At our head lice removal center, Happy Heads Clinic, we find that there are certain times of the year with more lice infestations. At that time, families often receive notifications from the school about the existence of lice, one of the questions that arises is: how can we check if we have lice?
How do I know if I have lice?
Lice have several stages in their life cycle, in all of them it is possible to see them with the naked eye, but we must be cautious and know the shape, color and, in general, the behavior of lice, so as not to be mistaken.
Visual inspection in the case of pediculosis is the best way to discover them. Head lice are usually found clustered, on the back of the neck and behind the ears. In terms of appearance, lice can be found in the form of nits (small gray-brown spots strongly attached to the hair), nymphs (lice at an earlier age, with a lighter color) and adults lice (with a darker and more colored color). accentuated).
Another sign of lice is the existence of empty nits, that is, those from which the nymph has already left. These tend to be whiter than normal and to detach from the hair more easily.
Proper inspection involves several phases, some focused on the signs, while others try to find out if they have lice by looking at them directly. The signs are quite recognizable, such as:
If the kids scratch the scalp constantly. This behavior is due to the wounds produced by the lice when feeding on blood from the scalp. From this point of view, it is possible to check, because of the constant discomfort, small wounds caused by infections both in the wounds created by the parasites themselves and by the kids' nails when itching.
Difficulty sleeping at night, mainly because lice tend to be more active during this period and also to feed themselves.
If the person suffers from itching and feeling that something is moving between the hair (an indication that the lice are, in fact, "walking" through the scalp).
How to find head lice?
An adequate inspection, especially after observing some of the indications described above, is crucial to detect them in time and the treatment is as quick and effective as possible. The most effective way to inspect the scalp:
1. Look for the nits. They are usually attached to the hair by a glue that the lice segregate when putting them on; therefore, you will have difficulty getting them out. They are brownish in color and approximately the size of a sewing needle.
2. Look for live lice. It is not easy, as they usually run away. However, separating the hair into quadrants can help you find them, even if they flee to escape the light.
3. Use a suitable lice comb. If you are unable to see lice, but the symptoms continue, you should make a more detailed assessment, we advise you to use a fine lice comb after thoroughly wetting your hair. Using a detangling spray or conditioner can help the comb slide better through the hair.
Can we mistake lice and nits?
When looking for lice in your hair, you can mistake anything for lice.
This doubt usually arises with nits, although they are the easiest to detect, they can be confused with flacking of the scalp or even residues of products such as shampoos.
In order not to be mistaken, the best way is to check if the nits are attached to the hair, that is, if trying to catch them loosen easily, it is not nits.
How can I have more peace of mind with lice?
In addition to periodic inspections, there are other options, such as preventive products, diagnostics and treatments in specialized centers for the removal of lice and nits. In these spaces, as is the case of Happy Heads Clinic, professionals with training and experience work who can help eliminate lice in a natural, effective and safe way if they are detected.