Why Do Head Lice Make You Itch?

Why Do Head Lice Make You Itch?

Itchy head lice are a common symptom of an infestation. The itching is due to an allergic reaction to the saliva of the bugs that live in the hair. The itching is most common in the early stages of the infestation, but it can last up to 6 weeks or longer.

The head lice that are responsible for causing the itching are very small. They are grayish white or tan and about the size of a sesame seed. They live on the head for nine to twelve days and feed on the blood on the scalp. The lice are only visible when they hatch from the nymph, but they will remain on your scalp for a few days until they mature. When they’re fully grown, they’ll appear as small oval blobs on your hair.

If you think you have lice, don’t be afraid to go to your doctor. A professional can examine your scalp to check for lice, and will be able to recommend the best treatment for your particular case. However, you should be careful to use products on your scalp if you have an existing skin condition.

The best prevention is to wash clothing, hats, and hair items thoroughly. Try to avoid sharing bedding, combs, barrettes, and other items with people who have lice. Also, be sure to thoroughly clean your own hairbrushes and combs, which can help kill the lice.