Head lice are tiny parasites that live on human hair. The adult louse is just 2 to 3 millimeters in length and has six legs. They stick to the hair easily and lay their eggs on the head. During an outbreak, the lice lay as many as 300 eggs. If left untreated, the infestation will grow until it is severe.
Head lice can be cured by taking the appropriate medicine. These medicines should be used for a minimum of two weeks. Swimming can reduce the effectiveness of some head lice medicines. You should also avoid head lice-infested clothing. If you have head lice, you should consult a dermatologist or a health care provider if you are concerned.
An untreated head lice infestation can become serious, causing symptoms like itching and odor. These symptoms can also disrupt sleep. The constant scratching can also damage the scalp and cause infection. Feeling lousy is another common symptom of head lice infestation. You might even experience flu-like symptoms like headaches, rash, and fever.
If you suspect your child of having head lice, you must inspect their hair carefully. Lice lay their eggs at the base of the hair, close to the scalp. To diagnose an infestation, you should examine the affected area thoroughly, using a magnifying glass or disposable gloves. If you find live lice, you should treat the affected area immediately.