Today’s post is on lice. Lice or louse (the plural of lice) is the common name for three types of parasites that effect humans.
A louse’s egg is commonly called a nit. Lice attach their eggs to your hair with saliva. The saliva/hair bond is very difficult to sever without specialized products.
Head-lice is most frequent on children aged 3–10 and their families. Currently approximately 3% of schoolchildren in the United States contract head lice. Females are more frequently infested than males.
Head lice are spread through direct head-to-head contact with an infested person. Lice feed on blood once or more each day by piercing the skin with their tiny needle-like mouths. When feeding they produce saliva, which irritates the skin and causes itching.
The most common symptom of lice is itching on the infected area which normally intensifies 3 to 4 weeks after the initial infestation. To diagnose head lice, the entire scalp should be combed thoroughly with a louse comb. A louse comb is an extremely fine tooth comb that when ran thought the hair will remove lice and nits. The teeth of the comb should be examined for the presence of living lice after each time the comb passes through the hair. A recent study in the British Medical Journal found that fine combing wet hair with a lice comb was four times more effective in getting rid of head lice than malathion or permethrin based lice shampoos.
Body lice lay eggs in clothing and bedding, rather than at the base of hairs. The most common location for bites are around the waist, groin and armpits. All places where clothing seams are most likely to touch your skin. Body lice are common in crowded and unhygienic living conditions, such as refugee camps and shelters for the homeless. Body lice bites can spread contagious diseases such as typhus, relapsing fever or trench fever
Pubic or crab louse is a parasitic insect which spends its entire life on human hair and feeds exclusively on blood. Humans are the only known host of this parasite. It is normally spread through sexual contact.
Methods to get rid of lice
Smother the Lice!
Nearly all home remedies rely on some method to suffocate the lice. Coat the hair with olive or almond oil and then comb.
A number of essential oils have been shown to be effective combined with combing to eliminate lice. Before you use any essential oil on a child, put a small drop on the back of your child’s hand to check for allergies.
Comb the hair everyday for three weeks with a lice comb, combined with washing the hair with shampoo and hot water can eliminate head lice.
After using the comb soak it in vinegar for 30 minutes or boil it in water for 5 to 10 minutes.
Getting rid of body lice
Body lice prefer unsanitary condition, washing and changing your clothing, combined with regular bathing will normally get rid of body lice. In addition carefully shaving your under arm hair and the hair around your genitals will help.
Getting rid of pubic lice
Shave your pubic regions or comb them out using a lice comb. This combined with frequent washing will normally solve the problem.
Over the counter medications.
Any pharmacy can provide you with over the counter medications that will normally kill lice. It may pay to stock some of these in your preps and don’t forget a lice comb.
The last thing
Wash clothing, bedding, hats, scarves, pillowcases, and towels worn or used by the infested person or persons. Louse and nits are killed by exposure to water temperatures greater than 129° F for or sealed in a air tight plastic bag for two weeks. If you have an infestation wash your hair as often as possible.