Preventing head lice: how to spot the parasites

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Preventing head lice: how to spot the parasites

Head lice despite good hygiene? This is how you recognize the parasites

11/30/2015, 2:18 pm | me (CF)

Typical symptoms of head lice infestation are red spots and severe itching. (Source: Thinkstock by Getty-Images)

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These parasites live on the head, in clothing and on the skin – you need a little patience and, ideally, a magnifying glass in order to be able to identify head louse, pubic louse or clothing louse. Usually the symptoms of an infestation are more visible than the cause.

The most common parasites in humans

Photo series with 6 pictures

Recognizing head lice: on the hunt for the nits

To spot head lice, you have to look very carefully. The parasites themselves are very small and therefore relatively difficult to detect. On the other hand, lice eggs, the so-called nits, are much easier to find. They are elongated-oval, light-colored and sit directly on the scalp or at the hairline – mostly on the underside of the hair that is facing the scalp. You can use a nit comb to strip off the eggs.

Typical symptoms of head lice infestation are red spots and severe itching. This is caused by the saliva that the louse secretes when it bites. The bites behind the ears and in the neck are particularly common, according to the health portal experts "onmeda.de".

To recognize head lice in yourself, you need a little skill: Stand in front of a large mirror and hold a hand mirror behind your head so that you can see the back of your ears and the back of your head.

Head lice are not a sign of poor hygiene

A lack of personal hygiene is often associated with a head lice infestation. However, this is a mistake, as the patient information portal of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care explains. Anyone can get head lice as they are transmitted from head to head through direct body contact.

Washing your hair too hard is not enough to get rid of the parasites. In addition to the treatment with a louse or nit comb, the use of various agents based on insecticides or with silicone or vegetable oils is recommended.

Scratches as a sign of lice

In your children, further symptoms can indicate a lice infestation: The itching leads to scratching, the scratching in turn causes scratched, bleeding eczema on the skin. In the worst case, these can ignite. If wound secretion escapes at the relevant point, the hair will stick and matt. According to the "pharmacy magazine" also count swollen lymph nodes.

Pubic and clothing lice: symptoms of infestation

Unlike head lice, pubic lice only trigger noticeable symptoms when they have already multiplied strongly. The affected areas of the body are primarily the pubic area, but armpits, thighs, stomach, chest, beard, eyebrows and eyelashes can also be affected.

Rust-like stains can then be found in the underwear: They come either from the excretions of pubic lice or the damage to the skin caused by a bite. You can also recognize pubic lice infestation if your skin has painless, bruises the size of a lens or is covered with punctiform, red thickenings. These so-called papules itch particularly badly at night.

  • Little crawlers:Preventing Lice – Tips to Protect Against the Parasites
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  • Lice:Fighting lice
  • Legal regulation:Lice reporting requirement: Do not hide lice infestation!

If, on the other hand, you want to detect clothes lice, you have to look carefully. Although the lice and their nits are spread all over the body, they rarely sit directly on the skin. More often they hide in the seams, folds and hems of clothes. For this reason, sufferers often scratch along these areas, resulting in elongated marks.

Important NOTE: Under no circumstances does the information replace professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online.de cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start treatments.

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