Bites and Infestations

Picture of Head Lice

Picture of Head Lice

Head lice are parasites known as Pediculus humanus capitis. Eggs and young lice are called nits. They live on the hair shafts on the scalps of people who are infested. Sometimes, head lice occur on other hairs of the body, such as eyebrows or eyelashes. Head lice can easily infect other hosts by jumping on to new victims who are in close proximity. Lice can also be transferred to others on clothing or objects. School-aged children and their families are often affected by head lice. Symptoms may include itching, tingling, irritability, and sores. Lice are very small but they are visible.

Head lice are treated with a combination of over-the-counter medicated shampoo and lotions and by physically removing all lice from the head with a special comb. Lice may be found throughout the scalp, but favorite spots may be the hair behind the ears and around the nape of the neck. Clothing, bedding, and stuffed toys should be washed in very hot water and dried on the hottest dryer setting to kill lice and their eggs.

Image Source: Color Atlas & Synopsis of Pediatric Dermatology Kay Shou-Mei Kane, Jen Bissonette Ryder, Richard Allen Johnson, Howard P. Baden, Alexander Stratigos Copyright 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.

Text Reference: "Head Lice." American Academy of Dermatology.