It is very common scene for school going children scratching off their heads a number of times a day and the most common reason for this is the lice infestation which is usually carried home from schools. Generally children and women are most affected by lice compared to men. The small six legged wingless insects that cause this infestation cling to the hair shaft and can't be removed by just having few showers. Three types of lice infestations are observed like head lice, body lice and pubic lice, of which the head lice are the most prevalent.
Head lice not only attacks the children, but it also spreads to the scalps of other family members making things tough. Lice are very active and can travel fast through the hair shafts and the scalp and they lay eggs (nits) in large numbers. They feed on the blood by stinging the scalp skin that causes itching and irritation of the scalp. This leads to tremendous hair loss and if left untreated can cause serious damage to the scalp.
Causes and Symptoms
1. Head lice infestation results from the direct head to head contact especially in children.
2. Body lice spread through contact with pet dogs, through saloons, sharing clothes of the infested person.
3. Pubic lice spread due to multiple partners, sharing the bedding of an infested person.
Symptoms include severe itching and scratching of the scalp occasionally few lice being visible. Hair turns brownish in color resulting in heavy hair loss.
Home Remedies for Lice
Medical treatment in removing lice usually involves harsh chemicals that often lead to damaging the scalp and retarding the hair growth. Natural remedies are considered the best in treating lice.
1. Tea tree oil is a natural killer of lice. The oil applied and well massaged in the scalp if left overnight kills the lice and the nits (eggs).
2. Washing the hair with vinegar also kills lice.
3. Applying a mixture of lemon and butter on the scalp keeping it for 20 minutes and then washing it off with water is very effective in removing lice.
4. Another useful home remedy for lice is a mixture of vinegar and baby oil. Apply the mixture on your hair for an hour and then wash with mild shampoo to kill lice.
5. Massaging the scalp with mayonnaise kills lice and combing the hair with special comb after 2 hours takes out the dead lice and the nits.
6. Applying a teaspoonful of garlic and lime paste on the head and then washing it off after half an hour is a good home remedy for lice.
7. Combing the hair with specially designed lice comb frequently brings out lice and the nits.
8. Another simple home remedy for lice is castor oil. Castor oil application helps in the prevention and growth of lice.