermatologist. He will tell you which drug is suitable for the patient, will give recommendations on its use.

In the period after the successful fight against parasites, it is necessary to wash and iron bed linen, towels, clothes and carry out regular inspections. This will prevent their reappearance.

Folk ways

If lice are found, it is recommended to use tea tree oil. For 200 g of shampoo you need 30 drops of essential oil. If there are a lot of insects, add 50 ml of diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 1 alcohol. The mixture is applied to the scalp, wrap it with a towel and leave for a few hours.

Compresses of kerosene do not lose their popularity. However, their use is not approved by doctors. Kerosene not only kills parasites, but also hair bulbs. If you overdo it, you can get a skin burn or intoxication of the body.

Instead of kerosene, you can use compresses from cranberry juice and lemon, although they look less effective. The mixture softens the shell of the eggs, kills their inner part and fights with adult parasites.

Preventive actions

It is impossible to protect a child from carriers of parasites, but it is still necessary to carry out prevention. The following methods of preventing the disease are possible:

  • children need to be explained what lice are, how they get on the body and how to protect themselves,
  • provide personal hygiene products
  • change bed linen and clothes regularly
  • iron the seams, pockets,
  • control who the child communicates with,
  • once every few days to inspect the hair and comb them with a special comb,
  • wash your hair twice a week.

Before traveling in public transport, in school or children's camps, girls need to braid their braids. In buses, the child will be less in contact with people, if you put him on the seat.

It is strictly forbidden to use therapeutic anti-pediculosis drugs for prevention. Otherwise, possible poisoning of the body. However, it is possible to apply lavender oil on the area behind the ears, the smell of which is unpleasant to parasites.

Watch the video: Mayo Clinic Minute: How to Get Rid of Super Lice (December 2019).