Myths About Lice
Head lice are incredibly common, however, there is an abundance of misinformation and misconceptions surrounding them. Many myths are just as persistent as head lice themselves. It’s time to address a few myths and misconceptions and break them down one by one. A more informed parent or teacher is invaluable in diagnosing and treating head lice in children. You can stop the spread early by simply understanding a few facts!
Myth: Lice can jump
This is false. Lice do not have wings; they cannot fly, and they cannot jump. Instead, head lice move about by crawling from strand of hair to strand of hair. This is the reason why direct head-to-head contact is the most common method of lice transferring from one child to another.
Myth: You’re likely to get head lice if your hair is unclean
Again, this is another misconception. Getting lice has nothing to do with personal hygiene or cleanliness at home. Washing your hair will not rid your scalp of lice either. A louse will cling to the hair follicles, and nits are sticky and cling to hair with ease. Furthermore, they often prefer a healthy scalp.
Myth: An itchy head means lice
That’s not always the case. Sure, an itchy head is one common symptom of lice. However, there are countless reasons for an itchy scalp, including dandruff, dry skin, or an allergic reaction to specific shampoos and conditioners. Moreover, children who do have head lice may not feel any sort of scratching or itching whatsoever. It varies from person to person, and itching is less common for first-time outbreaks on the scalp.
Myth: Lice live in carpeting, bedding, and clothing
Lice tend to gather on our scalps because of the immediate food supply. Lice are pests; they feed on blood. You see, a louse may only live for up to 48 hours away from a scalp. They need the constant food source. On occasion, lice may live on fallen pieces of hair but only for about 2 days. If they cannot encounter a scalp, they will die.
Myth: Lice die immediately after treatment
Your typical over-the-counter lice treatment promises immediate results. No product can guarantee that level of service so fast. Even professional lice treatment requires time to work. That is why treatment centers like Lice Lifters send you home with a follow-up treatment. A louse, believe it or not, can survive up to 24 hours before dying after treatment.
Myth: You must scrub your house clean
While most treatment centers will recommend washing bedding and clothing that was worn or touched by an infested individual, you do not need to scrub the entire house from top to bottom. If you choose to do so, that is your decision. Know this: lice contamination only occurs through direct contact with someone who has head lice. Indirect transmission, such as through a hat, scarf, or hair band, is possibly, but more uncommon than most people think.
Myth: Lice are dangerous
While certainly uncomfortable and annoying, lice do not carry disease. They do cause itching in those allergic to head lice saliva, which often leads to excessive scratching and therefore scabbing. Scratching may intensify the risks of a secondary skin infection. Indirectly, lice are not considered dangerous. Again, they do not carry disease.
Myth: A doctor is never needed
If you believe your child has head lice, consider seeking professional treatment. Whether you visit your local practitioner or a licensed treatment center, either will work. Natural remedies and over the counter medications, while promising results, typically fail to work. Most cause stinging, rashes, and further itching. Professional treatment has proven effective without the risks!
If you do end up with head lice for whatever reason, we recommend visiting Lice Lifters for prompt and discreet treatment options. They use only the best and safest treatment solutions available.