Can Head Lice Be Dangerous?

A lot of people ask themselves if head lice can be dangerous, toxic or poisonous. In many families, parents have been trying to get rid of these parasites for weeks or months without success, and they want to know if the health of their children can be at risk. Having head lice for such a long time worries people.

Is it true that head lice can be dangerous for your health, or is it just a myth?

First, don’t panic when you have head lice. Of course they are disgusting for the vast majority of us, as any other insects that live off of our blood. Nobody wants to host a parasite in his head.



Head lice as a whole are not dangerous for your health. It is a condition, not a disease. They suck our blood but they cannot transmit diseases and thus they are not dangerous for health. Lice will not harm you, but of course you should treat them.

What about if you have head lice for a long time or don’t treat them?

If your kids have had head lice for several months, they will probably be scratching theirs heads a lot, and have crusts on the scalp. The problem in this case is that the crusts might get infected and the kids might suffer a bacterial infection called impetigo of the skin.

Impetigo is caused by streptococcus (strep) or staphylococcus (staph) bacteria.

The skin normally has many types of bacteria on it, but intact skin is an effective barrier that keeps bacteria from entering and growing in the body. When there is a break in the skin, bacteria can enter the body and grow there, causing inflammation and infection. Breaks in the skin may occur with:
• Animal bites
• Human bites
• Injury or trauma to the skin
• Insect bites

Impetigo may also occur on skin where there is no visible break. It is most common in children, particularly those in unhealthy living conditions.

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001863/

This is why you should definitely treat head lice anyway.

Now, if you have been applying head lice shampoos for several weeks or months, your children might have other health problems, because these products have side-effects that can range from light to severe. In this case, being unable to get rid of head lice can be dangerous.

If you have no success with commercial lice products, you’ll want to stop using them and treat lice with home remedies.

If your children have head lice and you can’t get rid of them, make sure you go to your doctor’s before applying other treatments. Your health care practitioner will check the scalp of your child and tell you which are the safest treatments possible (even the natural ones).



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