Spotting Head Lice in Heanor and Ripley
3rd June 2013
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Head lice are small parasitic insects that spend their entire life on their host. The human head louse has specifically adapted itself to live in the environment of human head hair, and under normal conditions cannot survive anywhere else.

What to look for:

The lice look dark in colour and are usually around the size of a sesame seed. Eggs are miniscule white flecks that can easily be mistaken for dandruff, but are very difficult to remove from the hair shaft. According to research, only 29% of infestations are identified by simple visual inspections, whereas "wet-combing" increases the chance of correctly identifying a case to 90%. This involves wetting the hair and scalp, applying a liberal amount of conditioner and then combing through the hair from the roots using a lice comb. If head lice are present they and the eggs will be visible on the comb. If your child is displaying any symptoms of head lice they should be thoroughly checked as soon as possible. Signs include:


  • A tickling feeling on the scalp
  • A sensation that something is moving in the hair
  • Itching caused by an allergic reaction to lice bites (kids may scratch or rub their scalp, especially around the back of the head or ears)
  • Sores on the head caused by scratching
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping (lice are more active in the dark)


Experts advise:

  • Treatment should only be carried out when a live louse is found;
  • Liquids (water based treatment) should be used for patients with asthma or sensitive skin;
  • Conditioner should be applied to hair after treatment and then combed through with a nit comb to remove the eggs;
  • Detection combing should be carried out regularly to ensure lice are detected early;
  • Every member of the family should be checked thoroughly for head lice, not just those believed to be infected.


If you require more information, please speak to your local pharmacist.

About the Author

Sarah A

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi, I'm Sarah. I've lived in Heanor with my family for over 10 years and I'm passionate about our beautiful little corner of this historical county. If you know of something that's great about our area,...

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