While head lice are not infectious, they can be extremely irritating and itchy. Frequent itching can also break the skin of the scalp, causing infections. Fortunately, lice can be treated with a medicated product and can be eliminated in two to three weeks. Treatment is also effective at killing the lice and preventing a recurrence.
The first step in curing head lice is to carefully remove the lice and nits. These should be thoroughly removed at least once a week. It is also important to check regularly for live lice and to take action. If lice are still present, a doctor can prescribe an antibiotic. These treatments can be effective, but they are not the best option for severe infestations.
Other options for treating head lice include pyrethrin-based products, which are aimed at killing the lice. However, they are not recommended for use on children younger than two years old because of the risk of allergic reactions. Other alternative treatments aim to kill the lice and nits by suffocating them. However, these treatments can be difficult to wash out of the hair.
Itching is the most common symptom of head lice. This may last for several weeks after the lice have moved in. While the itchiness is an allergic reaction to the bug bites, excessive scratching can cause sores on the scalp. These sores can become infected, which can cause even more pain. Another symptom of infection is red, swollen scalp, and tender lymph nodes in the neck.