If the head or body of an adult or a child has lice, the symptoms of their appearance do not become noticeable immediately. As practice shows, at first these symptoms are so weakly expressed and insignificant that even a very sensitive person does not immediately pay attention to them.
Nevertheless, taking into account the nuances, which we will discuss later, signs of the appearance of lice and nits can be found both in themselves and in another person already during the first few days of infection.
On a note
Infection with lice is called pediculosis - this parasitic disease in neglect can lead to serious skin lesions, including dermatitis and pyoderma. In addition, one should always remember that lice are able to tolerate pathogens of severe infectious diseases (for example, deadly typhus), and therefore it is impossible to treat them with carelessness, as only to annoying insects.
It is important to keep in mind that it is usually more difficult for a parasite to detect a person who does not expect them to appear than to notice symptoms of the presence of lice on the head or on the other scalp. Lice are very small insects with a body length of about 2-3 mm, translucent and hiding near the roots of hair.
Head, pubic and lingerie lice are practically the only human parasites that bite on the hairy areas of the body. This they easily differ from fleas, biting mainly the legs, and bed bugs, leaving bites on the sides and back.
Other characteristic signs of lice:
- light gray, almost white body
- inability to jump
- and the absence of wings.
In the eyes, these features do not immediately rush, but on closer examination can be detected even without a magnifying glass.
On a note
The so-called underwear louse differs from the head and pubic lice by its tendency to bite also the hairless areas of the body under the clothes. But infecting it in our days is a much more rare case than infecting two other types of lice.
The video below describes the symptoms of lice and shows how to detect lice with the help of improvised tools:
To detect lice, first of all, carefully examine the hair, spreading them with your fingers and assessing the condition of the surface of the scalp. Lice can be either directly on the skin, or on the hair a few centimeters from their base. It is also easy to detect nits (white dots on the hair) and red marks from bites on the head.
In the photo - the characteristic symptoms of lice in a person at a late stage of infection. Lice and nits are seen with the naked eye:
Also, you should pay attention to the typical signs of infection with lice.
Itching on the head
The first signs of lice are always light scratches in those places where insects bite. The only food of these parasites (both in adult insects and larvae) is the human blood, and in order to get their jaws to the blood vessels, they pierce the skin and introduce a special secret that prevents the blood clotting.
During a bite a person can feel an easy injection, similar to a mosquito, and when the anticoagulant enzyme starts to work, itching appears.
Usually, when a person bites only a few lice, he does not pay attention to the itching. Clearly and interfering with the normal feel of the itch becomes even when the lice appears several dozen or more.
Of all the symptoms of the presence of head lice in the hair, the itch attracts attention first - at this time the parasites themselves can not be noticed with insufficient inspection, and the skin reaction too is not too obvious.
Pay special attention to the itching should be when it does not pass after washing your head and it torments at night. This is a clear sign that it is caused by parasites, or other skin problems.
The itch of another person, especially a child, is recognized by the characteristic changes in behavior: the infected person constantly scratches his head, corrects his hair, combs them with a comb, and pulls them.
Babies in this case become very moody and constantly cry for no apparent reason.
On a note
The specific behavior of a potentially infected person should be paid attention in public places. Even if the lice are not visible to him, just approaching him is dangerous - lice can be infected by contact with clothing, with occasional shaking of hair. If a schoolchild is constantly complaining about a schoolmate who is scratching his head, it makes sense to report it to the school health center and the class teacher.
Regular itching on the causal site of pubic lice is a much more obvious symptom of infection by them (compared to the itching caused by head lice - after all the head can itch even from nervous disorders). Fortunately, pubic hair can be inspected by the owner of the parasites and immediately put to himself a correct diagnosis.
Constant irritations, bites and their consequences
Also obvious and easily detectable symptoms of the appearance of lice are traces of their bites on the skin. As a rule, these are small spot reddening, each with a small protruding hole in the middle. Such bites are very similar to flea bites.
With a strong infestation, lice bites merge into large reddening and can protrude even beyond the thick hair. Such symptoms of lice on the head are visible particularly clearly - the skin of the patient becomes similar to that of dermatitis:
As a rule, with multiple bites the person constantly scratches the itchy areas, which leads to the appearance of excoriations - the characteristic scratches that occur when the nails of the upper layer of the skin are damaged. They quickly cover with crusts and become well marked. These signs of lice can often be observed in tramps:
Characteristic symptoms of the presence of lice are also bluish-gray spots on the skin in places of constant biting. There is nothing dangerous in these spots, but they definitely testify to pediculosis.
Complications of pediculosis as symptoms of the presence of lice
Finally, if the first signs of the appearance of lice have gone unnoticed, the complications that develop on its soil may indicate pediculosis:
- pustular lesions of the skin in places of scratching and secondary infection;
- nerve disorders associated with constant itching;
- sleep disorders and phantom visions of creeping insects.
As a rule, such symptoms of lice develop in the most neglected cases and are characteristic mainly for homeless people. In children or adhering to the sanitary rules of adults, before the appearance of these signs, the matter usually does not reach.
In rare cases, lice bites may develop an allergy.
It is difficult to distinguish it from other types of allergies and count rashes on the body as a reliable sign of the presence of lice can not. Nevertheless, if there are rashes in the skin along with itching, and even more generalized symptoms of an allergy in the form of an increase in body temperature and enlargement of the lymph nodes, it is necessary to check the hairy areas of the body for lice.
Bonding hair and forming coils
In cases where pediculosis develops in the absence of the opportunity to regularly wash the head (marching and expeditionary conditions, military operations, vagrancy), a characteristic symptom of lice in the hair becomes their rapid clumping and the formation of coils.
This is due to the fact that to attach the egg to the hair, the female envelops the hair with a sticky secret, which ensures reliable adherence of the nits. If an insect is holding on to a few hairs, they all stick together. With serious infection, the amount of such cohesive hair becomes very large, and so-called coelons appear.
On a note
The skin under such coots is itching not only because of bites of lice, but also because of the accumulation of dandruff and the lack of normal ventilation. In addition, without regular combing, hair rolls off without lice, but as an additional symptom of the presence of head lice, this symptom can be taken into account.
Nits and products of vital activity of parasites
Nits can be attributed to the symptoms of pediculosis even more obvious than biting lice and constant itching. They can not be confused with anything.
Nits are lice eggs in special protective shells, which are firmly attached to the hair. It is nits, not lice, that first strike the eye when looking at the infected head - they look like small white dots, located at different distances from the roots of the hair. The most visible are nits in people with dark hair.
Empty white shells of nits (the so-called dry nits ) remain on the hair for a long time after the larvae from them hatch. Accordingly, the longer there are lice on the head, the more noticeable will be the nits. In the most neglected cases, the hair of an infected person looks as if sprinkled with white dough.
Lice excrement is similar to small dark dots with a size of not more than a few tenths of a millimeter in diameter. It is very difficult to notice them separately, but if they fall from their heads to a sheet or a pillow, then, in the main, they become very noticeable.
They can also be found when the hair is grown with your fingers - and the nits' shells, and the excrement of lice here will look like foreign garbage. Lining nits linen lice are particularly well visible on dark clothes - this kind of lice spend most of life on things.
Know the symptoms of lice is not only to start the right treatment on time, but also for the purpose of prevention - if in a public place there is a person constantly scratching his head and having characteristic redness on the skin of the hair, and even more so that he has a noticeable "snowball" from nits, it is worth keeping away from it. Similarly, it is possible to easily identify a "lousy" child in a children's team and take timely measures to ensure that their own child does not become infected.
Getting rid of lice and nits at home for 1 procedure: