If NOT, try one of these:


Symptoms of Head Lice

Cause

Lifespan of Lice

Transmission of Head Lice: Live Lice, Not Nits

When to Call for Lice - Head

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Age less than 2 months old
  • Scalp looks infected (such as pus, soft scabs, open sores)

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Not sure your child has head lice
  • New head lice or nits are seen after treatment
  • Scalp rash or itch lasts more than 7 days after treatment
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Head lice

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

Call Doctor During Office Hours

Self Care at Home


Care Advice for Head Lice

  1. What You Should Know About Head Lice:
  2. Anti-Lice Shampoo:
  3. Remove the Dead Nits:
  4. Hairwashing Precautions to Help Nix Work:
  5. Treating Close Contacts:
  6. Return to School:
  7. Cleaning the House - Preventing Spread:
  8. What to Expect:
  9. Call Your Doctor If:
  10. Extra Care Advice - Cetaphil Cleanser for Nix Treatment Failures:

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.


Copyright 1994-2017 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC. All rights reserved.

Head Louse (Female)
Head Lice Size Compared to a Penny

Egg (Nit): Nits are head lice eggs. They are very small, about the size of a knot in thread, hard to see, and are often confused for dandruff or hair spray droplets. Nits are laid by the adult female at the base of the hair shaft nearest the scalp. They are firmly attached to the hair shaft. They are oval and usually yellow to white. Nits take about 1 week to hatch. Eggs that are likely to hatch are usually located within 1/4 inch of the scalp.

Nymph: The nit hatches into a baby louse called a nymph. It looks like an adult head louse, but is smaller. Nymphs mature into adults about 7 days after hatching. To live, the nymph must feed on blood.

Adult: The adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed, has six legs, and is tan to greyish-white. In persons with dark hair, the adult louse will look darker. Females, which are usually larger than the males, lay eggs. Adult lice can live up to 30 days on a person's head. To live, adult lice need to feed on blood. If the louse falls off a person, it dies within 2 days.

Head Lice - Searching Hair

An infestation is diagnosed by looking closely through the hair and scalp for nits, nymphs, or adults. Finding a nymph or adult may be difficult; there are usually few of them and they can move quickly from searching fingers. If crawling lice are not seen, finding nits within a 1/4 inch of the scalp confirms that a person is infested and should be treated. If you only find nits more than 1/4 inch from the scalp (and don't see a nymph or adult louse), the infestation is probably an old one and does not need to be treated.

If you are not sure if a person has head lice, the diagnosis should be made by your health care provider, school nurse, or a professional from the local health department or agricultural extension service.