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Overview of headlice


Dr Broughton discusses how to detect headlice and nits (headlice eggs) and the treatment options.

Head lice are small insects (about the size of a pin-head) that are commonly found in school-aged children. They are spread by head-to-head contact, as they cannot jump or fly.
They commonly cause an itchy scalp.

How to detect head-lice and nits:
  • Look for headlice and their eggs on the hair-line behind the ears, at the nape of the neck and at the top of the hair-line.
  • using a ‘nit-comb’- gently, but firmly comb through the hair starting from the scalp. It can help to do this after washing the hair and applying plenty conditioner.
  • it is important to check all the family for headlice, when one member is affected.
  • - the best technique for removing nits, is to Wet Comb through the hair with a nit comb, making sure to comb through all the hair. This will need repeating in 2 weeks.
  • - Your chemist, school nurse or GP can advise on lotions to apply if nits keep returning.

NHS Choices –Head-lice further information




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