Lice Fact-Checking: Five Myths You Thought Were True

October 26, 2018
Understand what is true and false with these head lice myths!

By Travel_Master at Shutterstock

Head lice are relatively common. There are millions of reported cases every single year. Unfortunately, despite their prevalence, there remains plenty of myth and mystery surrounding head lice. If you have ever heard a myth about head lice, then you most likely had trouble deciphering the truth from the statement. Most myths are based somewhat on truth. Most tales about head lice remain outright lies, though. Let’s break down the top five myths about head lice. Did you think any of these were true?

Myth: Lice Can Jump

This is an outright false statement. Lice do not have wings, nor do they have much strength in their legs. As such, head lice cannot fly, and they cannot jump. Instead, head lice travel by crawling everywhere. The most common method for transmitting head lice is via head-to-head contact, which is why so many children experience head lice each year.

Myth: Dirty Hair Leads to Head Lice

Another common myth we often hear is that dirty hair increases the risk of acquiring head lice. Again, this is an outright false notion. Acquiring head lice has absolutely nothing to do with your personal hygiene or the cleanliness of your home. In fact, head lice tend to prefer clean hair, as it allows for easier movement and feeding.

Furthermore, washing your hair does not rid your scalp of lice. Lice cling to the follicles, enjoying the bath right alongside you.

Myth: Head Lice Transmit Diseases

This is pure fear-mongering. Yes, head lice are an annoyance and often cause itching and discomfort, however, head lice do not spread disease. Children who have head lice are known to scratch and perhaps develop a rash due to an allergic reaction to the saliva in each bite. That is the extent of their damage, though. No viruses or diseases!

Myth: School is a Lice Breeding Ground

While it is certainly common for head lice to spread in school where children are in close-quarters, your child’s school is not at an increased risk of head lice. Most often, children tend to receive head lice from direct head-to-head contact at camp, daycare, slumber parties, and during after-school sports activities.

Myth: Lice Are Contagious

Head lice spread frequently via head-to-head contact. As head lice cannot jump or fly, they do not spread easily. Transmission is often possible thanks to sharing personal items or coming in close contact with an infected individual. As such, isolating a child with head lice, once treatment has begun, is unnecessary and often both overwhelming and embarrassing for kids.

With over 12 million reported cases per year, it is easy to think that head lice are contagious. In reality, children simply do not understand head lice, or they do not care enough to limit their direct contact. Kids want to be kids.

If you or your children have head lice in Dallas-Fort Worth, schedule an appointment with Lice Lifters Treatment Centers by calling 972-805-1308. We’ll have you in our office and then back home before you know it, with a full treatment and non-toxic solution on your scalp!