Summer is upon us and the plague of lice is here
Who of the parents did not feel a little anxious when he received the message from the kindergarten that “the consolation has been prepared to visit again”? So true, lice, those blood-sucking parasites that settle on our heads and breed non-stop, exist throughout the year, but the summer months seem to be their “hot period.” Does it really happen mostly in the summer? What can be done to get rid of them? And is there a way to ensure they do not come back again? We turned to pharmacist Daniel Shimanov, from Yishgav Tel Aviv Pharmacy, with answers to frequently asked questions that will stop the itching in your head.

What are lice?

Head lice are small insects, about the size of a sesame seed, that live on human bodies and feed on sucking blood from the scalp. The lice are usually found in the hair, especially on the nape of the neck and behind the ears, where they also lay their eggs. Lice can survive up to 30 days on the scalp hair, but lice that have fallen out of the hair will only survive up to two days off the scalp.

How do they get infected?

80% of households in Israel have experienced or are experiencing the lice problem. This is in fact a worldwide problem, and in many countries around the world the phenomenon is even defined as an epidemic that must be eradicated. Since lice are unable to jump, swim or fly, and they move from head to toe in a brisk walk, it is especially common to find them among children aged 2-12 who tend to play closer to each other.

Is it possible to be infected by using infected combs / towels?

 

Since the lice’s only food is human blood, they are unable to survive outside the human head for more than a day or two, and they will starve to death. Therefore, the chance of being infected with lice from combs, hats, bedding, etc., is lower than the chance of being infected from direct head-to-head contact. At the same time, it is recommended to wash towels and bedding at a temperature of at least 60 degrees, and soak the hairbrushes and combs in boiling water with a little vinegar, after we have treated the lice that were on the child’s head.

Are boys and girls equally infected with lice?

Yes, it’s just a matter of hair length. Even in the modern and egalitarian age we live in today, most girls tend to grow long hair and most boys tend to get a short haircut. Therefore, a higher infection rate can be found among girls. Lice are easier to move from head to toe when the hair is long and they can walk on it. In addition long hair brings more frequent contact with other heads. Therefore, white parents with long hair should consider that they will be prone, more structures with short hair, to be infected with lice. Collecting long hair in a braid can certainly help reduce the risk of infection.

Are lice really common especially in summer?

Not true. Lice continue to exist even in the fall, spring and winter seasons. Perhaps the reason for the common mistake is that the combination of the lice along with the heavy heat and sweat creates an increased itching than usual.

Is it possible to infect lice more in the pool or at sea?

In the pool or at sea you can get lice just like anywhere else – by attaching heads. At the same time, it is important to remember that lice have an innate ability to hold their breath for 8 hours, so even if you stay long with your head in the water the lice will continue to live so that they cannot be drowned.

How can you get rid of lice?

In the past there were treatments based on toxic pesticides such as 300K, Which harmed both humans and the environment. Today, such substances are no longer used, and other effective preparations are available on the market instead. There are, for example, excellent preparations that help get rid of lice and eggs in just one treatment, but as a pharmacist I recommend in any case to repeat the treatment after about 10 days to ensure prevention of re-infection. In addition, I recommend the use of preparations that do not contain fatty substances that are difficult to wash off the scalp and create an unpleasant feeling. It is also recommended to use preparations based on the extract of the neem tree oil, produced from Indian mustard and known as an insecticide, which is non-toxic.

How do you get rid of lice eggs?

There are special preparations that help get rid not only of lice but also of eggs. These are especially recommended, as the lice hatch from the eggs only after a few days.

Is it possible to guarantee that the lice will not return?

Not really. The only way to prevent preparers from getting to the head is to completely avoid any head-to-head contact, which is almost impossible to do, especially when it comes to children. In any case, it is recommended to check the head on a regular basis, and if you are told about an infection that occurred through a person you were in contact with, it is advisable to hurry and check the head to prevent the lice’s culture if they jumped to visit.

Are there people resistant to lice?

No one is immune to lice. Even if you bathe 10 times a day and wash your hair every day – they will still be happy to visit. They also do not shy away from certain body odors or being picky about our blood type. They are transmitted by direct head-to-head contact, and are therefore most common in children. It is therefore important to make sure to check the hair frequently, comb with a comb with dense teeth and wash with substances that kill lice and eggs.

Is it possible to get rid of lice only by combing with a lice comb?

Combing with a comb with dense teeth is a start, but certainly not enough. It is likely that if you comb your hair with a lice comb every day you will get rid of some of the lice but you must also use substances that are meant to kill the lice and eggs. In addition, I recommend doing treatment at an interval of 10 days to make sure there is not left an egg or a rebellious lice left that will cause re-infection.

By Editor

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