I am a fan of fantasy but there are some concepts which I find loathsome. Among those is the idea of being attracted to blood-sucking fiends. Yeah, I know you are probably imagining Edward Cullen. Yet can you imagine romanticizing a mosquito bite, bats sucking your blood, or for that matter moaning to have your blood sucked by lice? Yeah, you’d forgotten that one. See how you are scrunching your nose at the mere mention.
Lice which is commonly associated with poor hygiene and a bad self-reflection said to belong to lower strata, by the way, all of which is a myth. Anyone from anywhere can get them. In fact, let’s dig deeper on it.
So, head lice are an infestation of the human scalp by louse (a tiny insect) scientifically called Pediculus Humanus Capitis, which feeds on human blood alone. Gross, I know, however, it is important to note that head lice, unlike body lice, don’t cause any other infection or disease, in a nutshell, it is harmless. Yes, it inhabits your scalp, procreate and lays eggs (called nits) next to your hair shaft and feeds off you. But the worst-case scenario is breaking of skin leading to redness or swelling caused by itching.
How the story goes, it occurs more commonly among children as they come in close physical contact for this insect to travel/crawl its way from one head to another. Since it cannot jump or fly, the only way is close contact with the head or personal items like hair brushes, combs or towels, from pillows bed sheets, scarves etc. for it to reach to an adults head as well. Once in the head, it starts feeding and laying eggs which hatch in about 9 – 10 days. The nit itself looks like dandruff, being mightily tiny and white, the louse is also white in colour and later turn into a grey-tan or coffee colour. Unless treated it will remain in the head happily.
How to find out if you have turned a host for them? The only sure shot way is to find a live louse. Nits found can indicate the presence of lice but not guarantee it. There are usually no symptoms of them as well, the only thing is, it starts to itch after a while but that can hint towards N number of hair problems.
Once you have been made aware of their presence, you can treat them with over the counter drugs, medicated shampoos which are said to use chrysanthemum extracts as lice is allergic to them. If you go the medicated way it’s best to use it per instruction and the second batch of treatment after 9 10 days, to completely be rid of them. Other ways include the tedious task of removing them manually with a use of a nit comb, with a fine tooth that can catch lice. People suggest smothering, where you apply a thick coat of mayonnaise, Vaseline or other and killing lice with the removal of oxygen to them. Some also suggest using natural oils like tea tree, rosemary even vinegar to treat lice.
Whichever method you choose make sure it works for you. And once done, it’s best to clean all personal items as well so as to avoid any further invasion of your head or that of others. If you are aware of anybody infected with head lice, don’t feel shy to avoid using any personal items and keeping head away, as that works for prevention.
Remember, when heads come together, it’s not just knowledge share or emergence of a great idea but can also be lice share.