Itching and burning are common symptoms of head lice infestations, which are caused by the bites of these parasitic insects. The lice bites are typically under the hair, but they may also be present behind the ears and along the nape of the neck. If left untreated, lice bites can become infected and cause severe itching. To prevent itching and burning, use over-the-counter or prescription medication to kill the louse.
If you suspect that your child has head lice, you should take action as soon as possible. Most symptoms can develop within two to three weeks. You should immediately get the child treated by a professional. If the treatment doesn’t work, you may want to wait another two to three weeks. However, the symptoms may not be visible for at least two weeks.
You should wash any clothing your child has worn within the past two days. For those that can’t be washed, you can place them in a plastic bag and avoid wearing them for two weeks. Ideally, head lice treatment will eliminate them, but if it doesn’t, you should see a dermatologist.
Head lice are tiny creatures that live on the scalp and feed on human blood. They lay their eggs on hair shafts less than a quarter of an inch (5 millimeters) from the scalp. The eggs hatch within six to nine days, and the nymphs mature into adult lice. Adult head lice live about three to four weeks and lay six to ten eggs a day.