Why Are Head Lice Red?

Why Are Head Lice Red?

The first step when dealing with head lice is determining if your child has them. Head lice are spread through close contact, such as between family members. They may also be spread through daycare centers and schools. It’s best to visit a doctor to confirm the diagnosis, and to find out the best treatment. Once your child is diagnosed, you should check other family members, as head lice can affect a number of people at once.

Lice eggs are very small and cling to hair shafts. They’re easiest to see around the ears and hairline of the neck. You can also find empty nits in your child’s hair. Although they’re small and appear red, this doesn’t mean you have live lice. If you notice these, you should not scratch or disturb the affected area, as it may become infected with bacteria.

Adult head lice are two to three millimeters long and have six legs. Unlike their eggs, they don’t fall off. Instead, lice attach them to strands of hair within 1/4 inch of the scalp. This allows them to feed and reproduce. They can live for three to four weeks. A full-grown head louse can have as many as 6 eggs in a day.

Although head lice can cause intense itching, it’s not a health threat. While lice can be very hard to get rid of, if you follow the right treatment, they’ll be gone within a day.