Human lice (Pediculus humanus) - small from 0.5 to 5 millimeters, blood-sucking insect pests, delivering a lot of trouble and discomfort to their "owners" (carriers).
They live for a relatively short time, about five or six weeks. But during this time one female is able to lay several hundred eggs - nits. What is not so little.
Many parents are one hundred percent sure that lice in their extremely clean children appear either from contacts with stray animals, or, in their opinion, from untouched, neglecting personal hygiene, deprived of parental attention of classmates or classmates. Especially if their social status is somewhat lower. But these assumptions are extremely wrong!
Human lice are not able to parasitize animals and do not spend their free time waiting for the victim, hiding in the grass like ticks.
The main causes of lice in children - direct contact with a person infected with pediculosis, clothes hanging nearby in the school locker room, hats in particular. Also, many children do not stop sharing hair care products: hairbrushes, elastics, hairpins and so on. It is for this reason that lice appear more often in girls than in boys. Plus, the hair length plays a significant role, since the lice move extremely slowly and cannot jump or fly. They move only by clinging to the hair or villus of clothing.
The risk of infection with pediculosis increases several times in places with large concentrations of children. There are not only schools and kindergartens, but also public transport, playgrounds, entertainment centers, clubs and holidays with many invited children.
How to get rid of lice.
It makes no sense to list all the available ways and means to combat this nuisance. Pharmacies sell a considerable amount of lice products. There are also many popular methods.
And whatever you do, what steps are not taken, your child is able to bring this “charm” at the most inopportune moment.
The main thing to remember are some basic rules:
- Check the head of the child for the presence of lice and nits at least once a week,
- Talk about the unwanted use of other people's hair care products and hats,
- Pack hats and scarves in separate bags, and not scatter anywhere.
If all the same lice appeared in the child should:
- Bring them out as soon as possible by any means (medicinal or folk),
- Monitor the situation daily for their reappearance,
- Comb the hair as often as possible with a comb with a frequent tooth,
- Check bedding and outerwear for nits;
- It is advisable to disinfect the nursery with insect repellents.
Do not delay the treatment of pediculosis, in order to avoid unpleasant consequences and epidemics. Be attentive to your children!
What is nits
A disease in which parasites start on the head is called pediculosis. Lice parasitize exclusively on mammals - they drink the blood of the host. Human animals do not live on the body of animals, with the exception of certain species of monkeys. There are several varieties of these parasites: head, ward, pubic. Without a microscope, head lice look like light gray tiny insects. The wardrobe look is almost white, and the pubic - the darkest with a shortened body, due to which they resemble small crabs.
Under the microscope, you can see the oval body of the parasite and flat back. The average size of an adult individual is 2–4 mm. The larvae are about 0.6–2 mm long. The head of the louse is oblong, in front of which there is an oral opening covered with a skin fold. In the process of feeding the body of the parasite becomes red. Lice are bloodthirsty insects. They feed 2 to 4 times a day, and their larvae up to 8 times. The female drinks 0.7 mg of human blood per day.
The most common parasites in children are head lice, which breed in the hair. Most of their number settles on the crown, temples, behind the ears and in the back of the head. In the same place adult individuals lay eggs, which are called nits. They with the help of a secret of the female stick to the hair and develop, after which the larvae appear from them. Nits in the head are the first to be seen in the diagnosis, so it is easy to determine the infection with lice.
Where do nits come from
Nature has not awarded lice flying or jumping abilities. The parasite can only crawl, moving at a speed of 10–20 cm / minute. These restrictions do not prevent their spread among children and adults. Infections with pediculosis are possible in several ways:
- Close contact with an infected child. A louse crawls easily to a new object if it is at close range. The process of infection occurs in crowded places (schools, kindergartens, recreational activities). Even one selfie is enough when children are closely pressed to each other.
- Sharing personal items. Wearing common hats, using an infected comb is the most common cause of pediculosis in children.
There is an opinion that lice in people can appear if fleas are found in a pet. This is a false assumption, since these parasites do not move from animal to human. Other common misconceptions about the causes of nits:
- Non-compliance with hygiene. Constant washing of the head will not help from the head lice. Nits in a child occur in a clean family. Lice feel even better in clean hair when there is no presence of greasy components that impede their movement.
- Stress. The similarity of symptoms (itching, restless sleep) makes you think that nits in children appear after stressful situations. This is not true. Parasites can occur only after infection.
- Constant wearing of nits in a state of hibernation. Some people believe that every person on the scalp carries eggs of lice, which, with a decrease in immunity, are activated and begin to actively proliferate. This version is also incorrect. Lice can not be long without human blood - after 3 days they die of hunger.
The first bites of lice occur a few minutes after the child’s hair covering. If it is 1-2 adult individuals, then their livelihoods are not felt until the first generation larvae (nymphs) grow up. Lice begin to bite the scalp en masse 3-4 weeks after infection. The incubation period is not a pronounced course of lice.
Typical symptoms of the disease (severe itching, scratching of the skin to the blood, pustular scratches and crusts, accompanied by burning pain) are observed only after reproduction and reproduction of the first generation of parasites. The duration of the incubation period varies from 6 to 12 days, which depends on the degree of initial infection of the child.
If the number of adults is small and the skin sensitivity is weak, then the baby will not feel discomfort for a long time. This imperceptible infection is dangerously rapid reproduction of parasites, because they constantly lay eggs. The life cycle of lice is short - no more than 30 days. Every day, the female lays off 3-4 nits. For the entire period of its life, the parasite lays up to 140 eggs.
One can only guess how many nits are produced by several adult individuals. For this reason, an asymptomatic incubation period can lead to an advanced stage of head lice, which is much more difficult to cure. The development of the parasite from nits to sexually mature pest lasts from 16 to 30 days. The temperature of the incubation period is influenced by the temperature background of the environment. From the moment of birth to the end of the life cycle, lice goes through 4 stages:
- Egg (nit). White or light yellow dots of teardrop shape attached to the base of the hair. Have a size of about 1 mm. Ripening eggs lasts 5–8 days.
- Larva. Develops 1-10 days. Within 30 minutes after the appearance begins to feed on the blood of the host.
- Nymph of the first order. Formed within 5 days. The nymph of the second order develops over 8 days, after which it turns into an adult insect.
- Mature individual. Ready for reproduction at the end of the last molt. The process of mating occurs on the first day after the transformation of the nymph.
How to get lice and nits
Treatment of pediculosis in children should begin immediately. After the discovery of nits in a child, it is better to consult a dermatologist. The main treatment regimen is the etching of adult insects with insecticide-containing agents, or the mechanical removal of lice and their larvae. The sequence of therapeutic measures is as follows:
- the child’s head is treated with a pediculicide for a specific time, then it is washed off,
- a metallic hard comb combed through your hair to remove dead nits and lice
- at high temperatures, the hats and clothes of the child, as well as bed linen, are washed or digested,
- a week later, repeated treatment is carried out to destroy the surviving larvae.
Often, after getting rid of nits and adult parasites, it is necessary to treat the consequences of their vital activity: abscesses, ulcers, allergies. Preparations for such therapy, too, is prescribed by a doctor. Sometimes the treatment of the effects of pediculosis is longer than getting rid of nits and lice. In parallel with the treatment of the child, it is necessary to take measures to protect the rest of the family from being infected. To do this, you must stop direct contact with the infected (games, hugs, kisses).
Regardless of the drug chosen, pediculosis treatment is carried out according to one scheme. Algorithm of actions of parents at home:
- Before the procedure is required to test the drug to eliminate the possibility of the development of allergic reactions. To do this, a small amount of the drug should be applied to the elbow area of the child for 1.5 hours, during which the overall health of the baby and the condition of his skin should be monitored.
- If allergies to the drug is not observed, then you should proceed to the treatment of the head, which is held in a well-ventilated area. The selected agent is distributed over the entire length of the hair. Some preparations are applied on dry strands, others - on thoroughly dried with a hairdryer. In order to avoid chemical components on the mucous eye or forehead of the child wear a protective visor.
- After applying the drug, the head is covered with polyethylene to create a greenhouse effect. The tool is aged on the head from 15 minutes to several hours depending on the recommendations of the manufacturer.
- At the end of the prescribed period, the mixture is rinsed with water, after which the head is rinsed with vinegar solution. This will help to dissolve the sticky mass with which the nits are attached to the hair.
- The last stage of work - the most monotonous and long, judging by the reviews of parents. By combing with frequent teeth, dead nits, larvae and adults are meticulously combed out.
Nits in a child are sometimes removed without the use of insecticidal drugs. Some parents prefer only the mechanical method using a conventional or electric comb, which can be easily purchased at any pharmacy. When choosing them, you need to rely on some nuances:
- inspect the tips of the teeth: the more they are rounded, the less tender children's skin will be injured when in contact with them,
- choose the length of the teeth, based on the length and thickness of the child’s hair,
- pay attention to the distance between the teeth - the smaller the better
- choose combs with metal teeth, because the plastic is flexible and will allow nits and lice,
- for the treatment of a child, it is better not to acquire electric combs, since the length of the teeth is small, and the possible electric shocks will be too sensitive for the children's head.
You can get rid of parasites with a few combings. The process will be effective if you follow certain rules:
- wet your hair - this will increase the visibility of nits,
- stock up in advance with hairpins and a small comb to distribute the strands,
- start combing your temples
- comb your hair, starting from the roots to the ends (on yourself), holding the comb over the strand,
- remove the combed hair with a hairpin from the rest of the hair,
- After each treatment, rinse the comb in water diluted with vinegar.
Pharmacies offer many different treatments for head lice. Lice in the hair effectively remove shampoos, creams, ointments. Perfectly helps the treatment of the head with insecticidal spray, aerosol or lotion. Anti-pediculosis drugs are classified on the basis of the active substance, which affects the parasites:
- drugs Knicks, Medifox, Nittifor - destroy the nervous system of lice, which leads to paralysis and death,
- Insecticides Benzyl benzoate, Paranit, Para plus plus - penetrate through the chitinous membrane of parasites, accumulate in toxic concentrations, causing the death of larvae and adults.
Among the most popular means of parents are emulsions and other liquid preparations. Available pharmaceuticals for pediculosis:
- Tar soap. Created on the basis of birch tar, which has disinfecting, regenerating, antipruritic, anesthetic properties. The soap has a very unpleasant smell, which repels insects for a long period after treatment. One of the components of tar is phenol, after lice gets on the skin, burns are left, and benzene, which is also a part, kills the nerve centers of nits. The process of pediculosis treatment is simple: wash your hair with regular shampoo and rinse. Then tar soap is foamed on the hair and left for 15-40 minutes. Then the head is washed with running water and combed with a comb.
- Pedilin. Emulsion for children, containing as part of malathion - a substance belonging to the group of insecticides. It is a nerve poison that, when in contact with parasites, paralyzes and kills them. For the treatment of the scalp of the child, it is necessary to moisten the hair with plenty of emulsion and rub it with a cotton swab into the roots. After the treated area, it is necessary to cover with a kerchief for 3–5 minutes, then rinse the preparation with water and carefully comb the strands with a thick comb. If necessary, the procedure is repeated after a day.
As a rule, for the treatment of pediculosis parents buy shampoos. Their advantage is ease of use. The most popular baby shampoos against nits and lice:
- Anti-bit. For the treatment of pediculosis is applied to the wet hair roots, rubbed for 3 minutes, then washed off. The procedure is performed twice. When using the shampoo, side effects may occur: erythema, swelling, burning, itching, hair loss. It is contraindicated to use the drug in case of hypersensitivity to the components.
- Sifax. To get rid of ectoparasites shampoo is applied to damp hair for 10 minutes. Then it is necessary to moisten the head again and intensively rub the preparation. After shampoo is washed off with warm water. The procedure is repeated after a day, then after 7 days. In the process of applying the shampoo, allergic reactions can develop: erythema, pruritus. You can not use the drug for hypersensitivity to the components and in the early age of the child (up to 2 years).
- Hygia. Highly effective shampoo at the same time destroying lice and nits. The method of application is simple: to treat wet hair, leave for 20 minutes, then rinse with running water, comb through with a comb. Possible side reactions: rash, itching at the site of application. Contraindications to the use: violation of the integrity of the skin, inflammation, age up to 5 years, increased sensitivity to the components.
Removing lice folk remedies involves the use of lavender oil or tea tree, decoction of tansy, kerosene, hydrogen peroxide, or a simple shave hair. The most effective folk recipes:
- Chemerichnaya water. This is a mixture of water and alcohol tincture Chemeritsa Lobel, which is sold in pharmacies. To destroy the lice tincture with water is diluted in a ratio of 1: 1. Apply the product over the entire length of the washed hair, then put on a plastic bag, leave for 20 minutes. Then the mixture is washed off first with running water, then with shampoo.
- Cranberry juice. Squeezing the juice from the berries must be immediately before use. Apply to washed and slightly dried hair along the entire length and scalp for 20 minutes. Cover with a cap and periodically knead. Then wash off, slightly dry with a towel, carefully comb your hair with a thick comb.
- Garlic mask. For cooking, you need to knead a few cloves of garlic with a blender. The resulting rare mass is applied on the scalp, spread over the hair, put on a shower cap on top. After 2 hours, the mask should be washed off with water, apply any vegetable oil on the hair and thoroughly comb them with a comb. To eliminate unpleasant odor strands can be rinsed with a weak solution of vinegar.
С проблемой вшей у ребенка сталкиваются многие родители, ведь малыш в детском саду и школе постоянно находится в тесном контакте со сверстниками. Избавление от паразитов – задача трудоемкая, поэтому нужно принимать профилактические меры, чтобы не допустить педикулез. These include:
- avoiding contact with people and children living in unsanitary conditions,
- use only personal hats, rubber bands, pins, hairbrushes,
- regularly wash clothes (bedding and bed linen) at high temperatures,
- periodically wash the head of the child with insecticidal shampoos for the prevention of nits and lice.
Lice have my baby? Do not you say! Where from ?!
Most parents naively believe that lice (like fleas, bedbugs, scabby mites and other ectoparasites) are capable of “attacking” only those people who, for various reasons, neglect hygiene, live, to put it mildly, in extremely constrained conditions or “wrinkle” ( Sorry for the pun!) Whoever you are.
But alas, no! Lice can happen absolutely in all children and adults indiscriminately, even children from rich and famous families, students of the most elite, privileged boarding schools, etc. are not insured.
Judge for yourself: the parasite is able to move through the hair and fabrics of clothes at a speed of about 40 cm per minute. It is also capable of “firmly” attaching itself in fibers or hairs in order to “wait” for its new “host”. So, you and your child can become infected with lice at any second - using public transport, giving outerwear to the wardrobe of a cinema or a fitness club, washing your things with other people, not to mention such high-risk options as staying at a hotel or hostel, multi-day camping with tents in the company of random people (eco-tourism, “wild” tourism, etc.) and other activities that involve close communication of people unfamiliar to each other (and children including).
Can head lice cause serious illness in children?
It is worth mentioning that such unpleasant parasites, such as lice, there are only three types: head louse, pubic louse and clothes louse (each species, in fact, indicates where the insect lives and eats). Naturally, only head lice prevail in children - due to the fact that up to a certain time only hairs are present on the head of children.
Head louse attaches to the scalp, bites and sucks blood. But it does not reproduce on the skin, but on the hair. Given this feature, at all times the most effective, effective and cheap way to save a child from lice was considered to shave his head.
Despite the fact that lice are incredibly annoying to their "owner" - the scalp constantly itches and itches terribly - this is not the most terrible threat that they present to the child. Alas, lice can sometimes infect a person with dangerous diseases.
How to prevent child infection with pediculosis
Unfortunately, the majority of domestic children's institutions today do not involve separate changing rooms, airtight lockers for storing clothes and other details of household equipment, which could reduce the risk of lice in children. And if a child infected with lice comes to one or another children's group, soon in this kindergarten, school, summer camp (or any other similar institution) you can already see an outbreak of pediculosis.
Unfortunately, there are no preventive cosmetics that would “take” lice from your baby — that is, there is not a single drug that could be smeared or sprayed on the child, and that would scare the parasites off of it.
Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the most effective way to prevent pediculosis in a child today is to regularly inspect his head. In addition, parents can teach their children “correctly” to hang outerwear in a common wardrobe - hats, scarves, gloves should be removed in a separate bag, and the jacket, down jacket, raincoat or fur coat should be hung up on the coat hanger, i.e. Fortunately, lice cannot move through slippery fabric).
Ways to combat pediculosis in children
Fortunately for us, in modern society, very few people, faced with lice, grabs the haircut machine “zero” - just go to the pharmacy and buy one or another means to combat pediculosis.
Naturally, anti-lice products for external use - special shampoos, gels, hair sprays - are much safer and easier to use.
However, the use of anti-pediculosal shampoos has one unpleasant everyday nuance: often the drug manufacturers convince customers that their shampoo kills all possible forms of the parasite in literally 10 minutes (both adult lice, larvae, and nits). However, in reality, toxic agents (contained in these shampoos) have a very speculative effect on louse eggs (nits). Even after treatment with the drug, many lice nits remain viable - after a few days, new larvae hatch from them, and in another couple of days new adult lice capable of reproduction mature.
Therefore, it is extremely important to strictly observe the prescriptions indicated on the packaging of the preparation, where (most often in recommendatory and not in mandatory form) it is proposed to repeat the procedure after 7 days. Only two treatments with a difference of a week give a truly effective result - first, all adults and larvae are killed, and after 7 days they kill those lice that had previously survived, being still embryos in the egg.
After such a double treatment of the child’s head with a special lice treatment, the probability of getting rid of them is 99.9%.
Why not use kerosene?
Modern moms and dads will surely remember how in the era of their childhood the most common and effective way to combat lice in children was kerosene - they “invited” scared kids to special premises for sanitation with whole classes, nurse cleaners smeared children's heads with burning kerosene and offered about a quarter to suffer hours, wrapped in a headscarf.
Indeed, kerosene kills adult lice and their larvae as effectively as today's good-smelling and harmless pharmacy shampoos for pediculosis. But there is a significant difference: kerosene is incredibly toxic, it can cause not only severe irritation on the scalp, but also damage to internal organs.
Theoretically, after the first treatment with a special anti-pediculosal shampoo (or, in the extreme, exceptional case, with kerosene), the child is “free” from lice and is not contagious to people around. However, after 7-10 days, if the reprocessing was ignored, the same baby is able to “share” his “lousy zoo” again with the whole world. Once again: in the interests of the child himself, and for the safety of his family and friends, it is extremely important to treat his head more than once, but twice - with an interval of 7-10 days.
Do not be modest, be healthy!
As rational, sane people and parents, you must understand that lice is not the “privilege” of unclean, sick, homeless, and degraded people. This is not a sign of trouble! Lice are all without exception. And whatever one may say, but lice is a disease not individual, but “herd”. Children are infected with pediculosis in almost 100% of cases just the same in institutions, passing the parasites to each other along the chain.
The scheme should be different: no matter how uncomfortable, uncomfortable, “embarrassing” (although it is not clear why!), It is unpleasant and scary, but if you discover lice in your child, you should immediately report it (delicately, privately, without hustle and bustle, but definitely!) the most adequate health worker in the kindergarten or school where your child goes to every day.
Medical workers in this case have a special plan of action - they inspect all the children after school hours (literally - without exception!) And inform the parents of those who need urgent treatment. After 2-3 weeks, doctors re-examine children. And then a month later they are examined again. This way (and only this way!) It is possible to remove lice not from one children's head, but from all at once - and this alone can guarantee that the outbreak of lice will be successfully eliminated.
How to understand that a child has lice?
The appearance of lice is called pediculosis. In any children's institutions, when receiving a child in a group or class, he is obliged to check for lice. This check should be repeated annually before the beginning of the school year and in the kindergarten after the summer holidays. Lice infect hair and scalp. Insects feed on blood. They jump from the clothes of the patient to the healthy and infect him. The appearance of lice in a child is characterized by certain symptoms. These include:
- constant desire to scratch your head,
- small wounds from insect bites,
- the occurrence of nits on the hair.
Nits are eggs laid by female lice. They stick to the hair and look like small bright spots. On dark hair it is easier to find them. When your baby complains of permanent itchy head, check his hair and skin on the back of the head and behind the ears. When treating pediculosis, both insects and nits are simultaneously destroyed.
In the case of infection of the baby at risk are his parents. Prevention of lice is carried out for the whole family. In kindergarten and school, children need to be inspired so that they do not change hats, do not lend each other combs, do not use someone else’s towels.
What do head lice look like?
How to understand that the baby has head lice? Pediculosis in children is easy to identify by nits. The lice themselves are insects 2-3 mm long, sometimes up to 4 mm. They have a dark orange color. They do not have wings, but they are rapidly moving on the head. Their torso is divided into 2 parts - the head and the body itself - connected by a narrowed transitional part. In the photo it is easy to recognize how the nits look, and how lice.
Nits Head lice Lice under magnification
One of the varieties of lice are clothes, which are turned on not in the hair, but in clothing. They look like hair lice, but smaller in size. Such lice lay nits in the folds of dresses, blouses, shirts.
Causes of Lice and Routes of Infection
Why did parasites appear, what are the reasons? Talk about lice infecting nerves is fiction. The theory is also not confirmed that people who rarely wash their hair are at risk, and parasites do not start in neat ones. As the scientists found out, lice love to live more on a clean head. They often appear in short-cropped children who wash their hair several times a week.
The only way of infection with head lice is contact with the patient, the use of his personal belongings - combs and hairbrushes, hairpins and hair ties, hats, underwear (more in the article: how to tie a hat for newborns from 0 to 3 months?). Infection usually occurs in a place where there is a large gathering of people. If the parents find lice in the child, you must notify the teacher at the school or the teacher in the kindergarten, so that all pupils and pupils will be checked for lice.
It is very easy to become infected with lice in places of large crowds of people, if there is a patient among those present
Since pediculosis is an old problem that tormented people in the years of the Civil and First World War, many recipes have been accumulated for the treatment of lice with home remedies. The oldest way is to shave well, because it is easier for insects to hide in long hair. In this case, lice have no place to put off the nits, and they themselves are clearly visible on the head.
When pediculosis in both adults and children, Pediculen Ultra recommended itself well: a carefully selected complex of active substances of the drug effectively destroys not only adult parasites, but also their larvae, and the spray conditioner that completes the treatment makes it easier to comb the dead lice and nits out hair. The tool is certified and safe, including for use in children from the age of three (spray-lotion - from the age of five).
How to get rid of baby lice up to 1 year?
For the baby there are medications that can be used for babies. There are two conditions:
- There should be no wounds on the scalp. Mom is obliged to check this.
- We can not allow the baby to itch, and then pulled his hand into his mouth. To do this, the treated hair is tied with a kerchief, and all the time the drug is exposed to the infant sits in the arms of the mother so that she can watch him.
For preparations for infants include:
- Lauri shampoo, which is also available as a cream for outdoor use,
- Neath Free shampoo, also in the form of a spray and gel,
- Permethrin cream for applying on the skin,
- Ivermectin Lotion.
These preparations are intended for children of the first year of life. The specific age from which to apply them is indicated in the instructions.
Are there any complications?
Why should lice be treated? What happens if you ignore it? What is dangerous contact with the products of life lice with the skin of children? Parasites can lead to the following conditions of the body:
- constant urge to scratch the hair roots,
- allergic reaction
- pustular skin diseases
- sores on the skin
- infection infection,
- worsening sleep quality
- bad mood
- impaired concentration
- most dangerous is typhus.
From the above list it is clear that the parasites prevent the little man from fully living. If the parents find lice in the child, they should be started immediately.
Where do lice come from? Causes of infection
Why does the baby have lice? Such a problem as lice and nits in children is very common, since it is among the children's population that the parasite transmission route, the contact one, is easily realized.
Many parents, having learned about this trouble, are wondering where lice could have come from, from a prosperous, hygienic and inspected child?
The concept that pediculosis is common only among socially disadvantaged children is incorrect, today lice are detected in children from different families, including those who are well off. Infection of a healthy child occurs from a person (child, adult) affected by lice. The louse is not able to move actively and, contrary to the common myth, does not know how to jump and fly, but it can crawl.
During close contact, the insect crawls from one head to another and continues its life cycle in a new place. Contact of children is very high in any organized groups (kindergartens, camps, schools, boarding schools), therefore, under such conditions, mass infection with lice is often detected. Close contact is also possible in children's playgrounds during games, away, at children's parties, etc.
The transfer of insects is also possible when using individual objects and hygiene products by several children during games - combs, towels, hats, hairpins, rubber bands. Much less often the contact way is realized in public places - hairdressing salons, baths, pools.
Based on the above, it becomes clear that if lice are found, the reasons lie in the social conditions of his stay, in contact with the source of infection. However, there are also factors of individual predisposition to pediculosis:
- the presence of long hair, especially in girls, because under such conditions, the louse has a great chance to catch on and start parasitizing,
- antisocial conditions of life, which is often observed in dysfunctional families, where lice is found in all family members,
- non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene regarding the care of the scalp - dirty and matted hair create ideal conditions for the breeding of lice and contribute to the visual disguise of parasites under dandruff and dirt,
- low parental control of the child.
How to find head lice - head lice symptoms
Lice parasitism on the head causes quite severe itching of the skin, which is most intense in the temples, neck, behind the ears. Because of the constant itch, children become more capricious and restless, constantly scratching their heads and sleeping poorly.
The products of vital activity of lice fall on the skin of the face and neck and lead to the appearance of erythema, vesicles, papules, which can assume the character of chronic dermatitis with prolonged absence of treatment with pediculosis drugs. When a coccal infection gets through the wound on the skin, secondary pyoderma occurs, and with its significant spread, an increase in lymph nodes is possible.
Pubic and dressing pediculosis in children is a rare phenomenon. Symptoms are similar to head lice and differ only in localization - with pubic lice, the skin of the pubic region and genitals suffers, with ward skin, itching and scratching of the whole body are noted.
Lice are detected by visual examination of the scalp. In organized children's groups, children are regularly examined for pediculosis by a health worker or educator, however, parents should also examine the child’s head, regardless of whether he or she attends an educational institution.
The main signs that can be suspected head lice:
- Small sores, swelling on the skin of the neck, shoulders, head
- Nits - lice eggs are transparent or white micro dots that attach to the hair at an angle.
To inspect the child must sit on a chair under a source of bright light. If the hair is long, the strands are separated from each other with a thin comb and examined. Живые вши, несмотря на маленький размер, легко обнаружить при осмотре, при запущенном заболевании обнаруживаются и мертвые особи. На поверхности кожного покрова могут быть обнаружены расчесы с корочками, голубоватые пятна.
Гниды же часто путают с перхотью, но, в отличие от перхоти, они трудно снимаются с волос и при раздавливании между ногтями создают типичный щелчок.
In the conditions of medical institutions for the diagnosis of pediculosis, a special Wood's lamp is used, under which live nits glow with a blue fluorescent light.
How to get lice?
If lice are detected, treatment should be started as soon as possible.
- firstly, it will prevent the spread of the disease among contact persons
- second, avoid unpleasant complications
- thirdly, it will save the child from unpleasant symptoms.
There are several areas of treatment for pediculosis, which in most cases have to be combined. Despite the diversity of modern drugs against pediculosis, drug treatment with chemical agents does not always lead to the destruction of parasites, since the latter are capable of producing resistance to the active ingredients of drugs. There are the following remedies for pediculosis in children:
There are three types of chemicals with insecticidal action against head lice:
- Malathion - one of the preparations based on it - Pedilin
- Phenotrin - one of the drugs on its basis Parazidoz (Itaks shampoo)
- Permethrin - based preparations: Pediculicidal medifox-gel, Medifox concentrate for the preparation of an emulsion of 5%, Nittifor, Hygia shampoo, Knicks cream.
- Benzyl benzoate. Drug based on it: Phoxilon Lotion
- Combined drug (Malathion + Permethrin + Piperonyl butoxide) - Pair Plus aerosol about 400 rubles.
Any cure for pediculosis in a child, the active ingredient of which is one of the three mentioned above, is dispensed without a prescription.
When treating with chemicals it is important to strictly follow the instructions for use. The drug must be applied twice, withstanding a week break, because during the initial application only the larvae and adult insects die, but the eggs are not always destroyed by chemical means. Repeated use of the drug allows you to destroy the hatched larvae.
The time to which the drug is applied varies from 10 minutes to half a day. After the preparation is washed away, it is necessary to carefully comb it out with the crest of dead insects.
Drugs with insecticidal action do not always lead to the destruction of lice. This is due to several factors:
- lice insensitivity to the active substance,
- improper use of the drug,
- failure to apply multiplicity of application.
Even the most expensive lice shampoo in children will be ineffective if you do not follow the instructions. Some children have allergic reactions on the background of the use of insecticides, so when you first use or if the child is allergic, you need to be very careful.
The drugs do not protect against reinfection, so after treatment, preventive measures should be taken to prevent pediculosis.
This technique has been known for a very long time, but it is quite effective provided that the combing was performed four times at certain time intervals within two weeks.
After washing, conditioner is applied to the hair with a greasy layer. After combing with a comb with rare teeth, the hair is thoroughly combed out by a frequent comb. Lice will be combed out with air conditioning residues, therefore the comb should be periodically washed. After all hair has been combed, it is necessary to dry it with a towel, comb it and repeat the procedure of combing it with a frequent comb.
Combing according to the described scheme is carried out four times in three days - on 1, 5, 9 and 13 days. This is done to kill the lice at different life cycles.
An interesting experiment! Belgian scientists conducted an experiment showing that the use of a conditioner for hair when combing nits is not inferior to chemical pediculicidal preparations in terms of effectiveness. However, if you started treatment with Permethrin and other chemicals, then before treatment and 2 weeks after, you should avoid using hair rinses and conditioners, as they create a film on the hair and reduce the absorption of chemical agents. That is, use only one way - either drugs, or combing with air conditioning.
There are other, less popular ways to treat pediculosis in children:
- Herbal remedies containing certain essential oils and plant extracts (anise, geranium, basil, rosemary, etc.) have an insecticidal effect with unproven efficacy, i.e. not recommended by official medicine.
- Electric combs, working on batteries and destroying lice by discharging electrical current. These are expensive devices, the use of which is permissible only on dry hair, therefore, they do not guarantee 100% effectiveness.
- Destruction of lice and nits with your hands, i.e. crush between the nails. This method is often used at home, but its effectiveness is low, since part of the parasites can crawl back onto the hair that has already been examined, and the person conducting the inspection can become infected with lice.
- Shaving hair bald. This method is used for the rehabilitation of household foci in disadvantaged families.
Complications of Pediculosis
As a result of scratching the itchy spots, wounds and crusts appear on the scalp, which are prone to suppuration when attaching a secondary infection. With the complication of pediculosis, impetiginous eczema and pyoderma occur, and in severe forms the hair becomes entangled in a koltun with a putrid odor. Lice can carry infectious diseases, the most dangerous of which is typhus.
What is pediculosis?
Pediculosis is an infection with parasites that affect the hairy scalp. Lice feed on the baby’s blood and lay eggs on the hair. The history of the existence of these parasites is inherently connected with man, they have existed for more than 80,000 years (data from scientists). Even the ancient Greek pharaohs and priestesses were shaving naked so that the lice did not interfere with their life, and not for religious reasons, as is commonly believed.
This blood-sucking parasite can appear in both older people and newborns. But most often they affect children 4-13 years old, as well as those who keep their hair in perfect cleanliness - it is easier for lice to catch on clean curls.
Most often, lice infect people exposed to constant stressful situations. Why? This is not yet clear to science, but there is an opinion that during stress in a person, the chemical composition of a person’s odor changes and this is a signal for parasites. Pediculosis is an unpleasant and dangerous disease that needs to be eliminated very quickly, otherwise the consequences may be unpredictable.
In humans, there are three types of pediculosis:
- Head - The Latin name is Pediculus Humanus Capitis. In this species, female lice reach 4 mm, and males 3 mm. The incubation period (the time during which lice will get out of the nits) is 15 days. Insects are clearly visible on the hair. Every 2-3 days they feed on the blood of the person on whom they live, but can starve for 10 days. Bites strongly itch because lice inject their saliva. Pediculosis can be transmitted through scrunchy, combs and hats. You can also get infected through a pillow on which an infected person was sleeping.
- Clothes pediculosis - off-white lice that live in the seams of clothing and pastel linen, and lay eggs there. The size of an adult individual is from 2 to 5 mm. This disease can be diagnosed by bites on the upper back, neck and shoulders. Bites are characterized by a bluish tint that persists on the body for a long time.
- Pubic pediculosis - ftiriaz. A pubic louse is called - the carpal, on the flat shape of the body. These parasites are very small in size and look like crabs. These lice infect the genital organs, but if neglected, diseases can move to the axillary zone. Bite itching is not strong and have a gray-blue color.
Mixed pediculosis also occurs when there are several types of parasites on the human body.
In order to prescribe the correct treatment, you need to determine the type of parasites living on the body at the moment. The correct diagnosis is 50% of success in treatment.
How is it dangerous for children?
Children are more likely to become infected with pediculosis, the body is weak and most susceptible to any diseases.
Interesting! Even newborn babies have lice infestation, which is transmitted from sisters and brothers or mothers.
In children with pediculosis observed:
- sleep disturbance,
- the appearance of purulent scratching on the head,
- the child can't concentrate
- anxiety and irritability appear.
Children infected with pediculosis are often naughty and crying, they cannot concentrate on studying, severe dizziness, itching all over their body can be observed. Even after the parasite has been eliminated, symptoms can persist for up to three days.
Disease in vulnerable and sensitive babies can lead to entomophobia (insect phobia) and parasitophobia (parasite phobia). A child may feel that someone is constantly crawling over his body, and insects will start to cause panic.
Children under three years old are particularly sensitive to the appearance of lice:
- temperature rise,
- swollen lymph nodes.
These symptoms provoke waste products of lice, which can cause allergies in the fragile organism.
Symptoms of pediculosis in children
When pediculosis in children there is a strong itching of the hairy scalp, which is strongly pronounced in the temples, neck, and behind the ears. From this, children sleep poorly, worry, and are all the time irritated.
The child combs the scalp to the wounds, there are crusts under the hair, which can join a secondary infection. As a result, can be observed:
In severe cases, children may have a koltun on the head, as the hair is glued together with purulent secretions from scratching.
The waste products of lice can cause an allergy in a child, which manifests itself as a rash on the neck and face, can spread throughout the body.
If pediculosis is not treated in children, the consequences may be as follows:
- lymphadenitis - a strong increase in lymph nodes,
- streptoderma - purulent infection, which got into the place of scratching,
Parasites are carriers of many diseases, one of the most common is typhus. Infection can occur from an insect, inside which are bacteria. With severe itching, the child can crush the louse and the bacteria causing the disease will enter the wound.
Pediculosis treatment in children
Pediculosis is usually treated at home. with an integrated approach it will be easy to do. It is understood that it is not enough to remove all the lice, you need to destroy the nits.
For pubic pediculosis in adolescents, hair is shaved in intimate places and in the armpits, and parasite colonies are treated with 5% of the composition of boric ointment.
If body lice were found in a child, then you need to erase all things. A simple wash will not work, laundry should be exposed. high temperatures. After that, things are hung out for a week in a ventilated room or in the sun.
Hair and skin of the child is treated with a pediculosis remedy.
Treatment of head lice is carried out in different ways:
When using pharmaceuticals in the treatment of lice, it is important to manually remove all nits. Some products kill insects, but do not affect their eggs, and soon lice may appear.
Parents of young children are afraid to use chemical compounds for the treatment of lice. Is it possible to get rid of parasites in a different way? Mechanical treatment is the manual removal of lice and nits. Method very laborious, especially if there are a lot of parasites and their eggs. Mom will need a lot of patience, because for a long time every day you need to comb the head of the child and remove the nits. But with all the complexity of the method is quite effective. What you need to prepare for the mechanical removal of parasite larvae and insects themselves:
- Metal comb. You can buy this device at the pharmacy. There are two types of crests - electrical and mechanical. The first option is different in that it can detect insects on the head. The mechanical comb consists of frequent teeth with notches, on which lice are punctured during combing.
Combing is done every 3-4 days for 14 days.
Important! If a child has thin or sparse hair, the method of combing will not bring any effect, you will have to apply chemical compounds or traditional medicine.
Often, doctors prescribe special drugs for the treatment of lice in young children. In the pharmacy you can buy:
When using chemicals, do not self-medicate, only an experienced specialist can pick up this or that pediculosis medicine for the child. There are two criteria for choosing a drug - the child's age and safety, which is determined by contraindications for health reasons.
All pharmaceutical means contain in their composition three main components in different concentrations:
- Permethrin - Antiviral, neurotoxic component, used in the composition of the means for removing lice in adults and children. The component is very effective and is contained in such preparations as: Knicks cream, Knox, Medifox.
- Malathion - an effective component, but you need to remember that this is a contact poison. It is necessary to use drugs with this substance only as prescribed by a doctor and in the most advanced conditions of the disease. The doctor may prescribe: Malathion, Pedilin, Novaktion.
- Benzyl benzoate - can remove not only adult insects, but also their larvae. The drug is quite toxic, so it can be used in children only after three years of age. Available in the form of an ointment or emulsion. The drug contains an antibacterial component that prevents the recurrence of the disease.
There are also combined tools that contain several components in their composition, they kill nits - Reed and Couple plus refer to the means of this type.
Preparations based on plant extracts, for example Paranit based on anise and mineral oil. Thanks to the oily composition, the access of air to the nits stops and they die. In addition, all herbal preparations contribute to the healing of wounds from scratching and improve the scalp of the child.
Features of the chemical method
If pediculosis was found in a small child, then only doctor can prescribe medication. Treatment should be comprehensive.
But before applying this or that chemical agent, you need to take into account some of the nuances:
- Do not use one medicine. more than three times, as parasites quickly adapt to chemicals, and it ceases to act, therefore, the drugs must be alternated.
- With the use of the drug for the first time adult parasites die. The second application is necessary in order to kill the individuals hatched from the larvae.
- When processing, special attention is paid to the places of large concentrations of nits - whiskey, behind the ears, at the back of the head.
- Chemicals can cause an allergic reaction, so you only need to use the medicine that your doctor prescribes.
- When applying the drug to the scalp, it should be covered with plastic wrap and warmed with a towel. Bath effect will help to cope with parasites much faster.
- The course of treatment is not limited to one procedure, the process must be repeated a week later, otherwise a relapse of the disease is possible - lice will hatch from the surviving larvae.
- After carrying out drug treatment, all nits are mechanically removed.
By following all the above recommendations from pediculosis, you can get rid of it very quickly and finally.
Drug-free treatment of pediculosis
Since lice exist for a very long time, there are many popular recipes for removing them from the child’s head.
Important! Before applying folk remedies to treat a child for lice, consult a doctor, as even some herbs can cause severe allergies.
What traditional medicine can be used in the treatment of pediculosis:
- Vegetable oil. With abundant lubrication of hair and scalp, the access of air to both the parasites and the larvae stops, from which they begin to die. Often used essential oils from various plants, especially effective are: tea tree oil, lavender and anise.
- Garlic and Onion Juice. This method is rarely used in the treatment of children, as the gruel of these vegetables, applied to the skin, burns heavily.
- Decoction of herbs. The most effective are infusions of hypericum and tansy. The decoction should be as thick as possible, it is rubbed into the scalp and rinsed hair after each wash.
Народные средства обладают повышенной эффективностью, так как проверены временем.
As soon as the baby is cured of head lice, it is important to prevent re-infection. Observe preventive measures even if the treatment has just been done.
Do not forget that pediculosis is a social disease, therefore, it is necessary to exclude communication with potential carriers of parasites. But this is only in theory. In practice, it is clear that it is impossible to completely isolate a child from communication with peers. The child goes to the garden or school, where he contacts with a large number of children.
For the prevention of pediculosis should tell the child about the rules of hygiene:
- Do not give anyone a comb and do not take someone else's, especially it is necessary to explain to girls with long curls.
- Do not wear someone else's hat and do not let your measure. The most common infection occurs through the exchange of headgear.
- Keep distance when playing together.
- Wear pigtails and do not dismiss your hair where there are a lot of people.
Since infection with lice is observed with the naked eye, a preventive measure will be a daily examination of the scalp of the child.
For prevention, you can use special repellents and essential oils, for example:
These substances do not tolerate nits and can be added to the baby shampoo in a few drops. But you just have to be careful and take a test for allergies in a child.
Pediculosis pediatric is a social, contagious and common disease that requires quick and effective treatment. 50% of success in treatment, the rapid detection of parasites on the baby's scalp ku, the rest of the drugs chosen to get rid of parasites.