Signs and Symptoms

One of the most common symptoms of head lice is itching. However, not everybody gets itchy and so some people may not even realise they have them. The itchiness is caused by an allergy to the lice (nothing to do with them biting your scalp). Even if you are itchy, it will have taken up to 3 months from contracting lice for the itching to come through. So you may have had them longer than you think.

Sometimes a red rash can be seen at the back of the neck which is caused by the louse droppings.

When looking for head lice, it can be very difficult to distinguish between unhatched eggs and nits, and so you cannot rely on this alone to diagnose an active infestation.  You need to actually be able to see a minimum of one louse using one of the two reliable methods described in the Licex system, to know you have an active infestation. Once you have identified that nits or headlice are present, treatment should be started as soon as possible.

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