Eight Head Lice Facts

When we are looking for information on head lice it is not always easy to find reliable sources, as there are countless myths about head lice and an overload of misinformation. This leads many people to be confused and end up applying the wrong treatment.

It is important to know some basic facts about head lice in order to react without panic and take effective measures to fight these parasites.

Here are 8 common myths and the corresponding head lice facts.

Myth nº1: Head lice is a result of a poor hygiene and can be eliminated with soap and water.
Fact: This myth is still deeply rooted in our society but it is really a myth. Head lice are resistant to water and soap. Having head lice is not a question of hygiene. They can infect anyone, whatever their background or personal hygiene.



Myth nº2: Lice jump or fly from one head to another.
Fact: Head lice cannot fly become they have no wings. It can be dislodged from the head by air movement and thus give the appearance of flying. It cannot jump either.

Myth nº3: All children with head lice scratch or itch.
Fact: Initial head lice infestation may produce no signs or symptoms for 4 to 6 weeks. This means that your child can have head lice but will begin itching only about one month later.


Myth nº4: Lice live in carpets, beds, clothes and couches.
Fact: A louse can only live up to 48 hours away from a human scalp. It can live on a hair that has fallen on a bed or clothes but will die within 2 days if it cannot enter in contact with someone’s head again.

Myth nº5: It is necessary to clean the house because I can catch lice through belongings and home furnishings.
Fact: Contamination happens only through direct contact with someone carrying head lice. The indirect transmission, such as through the exchange of hats, scarves, hairbands and helmets is perfectly possible, but actually quite uncommon statistically.

Myth nº6: If my child is scratching his head it means he has head lice.
Fact: the symptom of itching is not a proof that someone has head lice. You can diagnose head lice only if you can identify a living louse. Nits or eggs are often empty shells and do not allow an active infestation. Nits are often mistaken for dandruff, sand, dust or hair gel droplets.

Myth nº7: Lice die immediately after treatment.
Fact: It can take a live louse several hours (and up to 24 hours) before it dies following the treatment.

Myth nº8: The whole family should always be treated.
Fact: Only those who have a proven infestation should be treated, although all family members should be checked daily or weekly.


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