Lice and nits – we see them!

When in kindergarten or at school before lice is warned parents should examine their children quickly on the small creeping back. But how exactly can you recognize lice and their eggs? We say here, as can be seen head lice infestation easiest and most reliable.

When parents come into contact for the first time with the theme of lice, they are often uncertain on many points. Where the lice come from? And you have to clean the apartment after lice infestation? What parents should keep in mind in any case, is that a lice infestation has nothing to do with personal hygiene. Lice all people can be affected, often prefer lice even freshly washed hair. It has to Mom and Dad why do not be embarrassed if their child is affected by head lice. Quite the contrary - the lice problem should be discussed openly at school or kindergarten, to prevent further spread of lice and to get rid of the little pests quickly.

Thorough inspection of the head, in order to detect lice

To an immediate and thorough monitoring of the child's head is first necessary. Because lice are not only very small but also nimble and sensitive to light, a simple look through the hair is often unsuccessful, especially is already spoken when it detects only living louse of a head lice infestation. Often a strong itching is the first sign of a lice infestation, but does this itching is not a reliable indicator. Firstly occurs itching, which is generated from the saliva of the lice, when sucking blood from the scalp, not at all concerned on. And second, an itchy scalp does not necessarily originate from head lice. If parents discover red or inflamed areas on the head of her child, but it is advisable to check them by a doctor.

detect lice: Indirect and direct Kopflausdiagnose

There are several ways to lice to recognize and find out if a child is suffering from a lice infestation. Nits are an indirect indication. The lice eggs, which are surrounded by a robust chitin, have about pinhead size and are usually found close to the scalp, as the temperature for the development of the larvae is there ideal. In addition, the lice lay their eggs preferably in the neck or temporal region as well as behind the ears, as the larvae found there after hatching lighter food.

The discovery of nits can be a sign of a head lice infestation, however, the sole diagnosis of the eggs is problematic for several reasons.

  • The lice eggs can be easily overlooked because of their size. Nissen also because of their appearance can be easily confused with ordinary dandruff. However, Nissen be unlike dandruff, not simply barking, but stick to the hair.
  • Nits can not be closed easily to a current infestation. Since Nissen stick to the hair, they can often be found for months as a remnant of a previous infestation in their hair. The rule of thumb here is that nits that are further away than a centimeter from the scalp, most likely contain no live eggs more. This explains the fact that lice lay eggs 1-2 millimeters from the scalp. The larvae hatch in about 6-10 days. A human hair grows about 10 millimeters per month. If an egg or more than one centimeter away from the scalp, then it is either very old and the larva is hatched at an earlier point in time or the larva was due to the low temperature to develop not even.
  • The diagnosis of the Nissen is not suitable for evaluating the success of an already begun treatment, as empty shells with the naked eye can not be reliably distinguished from those with live eggs.

The direct Kopflausdiagnose

In the direct method of diagnosis, the hair is systematically "combing" to discover lice and remove. It is the indirect method on the nits in almost all respects superior because with their help can be unequivocally concluded that a current head lice infestation. The method of "wet combing" is very effective, well tolerated and not so painful and so it is recommended for example by the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) and the Robert Koch Institute.

  • Prior to the examination for lice hair of the child should be washed with a conventional shampoo.
  • As a second step, a commercially available conditioner is applied to the damp hair. This serves two purposes. First, the combing of hair is thus not as painful, and secondly the purging prevents the lice from running away because they are temporarily unable to move through the moist mass.
  • As a third step, the hair with a fine-toothed nit comb made of metal or plastic have to (visit the Pharmacy) are systematically combed. It is important that individual strands separated and these are combed through sequentially from the scalp to the hair ends. After each strand of the comb on a hellen Tuch or a paper towel should be stripped in order to check whether the lice, the slightly smaller larvae or nits have been removed from the hair. Another advantage of the hair conditioner of this is that both stand out clearly against the lice and larvae, as well as the small portraits of the bright mass and are clearly visible to the naked eye.

Tip: If parents are not sure whether it is really in a combed-out "something" to a louse or a larva - just wait until the hair conditioner is dried and then hold a hair in the vicinity of the alleged louse. If it holds to it and along climbs on it, it is clearly a louse.

What to do if lice are present?

Depending on how the control fails, different steps are necessary.

  • Even the discovery of a single living louse clearly means a head lice infestation, which should be treated immediately. We have compiled tips for proper treatment.
  • If only the larvae but no lice were discovered during an already started treatment, which indicates a persisting lice infestation, which still does not represent a risk of infection at this time, however, because larvae do not yet left the head of their host. Nevertheless, a consistent follow-up is needed to prevent the larvae to mature lice develop, can lay eggs.
  • If only nits and lice or no larvae were detected in the control, there are two possibilities. If parents have already started treatment, they should be continued as specified by the manufacturer for lice, to possibly kill surviving eggs. If no treatment has been started yet, it is in the Nissen in all probability to remnants of an earlier attack, because eggs can not be transferred.

No matter how the control fails, the subject of head lice should be taken seriously. When a missing or not properly conducted treatment, the lice can spread further and become a long-lasting ordeal for the whole family.


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