What causes lice?

What causes lice?

Lice are tiny locusts that feed on human blood. They can spread easily via contact with the infected person. Lice infestation can be bothersome and irritating. Your head is always itchy and you cannot concentrate on your work efficiently. Lice are majorly of three types:

  • Head Lice: Head lice are generally found on your scalp. The easiest way to get hold of them is to look around your neck and around your ears. 
  • Body Lice: These live on your bodies or your bedding. Usually found if you don’t bath properly and live-in unclean premises. 
  • Pubic Lice: These are also commonly called as crabs. One can find them around the skin and hair around the pubic area and less frequently, on areas of coarse hair. 

Lice infestation can still occur even if we maintain proper cleanliness. Unless treated, these parasites keep recurring and causing irritation. You can contact a doctor in case of severe lice, but here are some tips to get you through just in case you need quick relief. Let us understand what causes lice

Signs that you’ve head lice

As previously mentioned, lice infestation can be spread via contact with the infected person. While this might not be the only reason for the pesky parasites roaming on your head there are many other reasons, read on and find out more about the symptoms of lice infestation. 

Common symptoms include:

  • Itchy scalp

If your scalp feels extremely itchy, you either haven’t washed it in a while or you have lice on your hair. Intense itching on your scalp, hair, body, or genitals could be a symptom of lice infestation. 

  • Feeling like something is running on your head

If you keeping getting a ticklish feeling on your head, like a small insect roaming around on your scalp, you know who to blame it on. 

  • Sores and scabs because of itching

Intense scratching or itching can cause small bumps on the area and could lead to bacterial infection 

  • An adult louse is about the size of sesame seeds or larger. If you get the crawling feeling on your hair, body, clothing, pubic area, or body hair, you’ve likely another being giving you company. 
  • Lice eggs or nits on your hair follicles or the lengths of your hair. Nits are difficult to spot because they are tiny. They can often be mistaken for dandruff. But unlike dandruff, nits cannot be easily brushed off. These are commonly spotted around the ears and nape of the neck. 
  • If you see bite marks around your waist, groin, upper thighs, and pubic area, then consider looking for lice. 

Now, that we understand the signs of lice infestation. Let us understand what causes them and the preventive measure you can take. 

Cause of lice infestation: 

Lice feed on human blood and infest the body, head, or pubic area. The female lice produce a sticky substance that sticks the eggs firmly to the root of your hair. The egg takes about 6 to 9 days to hatch. Lice can’t fly or jump. One can get lice by coming in contact with the lice or the eggs. Here are some causes of lice infestation:

  • Contact with an infected body or head: If any of your family members have fallen prey to lice infestation, you’ll likely be next. Lice are transported via contact as they can’t fly or jump. 
  • Storing infested clothes, blankets, or clothing items can lead to more production of lice. Toys, personal items, hooks, or anything stuffed near each other can lead to lice infestation and the subsequent spread of the lice.
  • Shared items can not only act as a mediator but also the reason for lice. Items such as towels, soaps, bedspreads, brushes, comb, hair decorations, pillows, or stuffed toys can probably act as mediators for lice. 
  • If you are lying on a bed possibly infected with lice chances are you’ll probably end up housing these pesky little creatures on your body and hair. Lice can live for one to two days off a body. Sharing bed, towels, comb, pillows with the infected person can lead to lice infestation. 
  • Pubic lice are transferred because of sexual contact. Public lice are usually found in adults. If your child has pubic lice chances are they’re exposed to sexual abuse or exposure. 

As it is rightly said, “Prevention is better than cure”, one must always be cautious and aware. Read on to find some prevention that you can take to avoid lice infestation. 

Prevention of lice infestation:

It is difficult to prevent young children from getting infected form lice. They have little or no understanding. However, you can make them understand and ask them to keep their head away from other students to avoid getting infected. Head lice are not a mark of good parenting. You cannot always look out for your kind when sent to school care. 

Studies show that essential oils are effective in treating lice. While these are considered ‘natural remedies’ it is hard to find concrete evidence for the same. Until there are concrete pieces of evidence confirming the fact that essential oils are effective, the only way you can treat them is by extracting the eggs and lice. 

Here are a few precautionary measures you can remove to remain from lice. 

  • Avoid direct head or body contact: Lice move from a tainted to the next individual through contact. By dodging contact with the tainted individual, you can avoid being contaminated. You can likewise request that your children get their heads far from different youngsters to be on a more secure side. 


  • Say no to sharing: Sharing is mindful, however for this situation, sharing can prompt tainting the other individual with lice. Try not to share individual things like towels, hair embellishments, brush, cushions, and shower robes with someone else. In case you’re somebody contaminated with lice, guarantee individuals around you don’t utilize a similar stuff as yours until you are obvious from the pervasion. 


  • Shared places: While going out keep the additional material you’re really focusing on with yourself or in the vehicle. Shared spots are succulent spots for lice to benefit from. This isn’t compulsory, yet to be on a more secure side attempt to stay away from shared spaces.

Here’s a detailed guide on signs you have lice, causes, and the prevention you can take. 


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