The disease associated with the ingress of lice on human skin has been known for a long time. There are records that even before our era, priests carefully shaved their heads to protect themselves from these parasites. The disease itself is called pediculosis and it is dangerous because lice are the main carriers of typhus and a number of other infectious diseases. Much has passed since the first mention of this disease, but the problem of combating these parasites is still relevant.
Pediculosis is manifested by periodic epidemic outbreaks. One of its main features is that it spreads quickly, but it heals just as quickly. Therefore, his treatment is not costly either in time or in terms of financial resources. Doctors say the disease outbreaks are due to climate softening, high population migration, poor public knowledge about head lice, and misuse of funds aimed at combating the disease. Also, one of the main factors that does not allow humanity to get rid of this disease is the ability of parasites to adapt to drugs and means of combating it.
Today, doctors deny the theory that lice infect only those who do not follow the rules of hygiene, since parasites are also found in people who take care of themselves. Lice are also prone to appearing in people who bathe very often. This is because a film of sebum does not linger on the skin. This film prevents the bites of parasites. And the absence of this barrier creates additional conditions for the life of lice. In this regard, doctors say that it is better to carry out water procedures no more than 1–2 times a day.
Many people believe that lice feed on the top layers of hair or skin, but this is actually not the case. They feed on human blood. At the end of their paws there are special hooks, thanks to which they can cling to hair roots. Also, their oral apparatus is adapted to piercing the skin and sucking blood.
Lice are of several types:
- Head lice, which are most common in humans. They can cause a lot of discomfort and suffering. Infection occurs when people are close to each other.
- Body lice. They do not live on the human body but only move there to feed. They can be found in clothing or bedding.
- Pubic lice, which are found in the hairline of the armpits or groin. They can be contracted through sexual contact or through the use of other people’s clothing.
To detect lice as quickly as possible, you should be aware of the symptoms of their appearance:
- Dark blue patches that may look like bruises. They appear where lice are most often active.
- Constant feeling of itching caused by lice bites and injection into the wounds of the salivary glands
- Redness in the places of bites and a yellow border around the wounds
- The appearance of rashes
- Thickening and roughness of the affected areas of the skin
- Detection of live insects in places of hairline, on bed linen or clothes
- Detection of lice eggs, which may resemble dandruff in some way
If you find yourself with these parasites – no need to panic. The main thing is to start immediate actions to remove them. To do this, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Treatment of pediculosis includes several stages:
- Inhibition of the vital activity of parasites
- Combing dead parasites from the scalp
- Heat treatment of clothes and personal belongings of a person suffering from this disease
- Repeated chemical treatment of infected skin areas and combing out lice
Medicines for the treatment of pediculosis are also prescribed. They are divided into means of external and internal use. Means intended for oral administration are aimed at changing the chemical composition of the blood to a more toxic one. This interferes with the activity of parasites. Substances for external use are safer for humans since they are directed directly at the lice themselves. One of the traditional treatment regimens for lice is to apply medication to the hair. After that, the head is wrapped in a towel or polyethylene and left for 1–2 hours. Next, the product is washed off with regular shampoo and dead lice are combed out. But there are also many other ways to deal with these parasites, which are practiced by lice clinics. Most methods are effective and help to quickly recover from lice. In almost every city, whether it’s San Jose, Sacramento or Virginia Beach, there are doctors who will save you from this ailment. Not all medicines are suitable for the treatment of children, therefore, before the extermination of parasites, it is imperative to consult a specialist.
In any case, no matter what you do, it is not possible to completely eliminate infection. But still, precautions must be taken to minimise the risks. For instance:
- Use only your own hygiene products
- Keep your distance from others
- Mandatory personal hygiene measures: regular water procedures, as well as a change of clothes and bed linen
- Avoid casual sex
- Regularly clean or wash clothes, furniture, bedding, and mattresses
- Use shampoos with prevention lice effect
Remember that no one is completely immune from head lice infection. The main thing is to use all methods of prevention or, in case of infection, immediately contact specialists like Lice Doctors for help in different cities across the US such as Gainesville or Sarasota. In this case, you will quickly get rid of the disease and the problem will not bother you in the future.
David Tobin did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He is interested in mental health and well-being.