7/03/2010

Take the time needed to finish the job.


How does my dog remind me of the proper way to deal with head lice? Well... I have a lovely dog. The only thing that I can say against him is that he sheds his weight in hair each day. I can sit for an hour and brush him and still come up with a full brush of hair. It seems like his loss of hair is never ending.

During a visit, my husband's uncle tried brushing him. I said, "You'll never get to the end of all that hair." He said, "No, I probably won't today, but if he got a more regular brushing, you probably would." I knew he was right. You see, I don't give my dog a thorough brushing that often. Once a month if he's lucky. But if he was brushed regularly, I know I would get to the bottom of his shedding. His hair loss is not endless. I just need to take the time needed to get it under control.

This is how it is with head lice. At first, it may seem like the job of checking, combing, picking and blowing is never ending. It will consume you for a little while, a few days, and then you may feel like (a) you can stop regularly checking and combing because you've solved the problem, or (b) you can stop checking and combing because it's all for nothing - you feel the head lice will be there forever. You are wrong on both accounts. You should keep checking and combing and even blowing every couple of days after head lice or nits have been spotted because even if you think you've beat it, you may have missed something, or, if you know that you haven't beat it, but keep going, you will beat it eventually. Don't waste your time on housecleaning - focus 99% of your energy on the scalp. Give it regular time and you CAN be completely head lice free. You can always call me if you have any questions, need some encouragement, or want some in-home assistance.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I'm only in middle school, and I found out the other night while I was scratching my head that I have lice! My parents were both with me, but I didn't Want to tell them because they would freak out and wouldn't let me go to school!): I don't know What to! And I don't want to tell any of my friends, because I really just want to keep it to myself. But it's really hard because in class I'll be just trying not to scratch/: What's the fastest way I can get it out?):

Cathy, the Nice Lice Lady. said...

First, let me say that I really think you should talk to someone about this. Head lice are always easier to deal with when you have some help and support. If you don't want to tell your parents, is there someone else you can tell? There's a chance that your friends or others people in your home have it too, so it might be good for others to know so that they can check themselves as well. Either way, there are some things you can do. On this blog, there is a blog post entitled, "How to deal with your own head lice." Check it out for ideas. If you can get a good metal lice comb, or even a very fine toothed plastic comb, hop in the shower, wet your hair, cover it with conditioner, brush out the tangles, and then comb out what you can. Check your comb after each stroke for bugs. Even a plastic comb with teeth that are very close together can get the large adult bugs out of wet, conditioned hair. You can rinse out the conditioner after your combing. Doing a good combing in the shower every couple of days over a few weeks will deal with the problem significantly. Yes, I said a few weeks - it takes time to deal with this problem, though with proper combing, you will notice a difference after the first few combings. As you know, there are pricey lice products out their that claim to get rid of the lice with one treatment but I have never found this to be the case. You just gotta patiently comb them out thoroughly, regularly, and over time. As for your itch, that might be around for a while - mosquito bites still itch when the mosquito is gone, and lice bites itch for a while as well. Anyway, I wish you all the best and hope you are able to find someone to talk about this with. Try not to be too freaked out - anyone can have head lice. You will get through this. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

can headlice turn into bodylice? please help im freaking out debating whether or not to go to ER

Cathy, the Nice Lice Lady. said...

While they are related genetically and almost impossible to tell apart (body lice are a bit larger), neither louse should send you to the ER. Are you worried about head lice? Just remove them in ways mentioned on this blog, or hey - you can always just shave your head. Are you worried about body lice? Unlike head lice, they don't live on the body - they live in clothing. Wash your clothes and throw them in the dryer - problem solved. That said, whenever you are dealing with an unknown parasite, I think it is always good to get another opinion. If you are not sure what you are dealing with, I would check out your situation with a local health nurse or family doctor. Breathe. You'll be ok.

Anonymous said...

I spoke with a nurse over the phone and she said I am at a greater risk of getting body lice since I have head lice also how can I find where you are located for help , I am in Maryland thank you

Cathy, the Nice Lice Lady. said...

Sorry, even if you were in my town, I don't do personal visits at this time. But in this case, I really don't think you need me anyway.

That nurse is simply wrong. Head lice and body lice are two different issues. Head lice don't turn into body lice. Anyone can get head lice - it is NOT a hygiene issue. Body lice usually ARE a hygiene issue - since they reside on clothing, they will only be a problem to someone who cannot change or launder their clothes.

Either you have been given some wrong information or you have imagined the worst about head lice because of your high level of anxiety. Believe me, I understand that head lice can really freak people out, but trust me, there is no need to get worked up. Lice are not a virus you get infected with. They are an inconvenience, an annoyance, like a mosquito. If you are certain you have head lice, use the tips on this blog to deal with it.

If you have other symptoms that make you concerned about other things, you should probably get a medical checkup. Do you have bites on your body? Lice can sometimes bite on the neck or their feces can cause a reaction on the neck or even the shoulders, but if you have bites in your armpits, at the back of your legs, in warm creases of skin, then you are dealing with something else besides head lice and you should talk to another professional. Phone a friend. Get someone to help talk you through this and come up with some options.

Anonymous said...

I hope this forum is still open. I've had my first experience this week and am so freaked out. A couple of questions: I haven't seen any bugs or white nits in 2 days. We've been vigorous with wet combing but we're still seeing several tiny black specks resembling coffee grounds. Are these still viable nits? Also, and this is embarrassing, but can head lice crawl from one person's head to another's pubic area if in close proximity? Thanks in advance.

sasha said...

I did a treat of from the doctor in my hair and used a metal lice comb nothing came out on the comb that I noticed no live or dead lice nor eggs. I found a unhached egg today n treated my hair again and comb again and no lice dead or alive or eggs were in the comb I need advice on what to do from here not sure why I found a unhatched egg today but nothing came out in the comb neither time I treated my hair

mana said...

I used roach spray (latinos use it)to kill the lice and now my head feela like it is burning

Cathy, the Nice Lice Lady. said...

If you used roach spray and you feel like your head is burning, that's because it is. You have probably actually burned your scalp. Which is far worse than having head lice.

I've talked to people who have used toxic substances like RAID and kerosene. These are dangerous! Poison! Please, please, please never do this again. It is so unsafe.

I truly understand that panic that head lice causes but truth be told, it is not a health issue - it is an inconvenience. When we get it, we must control the panic in ourselves that might make us make bad or unsafe decisions that could actually lead to serious health issues.

I suggest you talk to your doctor about your scalp. Please take care of yourself. Good luck.

Kyla Wolfe said...

I'm from London Ontario I have 3 children starting school who have aqquired lice this summer as well as passed it on to myself I am having a hell of a time getting rid of it out of 3 girls heads and I have absolutely no one to pick through my head I have autism ADHD and Bipolar now I can't go through my own head but I've shampooed everyone and I keep picking through my kids heads and I am in serious need of some one to pick mine I have no issue paying some one but one person asked for $600 for my head alone I'm going mentally physically emotionally insane and feel all alone