What is Head Pediculosis?
Head Pediculosis – a parasitic disease of the skin and its derivative – hair caused by head lice, which is characterized by damage to the scalp, eyebrows, beard, mustache and is manifested by severe itching at the site of lice bites.
Causes of Head Pediculosis
Head louse (Pediculus capitis) is a wingless insect that exists as a parasite of the human body, and it dwells almost exclusively on the scalp, preferring places such as temples, the area of the ears and the back of the head, but can also be found on the eyebrows and in the hairy part chin, i.e. on the mustache and in the beard.
The legs of the head louse are perfectly adapted to clamber and crawl along the surface of the hair. Her very strong body can withstand loads of up to 1 kg. Through her acute proboscis, which she uses 2-3 times a day, she daily sucks just a few milligrams of human blood from the scalp. A sucking head louse changes color from gray to purple or reddish.
Without fresh human blood, it can live only a few days, just one day at about 35 ° C, two days at 25-30 ° C, and more than 7 days at 10-20 ° C.
However, even after 5 days of forced fasting, she can still lay her eggs.
Head lice development
Head louse prefers to live at a temperature of about 28 ° C, which prevails under normal conditions on the scalp. At an ambient temperature of about 22 ° C, its development slows down noticeably, and in the temperature range of about 10 ° C it almost stops. At temperatures below 12 ° C no egg laying occurs.
When laying head lice with females (also called nits), they adhere, for the most part, to the base of the hair with a very stable adhesive secret. You can not rip off the nits or try to wash them off with plain water. After 8 and a half days after laying eggs from nits, the larva appears. In the next 8 and a half days, it undergoes three stages of its evolutionary development. One or two days after the third stage of development, male and female head lice that have reached sexual maturity appear from the larvae, so a new generation of head lice can occur as early as three weeks after laying eggs.
The male head louse lives about 15 days, while the female is about 30-35 days. During this time, a fertilized female louse is able to lay up to four eggs daily, and in the whole period of its existence about a hundred eggs.
Transmission or infection process
Head lice make their travels from one head to another during close contact. The process of transmission or infection can also occur through hats or scarves and when sharing a single pillow, sheet or blanket, while combing with the same comb, comb or hairbrush.
Lice can also be used for their movement caps, hats and other items of clothing, tightly in contact with temporary storage facilities or on hangers, for example, in school or other public places.
Lice are not carriers of disease. Permanent scratching can cause sores on the scalp, but this rarely happens. Parents should be prepared for lice to appear in their children. There are much more serious health problems than head lice.
Adults worry about the appearance of these parasites much more than children. Their experiences usually far exceed the measure of the harm to the health of society that lice can cause.
The greatest harm caused by lice is associated with improper use of chemicals for their removal. Continuous application of chemicals to the scalp can cause some strong reactions.
Frustrated parents may resort to the use of substances that have not been tested on humans, as well as those that have not proven effective for removing lice.
Symptoms of Head Pediculosis
From the very beginning of head lice, the head lice themselves are hardly well visible. Only traces of their stay are evident. During a bite to extract blood, their salivary secretions penetrate the skin and cause severe itching.
Bite marks or small wounds in areas such as temples, near the ears and on the back of the head indicate penetration of head lice. A purulent infection or other contaminants can penetrate the bite marks. The consequences of this are various deviations of the condition of the scalp from its normal state and swelling in the area of the lymph nodes. With a careless attitude to hygiene, hair, secretory secretions and eggs lead to an unpleasant odor from the head and hair tangle (Trichom), and under such conditions lice pass to massive egg deposition.
Head lice is characterized by severe itching at the site of an insect bite and irritation of the secretion of the salivary glands. The itching of the scalp is most often disturbed, especially in the neck and behind the auricles. Children are restless, restless, inattentive at school. As a result of itching, scratches, crusts appear, and foci of purulent infections (pyoderma) may join. When pyoderma increase the nearby lymph nodes. At the place of scratching appear vesicles, weeping. In severe cases, koltun is formed – a mass of matted hair, lice, nits, and crusts glued together with exudate.
Head Pediculosis Treatment
Treatment with chemicals
When choosing a treatment for head lice with chemicals, note the following:
– Make sure that those you intend to treat really have lice and do not treat if there are no lice. There are no prophylactic agents for the treatment of head lice, so the treatment of family members who do not have lice is useless, and can only aggravate the problem, producing resistance to lice to chemicals.
– It is forbidden to use this method for children under 12 months, pregnant or lactating women, as well as people with irritation or inflammation on the scalp. Consult a doctor.
– Do not allow chemicals to get in your eyes.
– Many substances have a very strong odor. Strong-smelling substances left on your child’s hair for a while can irritate them.
– When using ready-made preparations, be sure to read the instructions on the package and use the preparation in strict accordance with the instructions. Despair may encourage the use of more than the recommended amount of the drug for the destruction of lice. But increasing the dose will not affect the effectiveness of treatment.
– Do not put insect repellent, ethyl alcohol or kerosene on your child’s head.
– Do not blow dry your hair after applying the preparation. Heat can deprive it of its effectiveness.
– Do not wash your hair for 1-2 days after treatment.
– Apply the drug on each strand over the entire head, leave for 20 minutes, and then combed out using a high-quality thick comb, erasing the drug on paper
“If you see dead lice, then the drug has worked.” However, it is important to remember that since no drug has proven its effectiveness in the destruction of eggs, it is necessary to repeat the treatment with chemicals a week later in order to remove the lice that could grow from the eggs after the first application of the drug.
– If you see live lice, it means that the treatment did not work. In this case, try using a different drug with other active ingredients (see the composition on the package) or try a method of removing lice with a comb and conditioner.
The method of treatment with a comb and conditioner
Lice breathe through small holes in the abdomen. By covering the hair, and therefore lice, with something thick and viscous, you can close these openings, and the louse cannot breathe for 20 minutes. Unfortunately, lice cannot be killed in this way, but this makes it possible to slow their movement, so you can catch them.
Nitbusting is a method of using a comb and conditioner (or other viscous substance) to remove lice. This method does not kill the lice, but allows you to remove them with high-quality thick hairbrushes.
When using the Nitbusting method at home, do the following:
1. Put the child on a small chair between your legs and turn on the video for an hour while you work.
2. Place a towel or paper towel on the child’s shoulders to protect against conditioner drops.
3. Remove hairpins, rubber bands, etc. from hair. and comb the braids and flagella.
4. Apply a large amount of conditioner to the scalp and rub it into all hair shafts. Will require a large amount of air conditioning. For the method to work, it is necessary that the conditioner covers every hair.
5. Lice live close to the scalp, so carefully apply the conditioner on the hair rods near the skin. It is not necessary to distribute the conditioner over the entire length of the hair. When combing it will be distributed quite well. The purpose of applying the conditioner is to slow the movement of the lice for quite a long time, during which you could remove them with a comb.
6. After applying the conditioner with a large comb, separate small areas of hair, starting from the back of the neck and moving up to the top of the head. Lice often lay eggs behind the ears and on the back of the head. Using this method, you are more likely to find lice on the crown and frontal part of the head.
7. When the hair is combed with a large comb, use a thick comb to comb the lice and comb each strand several times.
8. After each combing, wipe the conditioner with a paper towel. If the child has lice, you will see them on a towel.
9. Continue brushing each strand until lice, nymphs (newly hatched lice) or eggs remain on the paper towel. You can see a large number of shells of old eggs. It will take some time to remove them.
10. After combing each strand several times, re-braid your hair or tie it back. If the hair is short, offer your child some unusual hairstyle! Boys often like hair brushes.
What else you need to know about the method of removing lice with a conditioner and a comb
Depending on the type and length of hair before applying the conditioner, you can gently separate long and thick hair into strands. This will avoid tangling.
Lice often accumulate at the top of the head, so you may not see a single adult until you reach this part of the head. However, in cases of severe infections, adult lice are caught in all parts of the head.
A good comb for combing lice will remove nymphals. They can be difficult to see with the naked eye, but on a paper towel they look like little insects.
Many diverse products have been developed, the main active ingredient of which is permethrin. Permethrin is a neurotoxic insect poison that violates the cationic exchange of nerve cell membranes.
Drugs produced in the form of an aerosol or solution. Unfortunately, in our country there is no such convenient for use with lice dosage form as shampoo for washing the head, pubic hair. Below are the drugs currently used.
Pair plus (S.C.A.T., France)
Aerosol for external use, which includes permethrin at a concentration of 1% (neurotoxic poison for insects) and piperonyl butoxide. The latter enhances the effect of permethrin, as it blocks the protective enzymes secreted by insects. In addition, the preparation includes the organophosphorous insecticide malathion. It reduces the release of holimesterase at the level of the motor nerve of the insect. Possessing various mechanisms of insecticidal action, the components that make up the preparation prevent the development of resistance to any of them. Pair-plus is used to treat pediculosis of the scalp and pubis, has an effect on lice and nits.
The drug is sprayed on the scalp, the entire length of the hair or on the skin of the pubis. After 10 minutes, the head is washed with ordinary shampoo and the dead parasites are combed out with a frequent comb. For combing nits, a frequent comb is used, which is moistened with vinegar to facilitate easy separation of nits from the hair.
For pubic lice, it is better to cut the pubic hair and in the armpits, and then apply the spray. The drug is easily tolerated, occasionally there is a feeling of light tingling and burning of the skin. Children under 2.5 years old use Para-plus is not recommended. Avoid contact with eyes. In case of accidental contact, rinse with warm water.
A special spray Spray-paks (S.C.A.T., France) is also used for the treatment of pubic pediculosis. It contains pyrethrum extract and piperagno butoxide. The drug is applied to the hairy part of the pubic zone. After 30 minutes, the treated areas of the body are washed with soap and washed with water.
For the complete destruction of lice and nits on the hairy part of the pubis, a single use of these drugs is enough.
Nittifor (Biogal, Hungary)
A solution containing 5% permethrin. It is used to treat nits, larvae and mature individuals of head, body and pubic lice. Available in a bottle of 60 ml.
Hair is abundantly moistened with a solution, rubbing it into the hair roots with a cotton swab. Usually one person needs from 10 to 60 ml. After treatment, the head is covered with a scarf. After 40 min, the drug is washed off with warm water using shampoo. Hair combed to remove dead lice. It is not necessary to allow hit of solution on mucous membranes.
Medifox (Medifox Research and Production Center, Moscow)
The active ingredient is permethrin at a concentration of 5%. Available in ampoules of 2 ml (in a package of 2 ampoules) or vials of 24 ml. It is used for head and pubic lice. In 1 vial add 30 ml of water to obtain an aqueous emulsion. The emulsion is applied with a tampon on wet hair. After 20 minutes, wash off the drug with warm running water and soap (or shampoo).
Medifox is also used to destroy lice (underwear and bed linen, wool products, bedding, a set of outerwear).
The underwear, bedding is soaked in an aqueous emulsion for 40 minutes. To do this, to 40 ml of concentrate (there are bottles of 24 ml), add 96 ml of water. After disinsection, the laundry is thoroughly rinsed and soaked for a day in a solution of soda ash (1 tablespoon per 1 l of water), then washed in the usual way.
In order to disinfect clothes, bedding (except for pillows) and other things, they are irrigated with an aqueous emulsion of the same concentration (40 ml of medifox concentrate plus 960 ml of water) using sprayers (such as “Quasar” or “Rosinka”). They carefully treat the habitats of insects: collars, belts, seams, folds. Processed things are used only after they are dried and ventilated.
Medifox-super – 20% permethrin concentrate is designed to combat head, pubic and body lice. It is applied in a dose of 10 ml per 1 liter of water. Available in bottles of 0.5, 1, 5 l. It is used the same way as medifox.
A-PAR is an aerosol insecticosecaricidal agent (manufacturer: S.C.A.T., France). The active substance is esdepalletrin and piperalla butoxide.
A-PAR is intended for disinsection of clothes and bedding of patients with head lice. The contents of a 200 ml vial are sprayed over the entire surface of products that cannot be boiled or soaked (outerwear, mattresses, pillows, blankets). Blankets, pillows, mattresses and clothes are subjected to bilateral processing. Using 1 cylinder allows you to handle a set of things 2-3 people. The preparation does not leave spots on fabrics, at its use the subsequent washing of the processed things is not required.
For the disinsection of the premises (floor, furniture, stretchers, door handles), where the patient with pediculosis was located, irrigation using hand-held sprayers or wiping Medifox-super moistened with rags is used, 990 ml of water is added to 10 ml of concentrate.
Thus, for the treatment of pediculosis there is a large selection of highly active drugs. Success depends on their proper use, examination and, if necessary, treatment of specific individuals, carrying out disinsection measures. Medifox preparations are distinguished by low cost, the presence of large packages and are indicated in the presence of epidemics in various medical institutions, children’s groups.
Prevention of Head Pediculosis
– Check your kids’ hair regularly. Girls, growing up, often begin to take care of their hair on their own, and it is not easy to convince them that you need to keep checking their hair. Be persistent or show how they can test their hair on their own during shampooing.
– To reduce the possibility of transmission of lice, you can tie the hair in the tail or braid in a braid.
– In the shower should be high-quality thick comb for combing hair during shampooing. The more people know about the simple methods of solving a problem, the easier it will be to cope with it.
– Combs for combing lice and a comb for disentangling hair between applications should be washed in hot soapy water and washed in hot running water.