When you ask yourself how do you get head lice, you also want to know why your kids get head lice more often than you or other adults. Have you ever noticed that in some families, head lice seem to be coming back again and again, affecting all the kids, but the parents do not get them?
Among other factors, according to experts, this may be linked to the particular scalp pH of each individual.
Basically the pH is a measure of the level of acidity of a substance, in this case, your head. A pH of 7 means the acidity level is neutral.
The pH of our skin is variable but moves in a safe range between 4.5 and 5.5. This is what is known as an acidic pH. And guess what?
This acid layer will act as the first barrier of defense of our body against all kinds of infections, whether bacterial, viral or fungal.
When we are born, our skin pH of 7 is neutral, and as we grow up it slowly changes to develop what is called the acid mantle of the skin. This acid mantle is created by the body as a protective shield.
When a child turns 12 years old approximately (at puberty) this acid layer is practically formed and from 20 years old this acid mantle is well trained to provide good protection against external environmental factors that can harm us.
The acid mantle is a very fine, slightly acidic film on the surface of the skin acting as a barrier to bacteria, viruses and other potential contaminants that might penetrate the skin. The pH of the skin is between 4.5 and 6.2, so it is acidic. These contaminants and other chemicals are primarily alkaline in nature and the skin’s moderate acidity helps to neutralize their chemical effects. Source: Wikipedia
This is why when a child is under 12 years old, his skin is not fully acidic and does not act as a barrier against viruses and bacteria.
And this is why children are much more affected by head lice than adults.
Then, among adults, some parents will always get lice while others will treat their children year after year without ever getting a single louse themselves. This is because not every individual has the same skin pH. Some people have a more acidic skin and this will be too much for lice. Of course this is not enough to explain everything, but it is an important factor.
Similarly, some kids seem to never get affected by head lice, for the same reason. They will have a skin that is more acid than their friends or cousins.
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