What is Head Lice?
What is Head Lice? Head lice disease is a condition when the scalp is infected with ticks. Head lice are small insects that live in human hair and live by sucking blood through the scalp. Because of its small size, a flea of the head lice is difficult to see by the eye. Head lice have a variety of sizes, ranging from the size of a pin to a sesame seed.
The hatching egg period ranges from 8-9 days. To reach adult size, a tick usually takes 9-12 days. After adulthood, lice can live for up to four weeks before they die.
The scalp infested with head lice will usually feel very itchy and feel as though there is something creeping. Itching is what mostly encourages the lice sufferers to keep scratching their heads. Another symptom is the appearance of a rash on the back of the neck.
Head lice only in humans and can only be transmitted between humans only. This parasite can not be transmitted to animals or vice versa. Hair louse infections can occur through:
- Direct contact. This transmission occurs when a person’s hair is in contact with a patient’s hair that allows head lice to creep and move.
- Indirect contact. This transmission occurs through an intermediate of a flea-contaminated object or a flea egg worn together. For example hair brushes, combs, helmets, hats, sheets, pillows, earphones, towels, or clothes. However, transmission in this way is very rare.
Head lice can not fly or jump from one head to another. Hair flea infections are not related to the hygiene of a person’s hair as well.
Transmission of head lice is more common in families or among children who are actively interacting and making physical contact with peers.
Detect the presence of head lice
Because the invisible presence of head lice is difficult to see, the most effective way is to use a serit comb. Comb serit is a special comb that can capture or catch a hair tick because it is equipped with tightly spaced teeth, which is about 0.2 to 0.3 millimeters. Comb made of plastic or wood is even able to capture the child and flea eggs.
There are two ways to use comb serit, that is wet or dry. In a wet way:
- Wash your hair first with any shampoo.
- Use conditioner to soften hair.
- Comb the hair using a regular comb to make sure there is no tangled hair so as not to impede the movement of the comb serit later.
- Use the comb serit slowly from the scalp, then pull the comb up to the tip of the hair.
- Check your scar comb if there are any ticks, or even flea eggs on the surface of the comb or tucked between the comb teeth.
- Repeat this until all the hair is combed evenly.
The steps of using the comb serit in a dry way is almost not much different from the wet way. The difference does not need hair shampoo with shampoo or softened first with conditioner. But the first way is considered more accurate because the ticks will not move if our hair is wet.
In addition to yourself, do detection with this comb serem to the family, especially on your child. If the results of the sweeps show the presence of fleas or eggs, then immediately do the treatment.
Treating head lice
Before treating hair louse by using drugs, you should do the handling in a simple way first. This simple way is the same as the steps to detect the presence of head lice by using a comb serit. The sweeping method that should be used is wet. Repeat sweeping on the fifth, ninth, thirteenth, and seventh day.
If cleaning using a hair comb has not worked yet, try to use an over-the-counter antiparasitic drug in a pharmacy. One of them is permethrin. This antifassite can not directly kill flea eggs. Therefore, it takes at least two times to make sure the lice really die right down to the egg. Side effects of this drug is relatively mild, namely itching and redness of the scalp. Follow the instructions for using permethrin listed on the drug package.
A doctor’s examination is only recommended if the hair flea medication you purchased directly at the pharmacy does not show results. Possible doctors will prescribe drugs such as:
- Malathion. The shampoo-shaped antiparasite drug contains a high alcohol content and should only be used in people over the age of 6 years. Because of its high alcohol content, it is not allowed to use it with an electric hair dryer or close to a fire. For instructions on using malathion, follow the doctor’s advice or read the information on the drug package.
- Benzyl alcohol. This drug is capable of killing hair louse by breaking off the oxygen supply needed by the parasite. It is prohibited to provide benzyl alcohol in children under six months of age. Side effects that may occur after using this medicine are itching and red on the scalp. The drug is also thought to cause seizures and other severe adverse effects on newborns when used in sterilizing medical devices.
- Lindane. These antiparasitic drugs actually fall into the category of hard drugs and are prohibited from use by those who have a history of seizures, HIV positive, pregnant women, and weigh less than 50 kilograms. Lindane for head lice is available in shampoo.
Prevent head lice
Preventing the spread of head lice is a difficult thing. However, there are some hairdo prevention tips that can be applied to yourself, children, or family, among others:
- Avoid head-to-head contact while doing activities in the home or outdoors.
- Routine check the presence of head lice by using a comb serit as an early treatment before spreading to others.
- As much as possible keep the distance with the lice infestation and if necessary avoid contact with him for a while.
- Do not share personal items such as combs, hairbrushes, pillows, blankets, clothes, and so on to prevent the transmission of head lice.