Table of contents:
- What is head lice
- Varieties of lice
- Causes of appearance and characteristic symptoms
- How to detect and diagnose a lice infestation
- Typical symptoms
- Getting rid of head lice with pharmacological drugs
- Folk remedies to combat head lice
- How to properly comb out lice and nits in a child
Video: Pediculosis In Children: How To Treat, Drugs And Remedies For Infection
2023 Author: Riley Dean | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 09:15
The spread of lice has always been considered a satellite of war times, hunger, cataclysms. But you can get infected with ectoparasites at any time, head lice affects children and brings a lot of trouble in families where cleanliness and hygiene are strictly monitored. Schoolchildren and kindergarteners pass lice to each other through close contact, the disease quickly spreads in the children's collective. Consider how to treat pediculosis in children, which drugs are safe for the child and help to quickly get rid of parasites.
- 1 What is head lice
- 2 Varieties of lice
- 3 Causes of appearance and characteristic symptoms
- 4 How to detect and diagnose a lice infestation
- 5 Characteristic symptoms
6 Getting rid of head lice with pharmacological drugs
- 6.1 Ointments and sprays
- 6.2 Specialized shampoos
- 7 Folk remedies to combat head lice
8 How to properly comb out lice and nits in a child
- 8.1 Choosing a special comb
- 8.2 Rules for combing
- 9 Prevention
What is head lice
The Latin word pediculus means louse. Pediculosis is a parasitic disease in which lice and their eggs (nits) are present on the human body. This is a common type of ectoparasite, that is, insects that live on the body and feed on human blood.
Lice parasitizing humans has been known since ancient times. Their dry bodies are found in tombs and burials of different peoples - from the far north to Egypt. To get rid of the unpleasant neighborhood, the army shaved the heads of the soldiers, the same way the Egyptian priests did before the New Era.
Head lice is considered a sign of dysfunctional families and slum life. But the ease of transmission of parasites, even with short contact, makes possible the rapid spread of lice in adults and children in all population groups. Once on the body, the adult begins to lay eggs, and the person becomes ill with head lice.
A short contact with an infected person in public transport or a store is enough for the louse to pass to a person who observes all the rules of hygiene and does not live among the marginalized.
It is even easier to get infected in childhood. Natural curiosity and friendliness, common games, contacts with street animals and unfamiliar children make it possible for lice to transfer to any child. It is almost impossible to avoid a meeting with a parasite, which means infection.
Reference: statistics informs that most often head lice is observed among young people (15-25 years old), children take an honorable second place (27%)
Outbreaks of head lice are usually recorded during wars and natural disasters, when people are forced to live crowded, and there is no way to keep clean. Fighting head lice is important not only because it worsens a child's quality of life. Lice contribute to the spread of deadly infections such as typhus and relapsing fever.
The influx of migrants and refugees into the country worsens the epidemic situation for head lice and causes the risk of infection of the population, especially children.
Varieties of lice
There are many species of lice, each of which has a special habitat and parasitism. Only three types of lice are observed in humans:
- hair - affects the head, lives in the hair, so shaving bald frees from parasites;
- pubic - chooses coarse thick hair in the groin, in the armpit, on the eyelashes and in the beard for living;
- wardrobe - accumulates in the folds of clothes and linen.
The size of bloodsuckers is from 1.5 to 5 millimeters. The smallest are the pubic ones. When bitten, insects with a proboscis pierce the skin to the vessels in order to get blood. In doing so, they release a special itchy secret.
Since lice are not infectious pathogens, but simply parasites, there is no incubation period for head lice. On contact with the body, they are immediately capable of biting. Life expectancy is about 40 days. Lice eggs are called nits, and they are attached to the hair with the help of a sticky secretion from an adult.
Nits are at first translucent, and are retained at the roots of the hair, later darken and turn into larvae and adults that need food.
Causes of appearance and characteristic symptoms
Head lice can affect any child. In the absence of hygiene and living in a disadvantaged environment, this is more likely. The source of occurrence is always a person or his things.
The appearance of a child with head lice among children almost always leads to infection of most of the team. An outbreak of infestation (lice) is usually recorded when children gather after a period of summer holidays or vacations. One sick person is enough for many to become infected.
What provokes head lice in children:
- wearing one piece of clothing, hats, hair clips, elastic bands;
- close contact - hugs, walking by the hand;
- games with general objects;
- infection often occurs in hairdressing salons;
- swimming in reservoirs, including pools, baths;
- babies become infected from mothers and other close relatives.
Body lice are mainly affected by elderly people who do not follow good hygiene. Infection of children with this type of head lice usually occurs when visiting elderly relatives.
In order for an individual who accidentally got on the body to start actively multiplying, a weakening of immunity and non-compliance with hygiene rules are required. For children who often and thoroughly wash their hair and comb their hair, a single visitor may not take root.
A characteristic sign of head lice is a constant urge to scratch the head, itching and discomfort under the hair. Consider all the symptoms below in detail.
How to detect and diagnose a lice infestation
Pediculosis is well detected with a simple visual examination. In children, you can see nits - small white eggs that attach to the hair. Lice move along the head, with a small infection it is more difficult to notice them.
Most often, girls with long, fluffy hair are affected - a convenient habitat for a large number of parasites. With a strong infection, skin lesions on the head gradually appear due to severe itching and scratching.
Parents can detect the infection, they often find head lice in children during medical examinations in schools and kindergartens. A fluorescent lamp is used for diagnostics. Live nits, when pressed, burst with a characteristic sound that helps distinguish them from dandruff and skin particles.
Most children and parents from well-to-do families find head lice diagnosed as a shocking event, as lice is associated with dirt and unsanitary conditions.
In addition to the visual detection of parasites, the following symptoms are present with head lice:
- Scratching under the hair - crusts, scabs, open sores.
- Secondary infection - pyoderma, urticaria, which go beyond the borders of the hair. Papules can be located on the face, neck, upper back.
- Bad smell from the head.
- Anxiety, disturbance of the nervous system due to itching. Insomnia, tearfulness may develop, especially in young children.
- In children of any age, infection and especially the knowledge of peers about it becomes a serious psychological problem. Awkwardness and shame can lead to isolation and disruption of friendships.
Infected with pubic parasites, itching in the groin, bluish spots on the thighs and abdomen from bites are observed. Severe itching accompanies the bites of clothing parasites. With this type of infection, papules are observed, possibly coarsening of skin areas, peeling.
Getting rid of head lice with pharmacological drugs
The fastest and most effective way to treat pediculosis in children are special drugs that kill adults, their eggs and larvae. To destroy parasites, you need to apply the agent 1-2 times in the recommended way. The use of medications is combined with combing out the dead parasites.
Ointments and sprays
Sprays are easy to use, they should be sprayed onto the hair and covered with a handkerchief to enhance the effect:
- Paranoid. Contains dimethicone and mineral oil.
- Lavinal. Includes a set of oils with an insecticidal effect. Applied from 2 years old.
- Couple Plus. Contains several active substances, can be used from 2.5 years.
- Nyuda. Well tolerated by children and does not irritate the skin.
To cure head lice in children, medications are also used in the form of ointments:
- Nyx. The creamy consistency allows for convenient distribution through the hair. Permitted for use from 6 months.
- Benzyl benzoate. Applied to children from 3 years old, rubbing into the skin and hair. Available as an ointment and emulsion.
- Permethrin ointment. Low toxicity, therefore it is used for children from 2 months.
- Medifox. Has a gel-like consistency. Used for pubic lice and head.
Antimicrobial ointments are also used to better remove lice and the consequences of their exposure.
Important: drugs for children have low toxicity, but when using, a doctor's advice is needed
Shampoos can contain one antiparasitic agent or a combination of the two in order to effectively fight head lice:
- Parasidosis. Contains d-phenothrin. Used for children from 2.5 years old.
- Pedilin. Allowed for use from 2 years.
- Lauri. Destroys head and pubic lice.
- Paranit Sensitive based on dimethicone. Allowed for use from 1 year.
- Lavinal. Protects against re-infection, quickly relieves itching and inflammation.
- Permethrin. Has several forms of release. Effective and effective elimination of head lice.
Shampoo the scalp well and leave for 3 minutes. After that, the product is washed off under a strong pressure of water and reapplied, holding for another 3 minutes. After use, you need to comb out the dead parasites from the hair using special combs that are in the package.
Folk remedies to combat head lice
Alternative methods offer a whole range of remedies to remove lice from the head. We must not forget that, destroying parasites, they can be dangerous for the baby.
Several well-known methods:
- The juice of onion and garlic is combined in equal parts and rubbed into the skin. Hair retains its smell for a long time, you can burn the skin.
- Chemerichnaya water. You can prepare it yourself or buy it ready-made at the pharmacy. Helps with pubic and head lice.
- Tansy and St. John's wort juice. Juice from fresh herbs is combined together and rubbed into the head.
Alternative methods for a radical cure for head lice involve shaving. Therefore, it is much more difficult for girls to overcome infection, because most will not agree to this method.
How to properly comb out lice and nits in a child
Mechanical removal of parasites from hair can be an independent method of treating pediculosis in children. However, most parents choose medications to kill lice.
You still have to comb out the parasites, in any way. Let's see how to do it right.
Choosing a special comb
For effective extraction of parasites with head lice, combs with a very small gap between the teeth are used. Special combs are produced, some are provided with notches on the teeth in order to better hook the nits. Note that some anti-lice preparations contain such a comb in the kit.
The material is steel, which does not deform when passing through thick strands. The combs of the Antiv series with comfortable rounded edges are popular.
Some people prefer electronic combs, which kill parasites with weak electrical impulses (Robi Comb).
You can also use a thick wood or plastic comb
There are several rules to follow when combing:
- Parasites should be collected on tissue so that viable individuals do not become a source of new infection. A light cloth or paper is spread under the child's hair. At the end of the procedure, shake it well and wash it with insecticides or throw it away.
- Hair should be damp, but not wet, so it is easier to comb. Before the procedure, you should moisten the strands and head with conditioner. You can use an acetic acid solution to dissolve the gooey secretion that holds the eggs.
- If the hair is long, it is fixed with a hairpin and freed for processing in small strands in turn. The combed ones are fixed in another bundle. With short hair, you just need to carefully monitor that the entire head is treated. The comb is led from the roots to the ends, shaking off at the end onto the lined paper.
- Finally, comb through dry hair again. Processing is carried out with a three-day interval at least 4 times.
To avoid head lice, the child needs to be taught simple rules that will help prevent infection by any parasites:
- Avoid close contact with unknown people. The best preventive measure against infection is refusal to use other people's clothing and things. You also can't give your friends your things - combs, hats.
- Compliance with cleanliness - regular change of clothes and bed linen. It is necessary to wash your hair more often and comb your hair, accidentally caught lice can be removed in this way, without allowing them to take root.
- For girls with lush hair, it is better to do tight bundles for playing outdoors. It is also helpful to wear a cap or headscarf. These precautions will help you avoid head lice.
Parents need to monitor the condition of the child's hair. It is often difficult to prevent head lice, but infection can be noticed in time if you regularly examine your head
With the help of modern means, it is not difficult to cure pediculosis in children. So that the child does not become infected again, you need to teach him the correct behavior on the street and in the company of peers, to instill hygiene skills.
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