If you think you may have head lice, you’re not alone. This common condition can be devastating, causing hair loss and scalp irritation. Self-treating with over-the-counter treatments can make things even worse. These treatments often contain harsh chemicals that can damage your hair follicles and scalp. If you don’t want to suffer through these side effects, visit a lice clinic instead.
To check for lice, look for nits on your scalp or behind your ears. Lice lay eggs that are similar to dandruff and are very small. They hatch in one to two weeks. One sign of lice is the itching, which is caused by saliva from the lice. You’ll notice small red bumps where you’ve scratched.
Treatment options for lice include shampoos, creams, and combing your hair with a special comb. However, no treatment is 100 percent effective, and lice often develop resistance to many products. If lice are extremely stubborn, your doctor may recommend prescription medication to eliminate them completely. Although lice can’t cause severe health problems, they can be a nuisance and a source of anxiety.
If you suspect you have head lice, avoid swimming. Some head lice medicines are less effective if you swim. To get rid of them, treat them as soon as possible. Avoid using over-the-counter treatments. The over-the-counter treatments can be filled with toxic chemicals and are not guaranteed to completely get rid of lice. They can also damage your scalp and lead to more hair loss, so be sure to check with your health care provider before using any treatments.