Lice & Scabies
Signs and Symptoms
Both lice and scabies:
1. Intense itching.
2. Sometimes, marks and sores on the body from scratching.
1. Itchy scalp.
2. Small, grayish-white, oval-shaped eggs (nits) clinging to hairs close to the scalp.
3. Crusty infection on the scalp.
4. Grayish insects (lice), sometimes visible at the nape of the neck or behind the ears.
1. Red, raised bumps (bites) on the shoulders, trunk, and buttocks.
2. Nits found on clothing, especially in the seams of underwear.
3. Headache, fever, and sick feeling accompanying swelling and infection of bites (in severe cases).
Crab lice (“crabs”)
1. Itching in the genital region.
2. Tiny crablike insects (the size of a flake of dandruff or smaller) on the skin in the crotch area.
3. Small dark specks (crab feces) left on underwear.
1. General itching that gets worse just after going to bed.
2. A rough, red rash with itchy, raised bumps, mainly on the wrists, elbows, breasts, genitals, around the waist, and on the webs between the fingers.
3. Dotted lines or wavy gray ridges like pencil marks on the skin.
4. Large areas of crusty, thickened, itchy skin.
5. In adults, itching from the neck down only. (Babies and young chidden may have itching on the face).
What to do now
The most effective way to rid yourself of lice and scabies, according to many experts, is to cover the affected part of the body with an over-the-counter shampoo or cream that contains permethrin, pyrethrin, or pyrethrum.
1. Cover the scalp with a lotion or shampoo containing 1 percent permethrin (or pyrethrin), following package directions.
2. To soften and remove nits, shampoo hair. (Give haircuts to young children to make the process easier).
3. Vacuum thoroughly, and wash sheets, towels, and clothes in hot water; dry for at least 20 minutes in a dryer set on high. Iron or dry-clean clothes that can’t be washed. Seal stuffed animals and pillows that can harbor lice in plastic bags, and keep them out of the reach of children for at least 20 days.
4. Boil combs, curlers, and brushes.
5. If your child has repeated infestations of head lice and you want an alternative to pyrethrin shampoos, some doctors recommend this: Mix 50 drops of tea tree oil (available in health food stores) in two ounces of warm olive oil. apply it to hair and scalp. Cover with a shower cap and a hot, moist towel for two hours. Then rinse the hair well and comb out the nits with a fine-tooth comb.
1. Take a bathe with a good soap.
2. Apply an antilouse cream to the entire body.
3. Vacuum floors, and wash clothes and linens as directed for head lice.
1. Use an anti-louse shampoo according to package directions.
2. Ask your doctor to test you for other sexually transmitted diseases.
3. Be sure that your sexual partner doesn’t have the same problems. If he or she has, treat him as well.
1. The most effective safe treatment (a preparation containing 5 percent permethrin or pyrethrin) is available only by prescription.
2. Wash clothing and linens as directed for head lice.
3. Be sure that all family members and people with whom.
4. you’ve been in close contact are treated at the same time.
Lice and scabies
1. Because all louse and scabies removers are poisons, it is important to wait at least ten days between treatments. Your skin may continue to itch long after the mites and lice are bread.
2. Don’t try drastic home remedies such as scrubbing with harsh soaps or dousing yourself with kerosene.
When to call a doctor
Lice will almost always respond to home treatment. But be sure to call your doctor:
1. If you are unsure of the cause of your itching; other rashes and conditions can mimic the symptoms of scabies.
2. If you have any from of scabies.
3. If you become infected again after treatment.
4. If your sores become infected and ooze.
5. If you have lice on your eyelashes.
6. If a baby or young child is infested.
7. If the itching is driving you crazy.
8. If you develop a rash or have a seizure after using a medicated shampoo.
The chemical substance used in some treatments for lice and scabies, is no longer recommended because it is a neurotoxin that can cause convulsions and other problems. Ask your doctor for an alternative.
How to prevent it
Use a flashlight to test your children for lice, especially from August through November.Look for bites, nits, or lice at the nape of the neck and behind the ears.
1. Wash clothes after one or two wearing.
2. Wash towels and linens frequently.
3. Bathe or shower regularly.
4. Don’t share hats, combs, headphones, and other personal items.
5. Practice safe sex, and have sex only with your wife or legitimate partner.