Lice are a type of parasitic insect that feed on blood and use animals or people as their host. Lice live in the hair of their host. This can include the hair on your scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair. Lice multiply quickly and spread easily from one person to another. That means that when one member of the family has lice, the entire family is at risk. Here’s what you can do to help identify, treat, and prevent lice. 

Identify

Identifying lice typically begins when symptoms are noticeable. The biggest symptom is an itching sensation on the scalp. This itching can become so severe that it disrupts sleep, focus at work or school, and even causes small red spots on your head, beneath your hair. You might also notice redness around the hairline. When symptoms are present, the scalp and hair should be closely inspected for the presence of lice or lice larvae. This detection can be done at home, but it’s best to have it done by an experienced medical professional. 

Treatment 

Lice treatment begins with a special shampoo that will stay in your hair for a period of time. While the shampoo is in your hair, it will work to kill all the lice and larvae that are present. After washing, you’ll need a fine-tooth comb to thoroughly comb out any remaining lice and larvae. This process may need to be repeated multiple times. If the shampoo treatment isn’t enough to get rid of the lice, a doctor can prescribe a stronger shampoo or hair treatment to use. 

Prevention 

Preventing lice begins with good hygiene at home. Don’t let family members share hats or pillowcases and wash these items regularly. If one family member has lice, all of their personal items will need to be properly cleaned or disposed of to clear the lice from the home. Teach your children why it’s so important not to share personal items with their friends at school. Lice can be spread while cuddling, hugging, from sharing items, and even from shaking a hairbrush after it’s used by someone with lice. 

Lice Treatment in Hillsdale, River Vale & Westwood, NJ

If your child is showing symptoms of lice, keep them home from school to reduce the risk of starting an outbreak. While they’re out of school, make a trip to your local urgent care center or walk-in clinic for same-day diagnosis and a treatment plan to get rid of the lice. Treating lice at home is possible, but it takes longer and may not be as effective as prescription treatment. For questions, please call 201-523-9222.