Why Are Head Lice Itchy?

Why Are Head Lice Itchy?

Head lice are an irritating condition for a child or adult to suffer from. Lice live in the head and often infest clothing and hair, causing intense itching. Unlike other kinds of lice, head lice are not disease-carriers. They are found in many countries and mostly affect children. The itchiness associated with head lice is a direct result of the saliva produced by the lice. Some people are sensitive to this saliva, while others build up a tolerance to it. As a result, the first two to six weeks of an infestation may go by without any itchiness at all.

Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available for head lice. In some cases, the best treatment for lice is to apply a topical solution that suffocates the lice. This can be done using petroleum jelly, olive oil, or mayonnaise. While some of these treatments can be effective, it is still essential to consult with a doctor before using them.

Lice are tiny parasitic insects that live on the head and are usually found on the scalp. However, they may also inhabit eyelashes and eyebrows. Although these pests do not carry any disease, they can be extremely irritating and difficult to deal with. Pediatrician Patricia Garcia, MD, explains that people get head lice from head-to-head contact and from sharing items that touch the head.