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What Does Lice Look Like

Have you ever wondered what does lice look like? Well, as kids head back to school it might come up. Head lice during the school year and summer vacation affect an estimated 6 to 12 million children in the United States every year. And, yes, black people get lice too. Also, infestations can lead to itchy scalp, irritability and poor sleep. To combat this we will look at lice removal tips.

Populations in 25 states are resistant to the active ingredient in many over-the-counter treatments. These OTC treatments are recommended by doctors and schools, scientists found in new research. Also,they generally are considered a nuisance because they don’t carry disease. They can still be controlled using different chemicals found in prescription treatments.

What Does Lice Look Like?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Lice are parasitic insects that can be found on people’s heads, and bodies, including the pubic area. Human lice survive by feeding on human blood. Lice found on each area of the body are different from each other.”

The three types of lice that live on humans are:

  • Pediculus humanus capitis (head louse),
  • Pediculus humanus corporis (body louse, clothes louse), and
  • Pthirus pubis (“crab” louse, pubic louse).

Check out these images below to see what lice looks like.

Lice Removal

Louse

adult head lice

Reports of lice resistance started appearing in the mid 1990s in the United States, Europe and Australia. A 2014 study suggested the potential for resistance is high in several areas in the United States and Canada. Among lice samples from 84 people in these countries, 99.6% of the insects had mutations in genes that could allow them to survive the insecticides permethrin and pyrethrin, which are the active ingredients in over-the-counter remedies.

Even if resistant pediculosis capitis are becoming more common, the infestations they cause are no worse than those of other nits, except they can be harder to get rid of. “No one ever died of a head infestation,” said Frankowski, who is a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and co-wrote its 2010 clinical report on head lice.

Lice Removal Tips

What should you do as a parent if your child has lice? A strategy for getting rid of infestations is to brush the hair with a fine-tooth comb that pulls out the insects and sometimes even their eggs (called nits).

Also, for children with straight, fairly short and manageable hair, this is the first thing that parents can try, Pollack said. “Get yourself a good lice comb, read the instructions and use it,” Pollack said. However, for children who have very thick or curly hair, it might be easier for parents to start by trying over-the-counter shampoos, he added.

What other options exist?

Licebeaters based in Long Island starts by looking for critter. And, if they find them, they use an olive oil solution that drowns the insects. It makes them easier to comb out of the hair. Then specialists use their fingers to pick out the remaining nits. The service costs $250 an hour. “Some can do this themselves, but most people want help,” Good said.

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