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How to get rid of lice the easy way?

Updated on August 17, 2009

Get rid of lice the easy way

The first step to good personal hygiene is to get rid of lice and other body parasites for the  maintenance of good health..When your body is infested with lice,the condition  is known as ‘pediculosis.’About 10% of world population is estimated to suffer from this condition.

        Louse is a small  wingless insect that is a skin surface dweller,residing in various parts of the body.There are three types of lice that infest human body.They are

 1)head lice,

2)body lice,

3)pubic lice or crab lice.


1.Head lice(pediculosis capitis):

This type of lice reside in the head mainly, but at times they are also found to reside in beards,eyebrows  and eye lashes.Head lice are tiny,the size of  a sesame seed and they suck blood from the scalp and are difficult to detect as they are hidden from view by the thick hair.Head lice infest mainly children who get it from other children by head contact or through sharing head gear,using common combs ,towels etc..

   Female louse lays eggs on the hair shaft near the root by following ‘one egg for one hair shaft’ rule.The eggs get attached to it by a water proof compound that ensures no amount of water washing can dislodge the eggs from the hair shaft.

  Nits are empty egg shells left behind after hatching,the position of which keep rising as the hair grows and cannot be easily removed.The colour of the eggs and nits are normally white but sometimes grey.The scalp should be subjected to frequent examinations and the eggs and nits  should be methodically removed by using  special ‘Nit comb’.

  Lice  have a life span of 40-50 days and go through three stages of development namely egg ,nymph and adult stages.The egg stage lasts for ten days and after hatching,the nymph stage starts and lasts for about 11 days.In this stage it cannot reproduce as it is not developed fully.The adult stage starts after 11 days and lasts for about 29 days and the adult female louse lays 5-10 eggs per day.

     The symptoms of head lice are persistent itching and the lesions caused due to scratching may become infected.Sometimes the neck glands may enlarge.

  Besides being a nuisance factor,it is also a personal hygiene indicator causing avoidable and embarrassing ridicule from those around us. The children who are infested with lice may have to face temporary expulsions from schools which strictly follow the ‘no nit policy’.

2.Body lice(pediculosis corporis):

This type of lice reside in the seams of clothing we wear next to the skin and feed on the skin.Body lice bites appear as small red marks causing  itching and secondary infection may result due to scratching.

  Head lice and body lice may look similar but occupy different habitats but readily show up on clothing.Head lice live on head and have evolved to lay eggs near root of the hair shaft but body lice have evolved to lay eggs in the seams of cloth worn.

  Body lice eggs may remain live up to 30 days in clothing till they come into contact with warm human skin to hatch.Body lice may spread through shared cloths and bedding.

 Soaking and washing the infested cloth in boiling  water kills the lice.Hot ironing the seams is also found to be effective in eradicating body lice.Body lice can be eradicated by bathing and washing clothes daily.

3.Pubic lice or crab lice(pediculosis pubis):

Pubic or crab lice are found in the genital areas and near anus but are also found in hair growing areas such as arm pits and eye lashes.They live exclusively on human blood.They are small,slightly bigger than the sesame seed and look like crab hence the name crab lice.

Pubic lice spreads through sexual contacts so delousing should be carried out on both the partners.It may also spread through shared bedding.

The symptoms are persistent itching in the affected area caused by louse saliva and the scratching may lead to secondary infections.

The treatment is same as that of head lice.


Apart from being a nuisance,lice infestation may cause lice borne diseases like ,epidemic typhus and relapsing fever.So to maintain individual and family hygiene,it is important to get rid of lice.

  There are many medications to get rid of lice available in the market but sadly they have harmful pesticide based chemicals as ingredients that may endanger ourselves and our children.All the medications involve application on the skin and you should be careful as to what you apply since the skin has the capacity to absorb the harmful chemicals applied on it.There are many lice home remedies with ingredients that cause no harm to the body.


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