The truth about lice: Stop stressing out and get your facts right

Lice. They can ruin your summer and pester you endlessly, but it may not be their fault. It might be yours.

Although extremely annoying and itchy, lice aren’t actually harmful to your health, but the stress caused from the wrath of the psychosomatic symptoms, certainly is.

“The minute we hear the word, we start to itch,” says Elizabeth Cunnane Philips, trichologist for the Philip Kingsley trichologist clinic.

“Having lice is stressful because of misinformation and panicking,” says Philips, “and then things become obsessive, so it can foster in its own independent realm of negativity, but within actual health variables, there’s none, it’s just really, really annoying.”

So if you’re going to freak out about lice, you might as well get the facts right, starting with the biggest misconception out there: having lice means you have a dirty scalp.

Wrong. In fact, lice actually affect cleaner scalps more so than unclean scalps, according to Philips.

“There’s an incredible, age-old misconception as to who gets it,” says Philips, “and the association with it is dirty and unclean, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

So now that we know that those affected by lice aren’t dirty and that stress is actually the most harmful aspect stemming from getting lice, we can stop freaking out and start getting treatment help.

Prevention: No sharing!

It’s no secret that lice are the pests of younger generations with the tendency of kids to come in close contact with each other and share items.

“It’s because of the age factor,” Philips says. “They touch and hang out and are all over each other. So there’s parasites that present, they find a host and then they travel between that population.”

Therefore, Philips has shared the best way to prevent the spread: minimize the surface area of context.

It is extremely important for kids to minimize the amount of skin to skin contact that they have with others. They must also stop sharing things like hairbrushes, hats and even headphones.

But what is the easiest way in preventing the spread? Head checks.
“Check them.” Philips says. “Take 2 minutes in the evening and do a head check. Get a head of it. That leads to an easier and quicker journey through the annoyance of it.”

Dealing with the pests: take prudent, practical steps

Put down the six bottles of special shampoo and simply choose one treatment, recommended by a doctor.

Even though after a few days of the treatment you’re kid may start to feel lice free, it is important to treat the recovery time like taking a course of antibiotics, always complete the treatment cycle.

You can prolong an episode because you haven’t quite caught the whole cycle,” Philips says. “Whatever you choose, follow the protocol absolutely to a tee. Take prudent, practical steps.”


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