What Do I Look For

Diagnosis:

An itchy scalp (scratching) may be a sign that Head Lice are present. However, especially in the beginning stages of infestation, this condition may not present itself. Some with less sensitive skin may never complain of an itchy scalp, while others will be irritated more easily. In many cases it takes time for the presence of the head louse to cause the itchy sensation that may be the first indication of the presence of head lice.

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This is a human condition.  Anyone – any age – any social status can become infested.  Improper diagnosis is common.  BE SURE head lice and / or eggs are present prior to commencing ANY form of treatment.  Dandruff, sand, dirt, or hair casts often commonly found in everyone’s hair may be mistaken for an outbreak or infestation of head lice.  These kinds of debris can easily be removed or “flicked” off the hair shaft.  Head Lice have barbed hooks on each of their six legs with which they firmly attach themselves to the shaft of the hair making them extremely difficult to remove.  They also are capable of traveling very quickly on the scalp making them hard to find (in addition to being hard to remove).  Head Lice Eggs are firmly glued to the hair shaft (close to the scalp) and feel like a tiny knot in the hair.

If you can not easily pull it off or flick it off – it IS an egg.

Look for lice and lice eggs in the hot spots.  These hot spots are around the ears, at the crown of the head and at the nape of the neck.  Make certain to to use bright lights and proper magnification when looking.  Natural sunlight is best.  Divide the hair into sections and look carefully for lice eggs and live lice crawling through the hair or sucking blood from the scalp.  Lice lay their eggs close to the scalp (eggs need body heat to incubate) but look along the whole hair shaft.  Remember to carefully check the heads of ALL family members.  Don’t forget to have your own head checked.   Remember if it is white like paper or snow.  It is not a lice egg.

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