Head lice are tiny insects that live on human scalps. They are about the size of a sesame seed, and can camouflage themselves to match the color of the hair. The adult lice are approximately 2 millimeters long and gray or pale white in color. They have six legs and can latch onto the hair. They live about 30 days when attached to the head, and one to two days if they fall off.
You can treat head lice using a topical insecticide. Depending on how many lice you have, you can apply one of several products to the affected area. Some of these products are based on chemicals, and others are natural or herbal ingredients. It is important to read the labels of any topical products. Some products contain dangerous chemicals that can irritate the scalp.
There is no specific age at which head lice are most likely to infest a child. However, lice can be transferred from one person to another through close contact. The risk of spreading head lice is highest among children who attend schools or play together. Infected children can spread the lice to others through head-to-head contact and sharing of personal items. It is important to remember that head lice can spread quickly through the school or neighborhood where the infected child is located.
While head lice are difficult to detect with the naked eye, you can usually spot them on the head and in the hairline. They may also be found on the eyelashes and eyebrows. Lice can live on your head for up to 30 days.