29 . April . 2019 BY Dr. Sharmishtha Deshpande

Have you heard of ‘Chota packet bada dhamaka’? Hear out its negative connotation. That’s perhaps the quirkiest way to describe the big damage that these small creatures can do to your hair. Don’t go by the innocent-sounding names, like ‘lice’ and ‘ticks’. Your hair is their kingdom. Their land. And let us tell you, they are extremely bad rulers!

To put things in perspective, ‘Louse’ is the unheard, not-so-popular, singular version of the term ‘Lice’. No wonder the word ‘Louse’ is unheard of, since louse almost always attacks your hair in units of the army. Hence the word ‘Lice’ makes sense.

These tiny, wingless parasitic insects live on the scalp, nestled in human hair, feeding on minuscule amounts of blood drawn from the scalp. This is an extremely common problem found in children below 12 years. There are some instances when older children & adults face this issue too.

These missable characters are just about the size of a sesame seed and have a life span of just 30 days. They are found in their mature form or in the form of eggs, called nits, more at the neckline at the back and behind the ears. Apart from this, they can be fairly spread across the length of the hair. They are not dangerous, not life-threatening…just extremely annoying!

Lice spread faster than rumours! They pass from one head to another; lice in school children isn’t a rare phenomenon. While playing together, or when kids stay together in school, lice-inflicted hair is easily found.

Some sure shot signs/symptoms to watch out for:

  • Tickling sensation on the scalp – a feeling of movement on the hair
  • Small red bumps on the scalp
  • Sudden itchy reactions with frequent scalp scratching
  • Sleepless nights
  • Irritability
  • Visible lice on your hair strands
Tips to keep Ticks away

Here are some simple remedies for you, your child or anyone affected by this contagious condition. Follow them and remain lice-free, tick-free!

  1. Tea tree oil is a very effective solution for your child’s head lice problem. Dear parents, this one works best for your kid; a remedy you can opt for in place of harsh chemical shampoos. Tea tree oil helps in unblocking clogged hair follicles, keeps hair moisturised and scalp free from bacteria and fungal problems.
  2. Peppermint works well on lice and dandruff, conditioning the hair naturally and neutralizing oily hair. Hair gets a new fragrance and smells really pleasant too.
  3. Lice obviously don’t jump from head to head like monkeys hopping from one tree to another. They spread by sharing combs, bands, hats, and other hair accessories. Hence it would only be wise to keep these props separate and clean at all times.
  4. Your little one can bring home these tiny unwanted friends from daycare or school or even from parties and sleepovers. Make sure you keep a regular check on their scalps and their itchy-scratchy scalp behaviours.
  5. Not all are good at diagnosing the infestation of lice at the onset itself. By the time you realise, the situation aggravates. You have a billion nits on your head by then (yes, they grow at a shocking rate!).
  6. The little parasites find their way out and escape the clutches of your wide-toothed comb. Learn to use a lice comb. You shall have to part the hair into small portions and sections and comb till the end of the hair to make sure the lice don’t escape.
  7. Olive oil suffocates the lice in the hair. Coat your hair completely in olive oil and leave it for extended hours. Give your hair a good wash with shampoo and use a lice comb to pull off the lice sticking to your scalp and strands.
  8. ‘Clean people don’t get lice!’ It is an absolutely baseless myth. Lice don’t discriminate between clean people and otherwise. All that they require is a host to survive, which is your scalp! Having said that, if you don’t wash your hair frequently and keep it clean, the infestation is going to aggravate, lead to infection, making life embarrassing and irritating for you!
  9. Use medicated shampoo for the treatment period. Thyme leaves spray, a mix of rosemary, margosa and eucalyptus oils are some herbals options at your disposal.
  10. Keep your furniture, pillows, bedsheets clean with a frequent vacuum habit since a person who has been affected with lice, and has rested on or used these, can easily spread lice to the entire family.

As mentioned earlier, lice and ticks are not life-taking – definitely – however they are peace-taking for sure! They affect the concentration of the person; can turn out to be embarrassing and annoying. Being contagious, they carry this vice of attacking one head followed by at least a couple more in the family and friends circles.

Moreover, frequent itching can turn the scalp red, inflamed, leading to skin irritation and infection. There have been severe cases of crusting and oozing of pus along with swollen lymph glands, with boils and pustules. IF you suffering from lice, it is better to keep nails short in order to avoid any further damage.

Mayonnaise, petroleum jelly, coconut oil, garlic, salt and vinegar, neem oil, onion juice, baking soda, sesame seed oil are all popular online suggestions to keep lice at bay. However nothing works as great as a consultation with your trichologist who would diagnose your hair & scalp condition and prescribe you the right medication, lice treatment and course to get rid of this ticks trouble. And we are definitely here to help you with that!

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