Head-louse infestation, nits or head lice usually affect the scalp. Lice are parasites and they need human blood in order to survive. Usually, they attach to the skin and use their organs to suck the blood from their hosts – in this case the humans. Lice can’t dig themselves into the skin or further inside the body, but use their needle-like organs to provide required blood.
Every louse experiences three different stages in their life. They start as the egg (nit), and then develop further to the nymph and the adult louse. Lice eggs hatch about every 10 minutes, and both eggs and the nymphs are extremely tiny. Even fully adult louse is the size of a sesame seed. In the hair, adult louse live for a month, but if you remove it from the scalp and leave without the blood supply, it will die in a couple of days.
How Can You End Up Infested with Head Lice
Head lice are most common, and because of the head hair, they are hard to find and kill, so they can live uninterrupted there for a long time. People with hairy legs can also experience presence of the lice on their legs. You can get infected with lice if you came into contact with the infested person. Any close contact with such person, or use of the same hair brush or even the hat can transfer lice to your hair.
Do You Have Head Lice Symptoms
Most people experience itching once they are infested with the head lice. The itching may become very intense and the intensity mainly depends on a number of present lice in the hair. There are also some other hair and scalp problems (sweating or dandruff, for instance) that might cause the itching of the scalp, but nothing can be compared to the itching on the back of the neck and behind the ears, caused by lice. If your scalp remains itchy for a long time, this condition might progress to some open head sores.
Nits can be visible, as small dots that are hard to remove from your hair, while adult lice can move on the scalp. Sometimes, people say that they can even feel the lice moving through their hair.
Red bumps on the neck, scalp or in some cases on the shoulders can also be caused by the lice infestation. People allergic to lice bites or the scratching caused by lice infestation may experience redness of their scalp.
Some of the people infested by lice can suffer from black dandruff, swelling of the lymph nodes or even from mood changes.