frequently asked questions

Signs & symtoms of head lice

a The most common symptom of head lice is an itchy scalp as well as the sensation of movement or crawling on the scalp. However, an individual may have lice for several weeks before showing any symptoms. As an infestation progresses, the scalp becomes itchy and red welts may develop. These can lead to open sores if not treated.
a You may notice the telltale signs of head lice such as itchy scalp. Or you may be able to spot the lice and/or nits in your child’s hair.
a Not necessarily. Itchiness on the scalp may have many other causes such as dryness, heat and sweat, infrequent washing, buildup of dirt and debris, allergic reactions, psoriasis and other rashes and skin conditions. While itchy scalp is a symptom of a head lice infestation, it is not a definitive indicator. The individual’s hair and scalp must be screened for the presence of lice and/or nits.
a Not necessarily. Head lice cause itchiness of the scalp when they bite into the skin. Their saliva can cause a reaction in people who are allergic to it, and the bites can lead to red, itchy welts. In people who are not allergic, itching may not be experienced until the case becomes a severe infestation. However, if you have recently been exposed to head lice, they may be present in the hair, but have not yet made contact with the scalp. An individual may have head lice for several weeks before experiencing symptoms.
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