Font Size
A
A
A

Lice (cont.)

What Happens

Lice will not go away without treatment. If the initial treatment does not kill all of the eggs (nits), a follow-up treatment may be required 7 to 10 days later to kill the newly hatched lice. Itching may last for 7 to 10 days even after successful treatment.

After treatment, dead eggs may remain in the person's hair until they are removed. Some schools have a policy of not allowing children to return to school until they are free of eggs.

If your child has lice, report it to your child's day care provider or school so that other children can be checked.

Some children and parents think about or feel lice crawling even after the lice problem is gone. If you or your child feels like symptoms are lasting or feels troubled after the lice problem is gone, talk to your doctor.

Complications

Frequent scratching can cause mild complications such as skin infections. In severe cases, hair may fall out. Some people may develop thickened, darkened skin in areas that are infested with lice over a long period.

What Increases Your Risk

Factors that increase the risk of getting lice include:

  • Attending school or day care. Young children in school or day care often play together closely and share hats, brushes, and other items. This behavior puts them at a higher risk for getting and transmitting head liceClick here to see an illustration..
  • Living in crowded or unclean conditions. People who live in crowded conditions and who do not or cannot bathe and wash their clothing regularly (such as people who are homeless, victims of war or natural disasters, or refugees) are at increased risk for body liceClick here to see an illustration..
  • Having many sex partners, which increases the risk for pubic liceClick here to see an illustration..

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit Healthwise.org

© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.






Medical Dictionary