Public Health
Head Lice
What is head lice?
The head louse is a tiny, wingless parasitic insect that lives among human hairs and feeds on tiny amounts of blood drawn from the scalp, which causes skin irritations.

Transmission:
  • It is easily transmitted, especially among school children.
  • Through contact with someone who already has head lice.
  • Sharing tools, bed, towels, blankets, hats and clothes ... etc...)
Symptoms:
  • A tickling feeling of something moving in the hair.
  • Itching.
  • Sores on the head (caused by scratching).
  • Scalp irritability and difficulty sleeping.
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes.
  • Infected persons may not show symptoms, mainly in early infection.
​Risk Factor:
  • Disregard to personal hygienic practices.
  • Close contact with the infected person.
Treatment:
Use special shampoos and medicated creams with 1% Permethrin rinse.
Prevention:
  • Guide children not to share hair combs or bed pillows with others.
  • Tell them not to share hats.
  • Wash bed sheets, pillows and blankets with hot water or dry on high heat in the dryer.
Common errors:
  • Using insecticides on head scalp.
  • Using pesticide.
  • Using gasoline.
  • Preventing clots and strokes.
Frequently asked questions:
  • How do you get head lice?
    • Head lice is common among children. Also, anyone at any age can get head lice.
  • Do lice help the hair grow longer?
    • Of course, no.
  • What are head lice problems?
    • Itching in the head scalp.
  • How do you know you get head lice?
    • It is difficult to see head lice, but you know by washing combing your hair.
  • Is there a preventive medicine for head lice?
    • No, you can only detect lice by washing and combing your hair.
  • What about using insecticides?
    • Insecticides are risky and fatal to children.
  • Do head lice indicate poor personal hygienic practices?
    • No, yet poor personal hygienic practices can help spread head lice.
  • Do lice fly?
    • No, lice are wingless.
  • What about using pesticides to treat head lice?
    • You cannot use pesticides to treat head lice, they could lead to unfavorable consequences.
  • Should I shave my hair to get rid of head lice?
    • ​For boys, you better shave your hair.
  • Does using different shampoos cause head lice?
    • No.
  • Should a head lice patient be isolated?
    • Yes, till you get rid of head lice.
 
Health Enhancement and Health Education General Department
For more information, please email us on:
Hpromotion@moh.gov.sa
 
 
 
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