A video of a teen girl infested with head lice made waves on Tiktok after it was uploaded by a hair expert. The professional described the infestation as level ten and this made people to imagine the kind of pain and discomfort this young girl would have been going through for three years and the pains she will go through to treat and clear the lice from her head.
Lice are tiny insects that can be easily spread and be transmitted to others but tough to get rid of. They feed on human blood and can lay eggs in the human hair called nits. It is commonly transmitted by sharing hair tools from an infested hair to another.
TEEN GIRL INFESTED WITH HEAD LICE
A Tiktoker and owner of a hair clinic always uploaded videos of her treating client’s hair as a way of documenting these treatments. One of the videos that drew the attention of other people is of a teen girl (13 year old) whose hair was so infested with lice that the insects took over her hair and were crawling to her scalp to suck blood from her face.
The worst part is that these lice were still alive and laying hundreds of eggs inside her hair. The girl, from the description of the Tiktok video, has long, brown and beautiful hair but the eggs from the insects had turn the colour to almost grey. It seems like she had more lice than strands of hair on her head. It was so extreme that these lice were seen jumping out from her hair onto her clothes, arms, legs and floor. Everywhere was covered with both wriggling and dead lice.
According to the professional, the first thing that came to her mind when she saw the impact of the lice is to shave the hair. In some cases of infestation, the hair of the patient will be shaved but Rachel did not want to shave the girl’s hair because she has beautiful hair with nice texture, also she is 13.
The first step the hair expert took was to use a traditional lice comb with hair treatment cream to run through her hair and each comeback was bodies of lice piling up the baby wipe turning the colour from white to brown. The combing really helped to remove wads of love but this process was painful.
Few days after that, Rachel shared another video she tagged “part two”, she confirmed that the case was no longer as severe as it was the first time the teen girl came to her clinic. The first appointment really helped because in the second video, the girl’s scalp can be seen, the lice were not as much like before although there were still bites from the lice on her head.
The second treatment was aimed at removing the eggs and the remaining lice. It took about half an hour but she was able to attack the collection of eggs just in the front of her face. This process was so painful but rewarding. Few more treatments were done to get her hair free of lice.
WHAT ARE HEAD LICE?
Head lice are tiny insects that live in human hair and feed on blood from the scalp, these insects do not have wings and can be tough to get rid of. They can be spread easily from person to person by sharing hair tools, joining your head with an infected person’s head or wearing the cap of an infected person. Lice are common in little children but teens can get them too. The easiest places to get lice are from barbing saloons, hair saloons and clinics.
Head lice can be very annoying as they cause the scalp to become itchy and scratching the head can lead to bleeding and infections. Lice do not spread diseases but they make the hair look scaly. These lice can lay eggs on the scalp, their eggs are known as nits. When the eggs have not hatched, they are brown or black in colour and when they have already hatched, the eggs will have white color.
SYMPTOMS OF HEAD LICE
One of the common symptom of head lice is severe itching and scratching. The scratching will be mostly behind the ears and around the back of the head. Scratching will cause the hair scalp to have scales and crusty spots. There will be small, oval-shaped eggs with black, brown or white color at the root of the hair. These eggs are lice that are yet or have already hatched.
You will see live head lice when you pay your hair or hit your head. Feeling like there is something moving in your head. In extreme cases of head lice infestation, crusted sores and large lymph nodes may develop on the scalp, these are caused by the itchy dermatitis.
TREATMENTS FOR HEAD LICE
You can treat head lice using any of these methods;
1. Wet-Combing Treatment
This involves combing your hair when it is wet with a metal comb with fine tooth meant specifically for lice. You use this comb with hair conditioner, you can use any type of hair conditioner or silicone gel if possible. The first step for this method is to wet your hair with water and apply lots of conditioner in the hair. Make sure the conditioner touches the scalp and hair shafts.
Allow the conditioner to stay in the hair for 15 minutes, cover the hair with a shower cap. The ingredients from the conditioner will suffocate the lice and cause them to release their grip on the scalp. Gently insert the comb into the hair and make sure it touched the scalp, then comb out from the hair firmly. Use a tissue, wipes or water to clean out the comb after each stroke.
You will see the head lice coming out from the scalp. Comb the hair at least twice and work on every area of the hair, this should take about 30 minutes. You should do this every 2 to 3 days for 2 weeks till you no longer see lice or their eggs coming out from the hair.
2. Using Anti-Lice Products
There are products that are formulated with active ingredients like permethrin, maldison or pyrethrin to destroy and treat head lice. They can be lotions, liquids and creams. You can easily get any of these products from pharmacies. These products have strong smell that may not be suitable for a child, so you may have to use a face mask while using. Also, follow the instructions on the package very well to avoid irritating your scalp or skin.
You are expected to use the product for the first treatment, then use again after one week to kill remaining live or hatched eggs. If you have lice in your scalp two weeks after using anti-lice products, you should see a doctor. The doctor will know the best medication or treatment.
THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT DO
- Do not use flammable chemicals like kerosene to avoid increasing your risk of having fire accident.
- Do not use hair dryer after using any anti-lice products, most of them contains ingredients that can easily catch fire.
- Pesticide sprays should not be used on your head. Lice are like pest but should not be treated using pesticide sprays.
- Essential oils like tea tree oil should not be directly used on the scalp to avoid irritating the skin.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT HEAD LICE?
If you or anyone close to you have had lice, it is important that you take preventive measures to stop these insects from entering your head. They may be around your clothes, beddings and other items.
Here are some preventive measures you can adopt:
Use hot water to wash clothes or bed linens that have been used recently by someone with head lice. Make sure that the water has a temperature of 130°F [54.4°C]. Use the hot cycle of the dryer for at least 20 minutes.
For clothes or bed linens that you cannot wash, take them to a drycleaner. You can also put them in an airtight bag and allow them to stay in for 2 weeks. This will suffocate the lice. Clean all upholstery and other furniture including car seats with a vacuum cleaner. You should throw away the vacuum cleaner bag.
Hair item like combs, caps, scarves, barrettes, brushes, headbands and head ties should be soaked in hot water before washing. You can dispose them if the lice infestation was severe. Everyone close to someone who have had head lice recently should all be checked for head lice. If there are traces of the insect in the hair, treatment should be given immediately.
To prevent getting head lice in the first place, you can follow any of the preventive measures:
- Avoid sharing hair tools like combs, brushes, hats, scarves, bandanas, ribbons, barrettes, hair ties or bands, towels, helmets with anyone else.
- Do not lie on the same bed, carpet or pillow with someone with head lice. Do not use these items after someone with lice has used them after some couple of days.
- Avoid having head contact with others during games or sports.
- Check for head lice if anyone in your house or school has head lice.
The teen girl infested with head lice has a horrible experience and nobody will want such. This is why it is important not prevent these insects from entering your head. If you have lice, you can treat them as soon as possible to relieve yourself of the itching and scratching.