If there are lice on the head or body of an adult or child, the symptoms of their appearance do not become immediately apparent. As practice shows, at first, these symptoms are so mild and insignificant that even a very sensitive person to his body does not immediately pay attention to them.
Nevertheless, taking into account the nuances that we will discuss later, signs of the appearance of lice and nits can be found both in oneself and in another person already during the first few days of infection.
On a note
Lice infestation called pediculosis - this parasitic disease in its advanced form can lead to serious skin lesions, including dermatitis and pyoderma. In addition, it should always be remembered that lice can carry pathogens of serious infectious diseases (for example, deadly typhus), and therefore treat them with carelessness as just annoying insects.
It is important to keep in mind that it is usually more difficult to detect the parasites themselves who are not expecting their appearance than to notice the symptoms of lice on the head or on another hairy part of the body. Lice - very small insects with a body length of about 2-3 mm, translucent and hiding at the roots of the hair.
Head, pubic and linen louses are practically the only human parasites that bite on the hairy areas of the body. In this way, they are easily distinguished from fleas, which bite mostly on the legs, and bed bugs, which leave bites on the sides and back.
Other characteristic signs of lice:
- light gray, almost white body
- inability to jump
- and lack of wings.
These features do not immediately catch the eye, but on closer examination they can be detected even without a magnifying glass.
On a note
So-called linen louse differs from the head and pubic in its tendency to bite also deprived of hair areas of the body under clothing. But infection with it today is a much rarer occurrence than infection with two other types of lice.
The video below describes the symptoms of lice and shows how to detect lice with the help of available tools:
Interesting video about lice, sources of infection and methods of control
To detect lice, you must first carefully examine the hair, spreading it with your fingers and assessing the state of the surface of the scalp. Lice can be located either directly on the skin or on the hair a few centimeters from their base. It is also easy to detect nits (white spots on the hair) and red marks from the bites on the head.
The photo shows the characteristic symptoms of lice in a person at the late stage of infection. Lice and nits here are visible to the naked eye:
You should also pay attention to the typical signs of infection with lice.
The first signs of lice - it is always easy scratching in those places where insects bite. The only food of these parasites (both in adult insects and larvae) is human blood, and in order to get to the blood vessels with their jaws, they pierce the skin and inject a special secret that prevents blood from clotting.
During a bite, a person may feel a slight injection, similar to a mosquito, and when the anticoagulant enzyme begins to act, itching appears.
Usually, when a person is bitten by only a few lice, he does not pay attention to itching. It becomes obvious and disturbing to feel the itch already when the louse appears a few dozen or more.
Of all the symptoms of the presence of head lice in the hair, itching first draws attention to itself - at this time the parasites themselves can hardly be overlooked if they are not carefully examined, and the skin’s reaction also does not appear too clearly.
Pay special attention to itching should be in the case when it does not pass after shampooing and torments at night. This is a clear sign that it is caused by parasites or other skin problems.
Itching in another person, especially a child, is recognized by characteristic changes in behavior: an infected person constantly scratches his head, straightens his hair, combs his comb, pulls it.
In this case, babies become very capricious and constantly cry for no apparent reason.
On a note
The specific behavior of a potentially infected person should also be taken into account in public places. Even if the lice themselves are not visible, it is dangerous to approach it - you can catch lice when you touch clothes, if you accidentally shake off the hair.If a school child complains about a constantly itchy head, it makes sense to report this to the school health center and to the class teacher.
Regular itching at a causal place from pubic lice is a much more pronounced symptom of infection with them (as compared with itching caused by head lice, because the head can itch even from nervous disorders). Fortunately, the pubic hair can immediately inspect the owner of the parasites and immediately make a correct diagnosis for themselves.
Constant irritations, bites and their effects
Also obvious and easily detectable symptoms of lice are traces of their bites on the skin. As a rule, these are small dotted reddenings, each with a small, drawn-out hole in the middle. Such bites are very similar to flea bites.
With severe infection lice bites merge into large reddening and can even protrude beyond the limits of thick hair. Such symptoms of lice on the head can be seen especially clearly - the patient's skin becomes similar to that of dermatitis:
As a rule, in case of multiple snacks, a person constantly scratches itchy areas, which leads to the appearance of excoriations - characteristic scratches that occur when nails damage the upper layer of the skin. They quickly become covered with crusts and become well visible.These signs of lice can often be seen in strollers:
The characteristic symptoms of the presence of lice are also bluish-gray spots on the skin in places of constant bite. There is nothing dangerous in these spots, but they unequivocally indicate precisely pediculosis.
Complications of Lice as Symptoms
Finally, if the first signs of the appearance of lice go unnoticed, complications that develop on its soil may indicate a lice:
- pustular skin lesions in places of scratching and secondary infection;
- nervous disorders associated with persistent itching;
- sleep disorders and phantom visions of crawling insects.
As a rule, such symptoms of lice develop in the most advanced cases and are characteristic mainly of homeless people. In children or adults who observe sanitary rules, these symptoms usually do not reach the appearance of these symptoms.
In rare cases, allergies can develop to lice bites.
It is difficult to distinguish it from other types of allergies and it is impossible to consider a rash on the body as a reliable sign of the presence of lice. However, if a rash appears on the skin in parallel with itching,and even more generalized symptoms of allergy in the form of fever and lymph nodes, it is necessary to check the hairy areas of the body for the presence of lice.
Gluing hair and the formation of mats
In cases where pediculosis develops in the absence of the ability to regularly wash the head (marching and expeditionary conditions, military actions, vagrancy), their rapid adhesion and the formation of tangles becomes a characteristic symptom of lice in the hair.
This is due to the fact that to attach the eggs to the hair, the female envelops the hair with a sticky secret, ensuring reliable adhesion of the nits. If the insect at the same time clings to several hairs, they all stick together. With a serious infection, the number of such stuck hair becomes very large, and so-called tangles appear.
On a note
The skin under these ticks scratches not only because of lice bites, but also due to the accumulation of dandruff and the lack of normal ventilation. In addition, without regular brushing, hair rolls without lice, but as an additional symptom of head lice, this feature can be taken into account.
Nits and parasites
Nits can be attributed to the symptoms of head lice even more pronounced than lice bites and persistent itching. They can not be confused with anything.
Nits are lice eggs in special protective shells that are firmly attached to the hair. It is the nits, not lice, that are the first to strike the eye when looking at the infected head - they look like small white dots located at different distances from the hair roots. The most noticeable nits in people with dark hair.
Empty white nits shells (called dry nits) remain on the hair long after the larvae hatch from them. Accordingly, the longer lice are present on the head, the more visible the nits will be. In the most neglected cases, the hair of an infected person looks as if sprinkled with white grain.
The excrement of lice is similar to small dark spots no larger than a few tenths of a millimeter in diameter. It is very difficult to notice them individually, but if they are showered from the head onto a sheet or pillow, then in their mass they become very noticeable.
They can also be found when breeding hair with your fingers - and the shell of nits, and louse excrement here will look like foreign debris.Sheaths of louse nits are especially well visible on dark clothing - this type of louse spends most of its life on things.
It is worth knowing the symptoms of lice not only in order to start the correct treatment on time, but also for the purpose of prevention - if there is a person in a public place who constantly scratches his head and has characteristic redness on the skin of the hair, and even more so he has a “snowball” out of nits, stay away from it. Similarly, you can easily identify the "lousy" child in the children's team and take measures in time to ensure that your own child does not become infected.
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