How to Treat Head Lice and Crabs

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How to Treat Head Lice and Crabs

It's important to treat lice quickly and thoroughly to prevent transmission and reinfestation. Here's how.

  • How to treat head lice
  • How to treat crabs
  • My Household Has Lice.
    Head lice. Just the words strike fear in your heart. Head lice are small insects that live on the human scalp and feed on human blood. They're parasites that can give you itchy sores (and a major case of the heebie jeebies). Head lice can also live in pubic hair, where they're more commonly known as crabs.

    Head lice are most common in children ages 3 to 10. They are transferred via contact, like playing together and sharing items like clothes, combs and brushes, pillows or towels. If one child in a class gets lice, it's likely to spread easily through the school. It's important to treat lice quickly and thoroughly to prevent transmission and reinfestation.

    Treating head lice is a difficult but necessary undertaking. Most home remedies, like using mayonnaise or gasoline, don’t work—so don’t try them! Try buying a lice treatment kit and a good quality Lice Comb like the LiceMeister. You will need to follow the specific instructions on the packages. Typically, you leave the lice-killing shampoo on your head for about ten minutes, rinse, and then comb out the dead lice and nits. You will have to retreat in seven to ten days. If you still see active lice, you will need to consult a doctor. You should not use the shampoo more than once or twice because it is somewhat toxic.

    For immediate relief, try a soothing lotion such as calamine.You can apply this after you use a lice-treatment shampoo. Remember, calamine just relieves itching; it does not kill the bugs.

    You will also need to take care of your house. Machine wash or dry-clean all clothing that could have been in contact with the infested person during the two days before treatment. Put anything that cannot be washed (i.e. stuffed animals, comforters) into a plastic bag for two weeks. Soak combs and brushes in rubbing alcohol or wash them with warm water. Vacuum the floor and all furniture. You can also buy a lice spray for bedding and furniture. No, you do not have to fumigate your house, as lice can only live on the human body.

    If you happen to end up with crabs, follow the above advice. You can use the same treatments, shampoos, lice combs and house sprays. Make sure to launder all your bedding and clothes as well. Shaving your pubic hair after treatment discourages reinfestation.

    Just remember, you are not alone—most people get lice at some time during their lives.

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