The first question that most people ask is “are head lice white” – but that question is not the same as “are head lice gray” or “are head lice white.” Lice are six-legged bugs that live on the head. Their eggs are white or yellowish, and they have a red circle around them. These eggs are usually attached to the hair strands and don’t flake off when touched.
Lice live on the scalp, and eggs hatch in about 7 to 12 days. Lice eggs are very small – about the size of a pinhead – and stay attached to the hair shaft for about seven days before hatching into adult lice. Adult lice have a life span of three to four weeks, so if you find an egg, you’re likely dealing with head lice.
If you suspect that your child has head lice, it’s important to treat your child as soon as possible. Don’t forget to check your other household members as well, as lice can spread through clothing and other objects. This is especially important if your child goes to a daycare center or school. You should also wash and dry all clothing that was used in the past 48 hours.
You can treat head lice with a medicated shampoo. These shampoos kill the lice and nits that live in your hair. Some of them contain ingredients that are effective against dandruff, including coal tar. These shampoos may also contain salicylic acid or ketoconazole.