I experienced having head lice during my younger years. As I was growing up I thought that this is the only kind of lice that can affect people. I was wrong about that. I later learned that there are three kinds of lice that can feed on our body. Aside from the head lice, we can also be vulnerable to body lice and pubic lice. The lice mentioned occupy the different areas of our body as their names imply. One of the lice symptoms they have in common is itching. Since lice feed on the blood of a person, they bite the skin. The saliva of these bites causes an allergic reaction that result in the itching.
Head lice are commonly found on hair of a human person. The head lice are common to children between the ages of 3-12 years old. Adults can get it too. The infestation happens when a person has a direct contact from someone who has it. Head lice infestation can affect both the male and the female person.
Body lice live in the seams of the clothing. They only stay in the body when they feed. Body lice infestation happens when the environment is dirty. Body lice could affect people who do not take a bath or live in unsanitary places.
Pubic lice are also known as crabs. They are found in the pubic area. They may also be found in the other parts of the body like the facial hair, on eyebrows, on eyelash. They may also be present in the armpits and chest hair. They rarely can be found on the scalp.
Itching is the most common lice symptom. This will vary depending on the kind of lice infestation you have. It would benefit you to be aware of the other symptoms of lice. Knowing the symptoms can guide you and make you be aware of what kind of lice you may be dealing with.
Head Lice Symptoms
It may take a while before you feel the symptoms of head lice infestation, especially if it is your first time to experience a head lice infestation. Itching on the scalp may start weeks after the lice have spread. The most affected area would be at the nape and near the back of the ears. One thing that you need to remember is that frequent scratching can lead to broken skins that can form on your scalp. This may lead to infections. You may also feel the sensation that there is something moving in your hair. There could also be swollen lymph nodes the neck area.
Body Lice Symptoms
There are itchy sores that develop in the armpits, around the waist, and along the trunk where the seams of your clothes are pressed against your skin. Red bumps may appear on the skin. Frequent scratching could result in scabbed or crusted skin. Discoloration and thickening around the waist or groin may also happen. This is because the lice may have been present for a long time.
Pubic Lice Symptoms
Pubic lice cause severe itching near the genital area. There might be small marks that look like bruises on the torso, thighs and upper arms. These marks are caused by the bites of the pubic lice. Pubic lice found near the eyelashes or eyelids causes irritation and crusting. Pubic lice are spread through sexual contact.
Prevention and Treatment
You may be thinking that it is the end of the world when you develop lice infestation. Do not despair. Each lice infestation has treatments you can use to stop and prevent further lice infestation.
Head Lice Treatment
The head lice can be treated with natural home remedies like olive oil, mayonnaise and Vaseline. You can also use head lice shampoo and conditioner that is available in the market. Using lice combs are also recommended for lice treatment.
Body Lice Treatment
You will need to destroy the infected clothing since these are the places they stay. You may also wash the clothes in hot water at 130F at least. Machine dry using the hot cycle. The most important thing to remember in preventing body lice is proper hygiene. In some cases, the doctor also may recommend prescription cream or wash that contains permethrine, malathione and benzyl alcohol.
Pubic Lice Treatment
You can buy over the counter products or by prescription that treat pubic lice. The products usually come in shampoo. They contain pyrethrin, permethrine. You need to wash and dry the infected areas thoroughly. When you use the shampoo make sure that you follow the instruction carefully.
It is a good thing to be prepared when dealing with lice infestation. It is helpful that you are aware of the lice symptoms. This is to your advantage because it will help you be aware what are the things you need to do in order to treat and prevent lice infestation.