Let’s face it. No one wants lice. The unfortunate truth is, however, that millions of people deal with it every single year. If you’ve fallen under some unfortunate luck and happened to catch this pesky, itchy little bug, you’re going to want to get rid of it as fast as humanly possible.
The term ‘lice’ is in fact plural for the word ‘louse’. Louse is a microscopic sized, wingless insect that survives on human blood. Although it’s most commonly found on the scalp, lice can make an appearance on the body by virtue of your clothing, and (yikes!) on your pubic hair.
Lice can survive for up to a month on the body, particularly the scalp, and can spread from person to person quite easily. Because they cannot fly, lice is often spread through the use of other people’s things such as a brush or hat. It can also be transferred through person to person contact. It can happen to anyone, and it’s important to know how to get rid of lice before it spreads to those around you.
1. Know the symptoms.
Before you start treating your lice, it’s important to know that you have the correct diagnosis. The first and most obvious symptom is uncomfortable itchiness or an unusual tickly feeling. You also may want to keep an eye out for tiny red bumps in and around your head or pubic area. Look for little white objects burrowed in your hair. These are the “nits” or lice eggs. If you have noticed most if not all of these symptoms, you likely have lice.
If you are still unsure, get someone you trust to examine your scalp, or seek a professional opinion.
2. Getting rid of lice on the scalp.
The most common place to experience lice is on the scalp, termed “head lice”. The louse insects are in fact quite easy to remove from your head, but the real challenge is ridding of their stubborn eggs. Try some of these methods to get rid of lice on the scalp!
3. Use specialized shampoo.
Find a pediculicide shampoo. This product has been created specifically to kill off both the lice insects and their eggs. It’s slightly more expensive than the average shampoo (costing approximately $10-$20 for a small bottle), but is well worth the investment.
After purchasing the shampoo, put on some old clothes and follow the directions on the bottle carefully. It’s important that you do not shampoo again for at least a couple of days after treatment in order to allow it to do its job.
4. Try some apple cider vinegar.
If you would like to use a more natural method, try out an apple cider vinegar treatment. To perform this treatment, simply coat your hair and scalp with a mixture of equal parts water and apple cider vinegar. After waiting a few minutes, use a nit comb to brush out the pesky bugs and eggs.
Remember that none of these methods will be worth your time if you do not take the correct steps toward prevention. Be sure to wash all clothes that you have worn recently, as well as your bedding. Place any recently used hair brushes or accessories into a plastic bag for a few weeks to ensure that the lice cannot survive.
5. Getting rid of lice on the body.
Bodily lice are far less common than lice found on the scalp, but it does happen. This occurs when lice have latched on to your clothes. They essentially live in what you are wearing, and use it as a mode to feed on your skin.
6. Carefully wash all of your clothes.
The only way to rid of this problem is by washing every piece of clothing that you suspect the lice may inhabit. Remember that even if you haven’t worn a certain clothing item, if it has come into contact with another item you have worn, it is possible that the lice has transferred. Better safe than sorry, right?
Be sure to wash the clothes in the hottest setting possible. Don’t forget to use plenty of detergent! This way, you can ensure that the lice will not survive the laundry cycle.
It also won’t hurt to bathe yourself thoroughly. Take a bath or shower in the hottest temperature you can stand, and scrub yourself down from head to toe.
7. Getting rid of pubic lice.
Pubic lice (a.k.a. crabs) is spread most frequently by sexual contact. If you suspect that you may have pubic lice, avoid having sex until you know that you are completely cleared. Contact any recent sexual partners and inform them so that they can also deal with the issue if need be.
8. Be brave and shave!
The first, and most simple way to rid of pubic lice is by completely shaving your pubic region with a clean razor. With no hair left to cling on to, the lice are unlikely to return.
After shaving, a good extra step is to wash the area well with warm water and oil-based soap. Do this every day for at least a week, and keep an eye out for any stubborn or returning nits.
9. Use a nit comb.
If you do not want to resort to shaving, try combing out the lice with a special nit comb. This will take more time, but stay consistent with it. Be sure that the nit comb is completely cleaned with hot water before each use.
It will also help you to purchase an over-the-counter lotion that contains 1% permethrin and apply according to the bottle’s instructions. This chemical is known to kill off lice.
As with all forms of lice, it is very important that you wash your recently used underwear, clothing, and bedding thoroughly to avoid the lice’s return.
Unfortunately, lice has a reputation for only latching on to ‘dirty’ people who don’t bathe often enough. This could not be further from the truth. Lice can happen to anyone, and it’s important that we know how to deal with it. Getting rid of lice is a process. Whether the lice is on your head, body, or pubic area, you must get rid of it as soon as you can. Because it can spread so easily, it is crucial for you to deal with it properly, and take steps toward preventing its return.