What is Lice Infestation?
As the name suggests, Lice Infestation refers to an infestation characterized by colonization of blood-feeding lice on the head or body. Head is the most common site of this type of parasitic infestation and requires extensive Lice Treatment to get rid of this problem. It can also be present on other hairy parts of the body. Lice infestation is also known as Pediculosis in medical terminology.
Head Lice Infestation is a common problem in young children between 3 to 10 years in age. Lice feed on blood. So, when they bite the skin with their mouths to suck blood, they leave behind their saliva on the skin. This saliva, in turn causes skin irritation and intense itching. Head Lice infestation is generally not dangerous but it is definitely one of the most contagious diseases.
A number of treatments have been devised for controlling and eliminating Lice Infestation. They include chemical treatments, enzyme based products, use of louse combs and several natural home remedies for Lice Treatment.
Out of these, the natural remedies and treatments are generally preferred over chemical treatments to avoid the harmful side effects of chemicals on the skin. Though, certain strong Lice Treatment home remedies that are beneficial in case of older children and adults should not be applied on small children as children tend to have sensitive skin.
Causes of Lice Infestation
There are three types of lice that cause infestation in different parts of the body. They are head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Head lice are usually found behind the ears and near the back of the neck. Body lice are generally caused due to poor hygiene.
They can spread through contaminated clothing, bedding etc. On the other hand, pubic lice are mostly spread through sexual contact. Hence, preventive as well as curative measures form an integral part of Lice Treatment.
Lice do not jump or fly but simply crawl. Lice infestation spreads through humans only, not through plants or animals. Nits, or lice eggs, are often mistaken as dandruff on the hair as they are yellow or white in color. They generally take about a week’s time to hatch and produce nymphs. These nymphs are similar to adult lice but a bit smaller in size.
The nymphs mature in about seven days to become rust colored adult lie. The life cycle of a single head louse is usually one month. Lice Infestation is spread by direct contact with an infected individual. Coming in close contact with the clothes or other belongings like combs, ribbons, pillows etc of the affected individual may also increase the risk of developing this frustrating condition.
Consequently, one of the most important steps during Lice Treatment is to avoid such close contact with the affected individual and their personal belongings.
Symptoms of Lice Infestation
Itchiness is one of the most common and prominent symptoms of Lice Infestation requiring repeated Lice Treatment. Plus, the affected individual might also feel the sensation of something moving in the hair, especially in case of Head Lice. Repeated skin irritation and itching tends to caused red sores on the area of infestation accompanied by swollen nymph nodes.
Body lice can lead to problems like bacterial infection, headache, fever or typhus. Unlike head lice, body is usually not visible on the skin. But, these parasites may be visible on the seams of the affected individual’s clothing.
Pubic lice usually cause itching in the genitals, underarms, eyelashes, eye lids etc. Most of the natural remedies usually focus on Head Lice Treatment but they can also be used in case Body and Pubic Lice Treatment as well.
Natural Home Remedies for Lice Treatment
• Using lice combs to remove head lice is one of the most highly recommended home remedies for Lice Treatment.
• Prepare a paste from garlic cloves and lemon juice. Applying this paste on the head for about half an hour and then washing it off in the morning is a therapeutic natural cure for Head lice. Follow this home remedy for four to five days to eliminate this problem. Vinegar can also be added to this mixture.
• Another home remedy with vinegar is to mix 2-3 tablespoons each of vinegar and lemon juice in two egg yolks. Finally, apply this remdy on the scalp and wash it off with lukewarm water after 20 minutes.
Vinegar is quite strong in nature and hence should always be used in combination with any mineral oil. It should not be used in case of small children.
• Applying a mixture of coconut oil and camphor powder is one of the most successful natural home remedies for Lice Treatment. Continue this natural remedy for at least four days in continuation by applying this oil every night before bed time and washing the hair in the morning.
• Olive oil, aniseed oil and tea tree oil are equally beneficial in controlling Lice Infestation naturally.
• Coconut oil can also be used along with margosa leaves. For this, take 100 ml coconut oil, add three or four margosa leaves in it and keep this combination covered for some time. Both these ingredients are highly beneficial Lice Treatment home remedies.
After applying the mixture and then washing the hair, do not forget to use a lice comb to get rid of lice effectively. Margosa and basil oils can also be used to remove body lice and pubic lice.
• Prepare a paste by grinding 10 to 12 almonds soaked in water. Then, add three to four tablespoons of lemon juice in this paste and apply it on the scalp for about one or two hours. Finally, wash it off with the help of cold water to heal this nasty problem.
• Take a few tablespoons of heated mayonnaise, apply it on the scalp and cover wear a shower cap. Next, wash the hair after half an hour and use a lice comb to remove the dead lice.
• Natural peppermint oil based bubble bath, due to its cooling effect, is useful in controlling Pubic Lice and Body Lice. It can also help relieve the severe itching caused by Lice Infestation. Oatmeal baths are also beneficial in easing the discomfort caused by constant itching.
Diet for Lice Treatment
No specific diet is recommended for Lice Treatment. But, when dealing with Lice, it is essential to maintain adequate personal hygiene. Clean the contaminated clothing, beddings and other such items in the house in order to prevent Body Lice or other types of Lice Infestation. Plus, be careful to avoid sharing personal articles and items of an infected individual.