Monday, 5 September 2011

Head Lice and nits.

The days are getting shorter, there is a distinct nip in the air, the kids have gone back to school.....then they come home with head lice! Some things are as certain as the changing seasons, and head lice is one of them!
What you may not know is that there have been some changes in how we manage the little critters these days.

What are head lice?
Head lice are insects, together with their eggs, that can infest the  hair. It is a minor condition but, if not treated, it can cause severe itching and scratching, sometimes leading to bacterial infections such as impetigo. Mature lice are approximately 3mm long and have a brown, beige or black appearance, often camouflaged by the hair. Lice cling to hair near the scalp and are usually found behind the ears or at the nape of the neck.
Lice cannot jump, fly or swim but transmission occurs easily through head to head contact. It is thought that girls are affected more than boys because girls huddle together more when they play.

Contrary to popular belief, schools do not conduct checks for head lice but neither do children with head lice need time away from school. Lice can infest regardless of the length of hair, its cleanliness and standards of personal hygiene. Lice are unlikely to be transmitted by sharing hair combs, hair brushes, towels or clothes because they cannot survive more than 12 hours away from a host.

How to detect lice?
The best way to  find out if someone has head lice is by wet combing the hair.
  1. Wash hair and apply conditioner. Detangle with an ordinary comb.
  2. Using a detection comb (available from good pharmacies!), divide the hair into sections and comb all the way through to the ends of the hair.
  3. After each stroke check he comb for lice. Use a white tissue or cloth to wipe the comb.
  4. Work methodically through the hair, section by section until the whole head is examined.
  5. If you find live lice, remember to check all the heads in the house!
  6.  
    Treatment options
We only treat when there are live lice found.
Don't treat anyone "just in case"
Most of the head lice treatments available now contain dimeticone or isopropyl myrisate, rather than the traditional pesticides. They work by essentially suffocating and head lice until they die!
All of the treatment sare available in a variety of forms such as shampoos, sprays and lotions.


The staff at Barnton PHarmacy can advise you on which products are most suitable for your family and we may even be able to treat you free of charge under the minor ailments service,

1 comment:

  1. Lyclear is a pleasant smelling and quick acting treatment for Head Lice

    ReplyDelete