Ways to get rid of head lice
But there are not few families and schools that face this problem in the prosperous areas of our country’s cities. Of course, head lice have been almost controlled in our country, but still people should know that it is possible to get infected easily, because they are in contact with places and people who do not know their health status.
Of course, you don’t need to be afraid and worry whether the person with lice before you was in a place and infected it or not, but it is enough to be aware. Awareness and cooperation to examine children is a sign of high social class and culture. Familiarity with this insect and the ways of its transmission and knowledge of health recommendations are effective for preventing this skin disease.
In general, there are 2 types of lice: human and animal. Human lice are transmitted from human to human and animal lice are transmitted from animal to animal. This obligate parasite that lives in human and animal bodies must feed on the keratin of the skin and hair in order to survive. After sticking to the skin and hair, this insect grows and lays eggs. Its first clinical symptom in humans is severe itching of the skin. Lice attach to the hair and move on it to the skin because hair has no blood vessels. Head lice will itch when they feed on blood.
Lice are divided into 3 groups in terms of where they live; Lice nesting on the head. Trunk lice that live under the armpits and on the trunk and pubic lice that nest in the genital area. The activity of all these lice is similar, but the pubic louse is smaller in size. Head lice are mainly seen in children and pubic and trunk lice are mainly seen in adults.
Children don’t know how to observe hygiene and on the other hand, they have more contact with each other; For example, in kindergartens, they hug each other, pull each other’s hair, exchange scarves and headscarves with their friends, and so they get more head lice. Adults also get this problem by accident because of hugging children. In general, lice are observed in children before primary school age and in the first years of elementary school. Children at this age usually think that itching is normal and do not inform the parents, unless the parents notice that the child is scratching his head a lot and take treatment..
Parents can identify lice by looking at the child’s hair. Of course, many may confuse lice eggs with dandruff, but it must be said that dandruff is not usually seen in children. So seeing dandruff in children is an unusual problem. Also, lice eggs stick firmly to the hair and are not easily removed with a finger, but dandruff falls by shaking the hair. Sometimes the family thinks that the child is allergic to food, etc., and they ignore his itchy head.
Moving lice can be easily seen, but the family should consult a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Of course, these warnings should not cause families to worry because if a louse does not receive food for 3 days, it will die, and the maximum life of a louse outside the body is one week. In addition, if a person carrying lice enters the pool, there is no possibility of waterborne transmission. Lice are immersed in water, but they cannot be transmitted in this way. This insect does not have enough adhesion to hair in water, it is only transmitted by skin-to-skin contact or contact with a contaminated surface such as sheets and clothes..
I advise all people if they plan to travel and live in villages or areas where they are not sure about their hygiene, they must have personal sheets, wash their hands well after any contamination, do not use common clothes (rent local clothes for photography) and all their belongings should be personal because today it has been proven that the level of health has a direct relationship with poverty and economic prosperity. Poverty usually causes poor education and a decrease in the body’s defense system (due to improper nutrition). In addition, the closer the contact and the more people are in a small place, the more likely the occurrence of lice will be.
Sometimes we encounter the outbreak of lice in wealthy people of the society, even without having traveled anywhere. In these cases, you should doubt the pets that are in the house. Of course, such families usually keep their pets clean and the animal is under the supervision of a veterinarian, but these animals may be petted by people with lice and lice eggs infect the residents of the house. After identifying lice, skin-to-skin contact or contact with others should be stopped. The joint use of hats and scarves is prohibited and treatment should be started immediately.
How is the treatment?
In Iran, there are 2-3 drugs that are available to everyone and do not require a doctor’s prescription, but all people with lice should see a doctor because the treatment of lice requires health recommendations. Anti-lice drugs have different percentages that are prescribed based on the age of the patient. Anti-lice medicine is in the form of cream, liquid or shampoo.
The type of medicine is determined by the doctor because it is important to take the medicine correctly and easily and it should be prescribed according to the patient’s ability. A type of medicine is in the form of shampoo. The patient should let the shampoo stay on the head and then rinse it, but the shampoo has 2 problems; Lice eggs are slightly resistant to shampoo and the eggs may become half-dead and not completely destroyed.
If the egg is placed in an acidic environment, it will burst. For this reason, mothers should be taught to pour a little water into a regular bowl and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to make the liquid acidic after taking the child to the bathroom and the hair is still a little wet. Then soak the cotton in water and vinegar and comb the child’s hair. This will kill the eggs completely. The cream is the most used to treat lice.
Before using the cream, the patient must take a bath and wash his head with normal shampoo and dry it completely with a hair dryer. Then apply the cream or lotion well all over the head. The cream should be left on the head for at least 12 and at most 24 hours. It is better to put a clean cloth on the head so that the pillow does not get dirty while sleeping. After that, the head should be washed.
If a person with lice does this once correctly, all lice and their eggs will be destroyed, but since it is expected that the house, sheets, pillows, etc. will be infected, it is recommended to apply the cream again a week later so that the person is completely destroyed. Lice to be sure.
To clean the quilt from lice, you should spread the quilt outside on a rope for 3 days. Clothes should also be washed in a washing machine with a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius. This temperature easily kills lice. Families who do not have a washing machine should wash and then iron the clothes, especially the seams of the clothes (in case of body lice) must be ironed because the seam of the clothes is a good place for lice to settle..
Dr. Hossein Tabatabai, dermatologist–Faculty member of Tehran University of Medical Sciences