A child, who constantly scratches his /her head, becomes a social embarrassment for the parents. This situation puts parents in a difficult situation in public places. The infestation of head lice causes the major itching in the head. Though this problem is commonly observed in the school-going children, adults are also not protected from it. According to the experts, this problem should be treated as an infection and proper medication has to be taken to get rid of it.
“People commonly think that it is a disease of unclean but it is a misconception. It is a form of an infection has to be treated in that way,” said Dr Bindu Sthalekar, a dermatologist based in Mumbai. “I often get adult patients who complain about an itchy head. When I tell them that it is because of head lice they simply get shocked. We have to remember that anyone can get it,” Dr Sthalekar added.
This problem is encountered in places where there is a large amount of cohabitation and body contact. e.g. hostels, schools, camps. “Tropical weather is more suitable for the growth of lice. Also, damp and moist conditions are favourable to their growth. It is medically known as,” informed Dr Apratim Goel, dermatologist and laser surgeon of Cutis Skin Studio.
Apart from the itching head lice can cause other consequences too.
- There can be boils on the scalp which may provide a pathway to other microbial infections.
- It can cause lymph nodes.
- Infection can spread on the body.
“It is completely treatable with proper medication. The early identification is the key,” said Dr Sthalekar.
When this infection comes into the forth, the first step is taken to apply household ways to get rid of it. According to Dr Goel for the permanent solution, proper medical treatment is the only solution. “Plucking is the most common way Apart from that many oils and shampoos are used to kill the lice. But this infection cannot be controlled with such measures,” said Dr Goel.
When one of the family members has head lice, other members should take precautions in order to avoid the infection.
- Lice can escape, washing the used clothes, towels, and cloths must be put in boiled water
- Avoid the sharing of combs, towels, caps and other things which may act as a carrier for lice
- Complete the course of medication given by doctors
- Don’t tie hair for too long
- Dry hair properly
The pointers are with inputs from the experts quoted in the article