It is a parent’s nightmare when they learn that their child has been sent home from school, all sorts of thoughts go through their minds. The most common reason is because of head lice and it is believed that as many as twelve million kids in the United States of America will get this each year. The most frequently asked question is then how to get rid of lice eggs. Those that are the most prone in getting lice is between the ages of three and fourteen years.
These are obligated ectoparasite, which means that one parasite benefits at the cost of another and is unable to complete its normal life cycle without the hose, which in this case are humans. They are wingless insects and spend their days on the scalp and feeding continuously from the blood obtained from the human. The adults are very small and only reach about 0.25 to 0.3 centimeters in length. Their scientific name is Pediculus humanus capitis.
They are very easily spread from one person to another especially if sharing a comb or brush and even sleeping on a bed that has been infected. It is fairly easy to realize when one has been infected as they begin to scratch and complain that there is something crawling on their scalp. Many parents think that it is dandruff but it is important to check anyway. Parting the hair bit by bit one will be able to see small white dots moving as well as eggs clinging to the hair shaft and the scalp might also have red bumps all over.
These eggs are known as nits and it is also very important to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Removing these nits means that there can be no more lice able to hatch and the contamination can be controlled. The first step in removing both the nits and lice is to wash ones hair with an over the counter shampoo especially made for lice. If the infestation is severe a prescription strength shampoo can be bought. Many people believe that if they submerge their head under water for as long as possible it will help to eradicate the problem, but this is not true. The lice are able to survive under the surface for many hours and even the chlorine used in pools is not strong enough.
Take a chair outside in the sun where there is natural light and drape a towel or sheet around the shoulders. If it is an adult that has gotten nits ask another adult to help as it is not easy to remove all traces when one is unable to see properly. A special nit comb can also be bought from the pharmacy and these combs are very fine enabling the majority of the eggs to be removed.
If the eggs are very difficult to remove try rinsing the hair with water and vinegar. The eggs are covered in a sticky matter which ensures that they will not fall off their host. Vinegar has got chemicals added that is able to dissolve this stickiness. Vinegar is also very useful for all sorts of things in the home, so stock up when there are specials on.
Firstly ensure that the water is warm and that the hair is wet. Turn off the tap and pour the vinegar over ensuring that each strand has being coated. Using the warm water again, rinse all the vinegar out. Another way to do it is to fill either the bath or the sink up with warm water and vinegar to a ratio of 1:1. Submerge the head for as long as one can or dip the head a few times until each strand has been coated.
If preferred one can add a gentle conditioned and then gently and thoroughly detangle the hair. This just makes it much easier to remove the eggs. The combs are always made from a hard plastic or metal and are easy to hold. Sometimes a magnifying glass might be needed to ensure that all the nits are removed. The majority of the nits might already have come loose and being washed away. Divide the hair into sections like one might do when coloring and carefully and slowly comb each section.
It is a good idea to keep a bowl of water and dish soap close by so after each run through the hair the comb can be rinsed off. Wipe it dry with either a facial tissue or toilet paper as this will help to remove any nits or lice still on the comb. This process will need to be repeated until all signs of lice and nits have been removed. Be careful to keep the sections that have already been done away from those that have yet to be combed.
When the whole process has been completed rewash the hair. If there is still some medicated shampoo, it is a good idea to use it again. Dry the hair and then give it another examination.
If there are still eggs and lice moving around, the entire process will need to be done from the very start. It is not uncommon for this process to be done two or three times. Once the head is clear do not forget to carefully clean all the materials that were used. Flush the soapy water that was used to clean the comb down the toilet. Boil the kettle and add half a litre of boiling water to one cup of ammonia and insert the nit comb. Let it soak for about fifteen minutes and then give it a scrub with an old and unused toothbrush.
Another method is to use normal Listerine ensuring the hair is drenched. Cover with a shower cap and leave on for a minimum of half an hour. This can be repeated as many times as necessary. If it is to be done overnight leave the Listerine on the hair and cover the pillow with a towel. Once awake rinse off and repeat if necessary.