Head lice and pediculosis: 6 things to know

Head lice and pediculosis: 6 things to know
Fonte: shutterstock

Head lice are the nightmare of all mothers, because children can run the risk of pediculosis at school, during sports, when they play with friends. "They are not a symptom of poor hygiene", as the doctor explains Daniela Pisacane, dermatologist at the Santagostino Medical Center in our city, "but an infestation that spreads by contact". With the expert we learn how prevention, how to recognize lice and distinguish them from dandruff and how to eradicate them with suitable products.

Head lice: prevention, how to recognize them, how to defeat them

1 - Are there any ways to prevent?

There are no products capable of preventing lice infestation but some simple precautions can make any treatment much easier: in the event of the presence of lice in the community or in the school,

  • it is worthwhile to carefully check the baby in a strong enough light
  • and the use of a fine-toothed comb in such a way as to identify and eliminate early the possible presence of eggs and insects that are about to infest or have already infested the scalp of the baby.

2 - How are head lice recognized and how are they different from dandruff?

The louse lays about ten eggs per day on the scalp, for a total of three hundred eggs in its life cycle. These are adhered tenaciously to the base of the hair by a particular substance secreted by the female louse.

Dandruff with brushing or passing the hair between the fingers comes off easily. The eggs, on the other hand, do not moveor absolutely with this type of maneuver.

3 - How is pediculosis eradicated?

For the treatment of pediculosis there are various products, some with a chemical reaction, others with a physical reaction, such as pyrethrin or permethrin or substances such as essential oils or solutions based on silicones that suffocate eggs and insects and destroy them. These products are simple to use but it is very important to strictly follow the instructions on the package. The very careful use of the fine-toothed comb allows the removal of nits (eggs) and therefore completely eliminates the possibility of ineffective treatment or new infestations.


Head lice: treatment

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They infest the heads of children and seem resistant to any attempt to prevent their unwelcome arrival: they are head lice, now ubiquitous in schools and communities as kindergartens ...

4 - How do you behave after the first treatment?

After the first treatment, the child should be checked with the fine-toothed comb until the next treatment. Usually these treatments must be repeated after 8 days and then checks must be carried out every 15 days as a precaution and to prevent new infections.

5 - What should the family and school do?

The cohabitants of the child, family members, school and playmates who have been in closest contact with him from 48 hours before the first treatment, should be checked and then treated with the same products.

6 - What other measures should be taken?

The louse cannot survive away from its host, which is the human being, more than 48-72 hours and the eggs no more than 8-10 days. However, it is essential also sanitize the surrounding environment, then wash at high temperatures (60 degrees) towels, sheets, clothing. What cannot be washed at high temperatures can be dry cleaned and what cannot be washed must be kept in the open air for at least 48 hours or closed in bags for at least two weeks.

Also see the video on head lice


Head lice: 25 things to DO NOW if your child has them

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  • lice children
  • hair
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