This is the presence of tiny insects on your scalp. It is also known as pediculosis capitus.
Head lice, or pediculosis capitus, are the presence of tiny insects (lice) on the skin covering the head (scalp) and in the hair. Sometimes the lice can also be found in the eyebrows or eyelashes.
Head lice can live for 30 days on a person. The eggs can live up to 2 weeks. The most common way to catch head lice is prolonged direct contact with an infected person. Catching head lice from someone's clothes, sheets, hats, towels or hairbrushes is less common. Lice do not jump or fly and pets do not get infected. The main symptoms of head lice include:
Some children may not have symptoms, yet have significant numbers of lice.
It can be difficult to see head lice and their eggs, so you may need to look closely with a bright light or magnifying glass. Part the hair and look for lice that move or white spots (eggs or nits) on the hair shafts that are hard to remove. They are commonly found at the top of the neck and behind the ears, so look there first. It is best to look at small sections of the scalp at a time.
Before you see a healthcare provider for head lice try:
Over-the-counter (OTC) treatment with permethrins may need to be repeated in seven to ten days. There are different medications available by prescription if the over-the-counter treatment does not eliminate the head lice.
Head lice can go away with OTC medication. However, there may be times you need to see a healthcare provider for a different treatment. If you do, bring a copy of your medical history (past illnesses, surgeries, and hospitalizations).
Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.
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