What can we do to put off lice?
Lice are tiny parasites that depend on a human (host) to complete their life cycle: they feed on your blood and remain in the same place, depositing eggs. They are commonly found on the scalp, but can also be found on the eyelashes and eyebrows.
What is head lice?
Head lice is the infestation of lice, and requires treatment. There are many myths around pediculosis, so it is important to clarify that lice do not choose to stay in people with poor hygiene or low social class. Close contact with a person who has lice or with something they belong to that is in contact with their head, such as combs, brushes or hats, can cause the infestation.
Head lice and children
School-age children, that is, between 3 and 11 years old, are more susceptible to infestation due to the close contact they have with their peers; however, adults are also at higher risk of infection than children.
Treatments: chemical and natural
Chemical pediculicide treatments are the most effective in removing lice and nits (eggs). The key is to use the product according to the doctor's instructions and the packaging. Do not forget that no treatment works 100% in the first application, so a second should be done after 7-10 days.
There are also natural treatments that involve the use of essential oils, vinegar, mayonnaise and petroleum jelly, among others. Although they can be an alternative for skin that does not tolerate chemicals, their effectiveness is lower and has not been proven. In addition, they require constant application and can be equally irritating.
The most popular chemical pediculicides are Pyrethrins, mainly Permethrin. Its use must be accompanied by the removal of dead lice and nits with a metal fiddler - special comb - with cylindrical, long, and joint prongs, as well as a round tip.
To prevent infestation, it is advisable not to use chemicals. The best way to prevent it is to carry out regular visual checks after bathing and to use a cleanser to verify that there are no lice or nits on the scalp.
If prevention fails, it is important to start a pediculicide treatment and follow the doctor's instructions and those of the product.
In turn, it is important to notify the centers that the infested person frequents, such as schools in the case of children, as soon as lice are discovered. Above all, what must be taken into account is that you do not have to combine treatments unless indicated by the doctor.
Regarding hygiene, we must know that lice are parasites, which implies that once outside the host they will not survive more than 24 hours. To avoid an infestation at home, it is recommended to deworm combs, brushes, toys, bedding, towels and any other object of shared use. The best way is to soak plastic items in boiling water and wash the rest in hot water (60 ° C) - anything that cannot be washed can be kept in an airtight bag for a few days.
No parent wants to hear that their child is infested with lice, but, if it happens, we must remain calm, bearing in mind that lice are not a sign of poor hygiene and that there is a treatment to solve the problem in a matter of days.