Head lice: how to prevent and how to fight lice

When schools and sports and recreational activities resume, the problem of lice also reappears. How to prevent the attack by these parasites and how to counteract a pediculosis already in progress with natural remedies?

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When schools and sports and recreational activities resume, the problem of children also reappears lice. How to prevent the attack by these parasites and how to counter with natural remedies for a pediculosis already in progress?

Let's start by saying that lice are annoying but not dangerous at all: these parasites, in fact, are not possible vectors of pathogenic microorganisms. This obviously does not mean that we can neglect the situation, on the contrary, in case of pediculosis, we must act promptly: the presence of lice creates a lot of discomfort due to the itching and spreads easily.

Unlike what is commonly believed, the presence of lice does not indicate poor hygiene and is not influenced by the length of the hair (eggs can also be found in short hair).


name="what-are-lice">What are lice

Head lice are small (2-5 mm long) gray parasites that feed on blood for a living. This is why I am always looking for a warm and safe place to grow and proliferate, just like our scalp. It is the female who lays the eggs, called nits, which hatch in a period of time between 6 and 12 days. The nits have a color tending to white and can be confused with dandruff, even if unlike the latter they always have an ovoid shape and adhere to the hair.


Lice, contagion

Head lice are spread, in most cases, by direct contact with the head and hair of a person who already has them. Other ways you can get infected are by using brushes, combs, hats, scarves, sheets, or towels from infested people. Due to the ease of person-to-person transmission, it is evident that people are more at risk in highly frequented places where contact with others is closer and more frequent. Therefore kindergartens, schools, gyms, sports centers, etc.

Prevention is also a very effective weapon against lice. Let's see what we can do to avoid their appearance.

How to prevent head lice

There are some gestures that we can put into practice with a certain regularity in order to prevent the appearance of lice or make sure to notice their presence before having the possibility of eliminating them more easily:

  • Periodically check the head: it is very important, especially if you have small children who attend nurseries, kindergartens, schools, various activities, etc. that the family should periodically check their heads. The points to be observed with greater attention are the nape of the neck and temples and remember to always do it in a place illuminated with diffused light. If directed, in fact, the light could camouflage the white eggs. It is also better to check when the hair is wet.
  • Add tea tree oil to the shampoo: some essential oils are useful for keeping parasites away, including tea tree oil. 1 or 2 drops are enough to be diluted in the dose of shampoo used for washing.
  • Add lavender essential oil to the shampoo: those who do not like the strong smell of tea tree oil can try to use lavender essence as an alternative. The procedure to follow is the same. A further alternative is to use eucalyptus essential oil.
  • Rinses with vinegar: an always valid grandmother's remedy against lice is vinegar which can help in the preventive phase as long as it is used to rinse every time you wash your hair. Both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar are fine.
  • Preventive spray: you can prepare a preventive spray based on essential oils to apply on the hair and scalp every morning before taking the children to school. Here the recipe.
  • Neem oil: also suitable for the preventive phase, this oil can be spread in very limited doses (a few drops) on the scalp. Its strong smell will keep pests away.

Lice, how to get rid of them

Were you unable to avoid the lice attack despite the prevention? Do not worry, instead of rushing to buy a specific product at the pharmacy, first try to defeat them with some effective natural remedies for pediculosis as well as implementing good practices:

  • Eliminate the nits: to remove all the eggs, a very fine-toothed comb will be useful to pass several times and very carefully on all the strands of hair starting from the root. It takes some patience but it is essential to get the desired results.
  • Apple and white vinegar: as in the prevention phase, even in the case of already full-blown lice we can use vinegar as a natural remedy useful for disinfecting but above all to better detach the eggs. It must therefore be used in combination with the fine-toothed comb. The odor unpleasant to parasites, then, will prevent them from recurring again.
  • Olive oil: as an alternative to vinegar, you can use the comb together with olive oil, the sticky consistency of which will help to capture the nits and lice, facilitating their elimination.
  • Neem oil: this oil is antiparasitic, spreading a few drops on the hairline allows you to keep lice away.
  • Infusion of rosemary: another effective natural remedy, to always be associated with manual removal, is the infusion based on rosemary, so prepare an herbal tea with this aromatic herb, let it cool and use it to wash your hair, making sure to massage it well on the scalp. Leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse.

If a member of the family is affected by pediculosis it is good that all the others are also checked and take preventive treatments to avoid contagion.

Other useful rules are:

  • Wash combs and brushes at 60 ° with warm soapy water.
  • Wash pillowcases, sheets, towels and other textile items that have been in contact with the infested person at 60 °.
  • Do not exchange items that have come into contact with the head and hair with other members of the family.

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