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Lice Detection

Lice detection is the process of searching the scalp for head lice and nits. Lice detection, the first step in the lice removal process has three stages. The first stage is recognizing the signs and symptoms of head lice. The second lice detection step is visually inspecting the scalp to identify the live lice or nits. The third step involves contacting anyone with whom your child may have been in close contact so that the chances of more people becoming infected is reduced.

This article will go through the three step process of lice detection so that you will know what actions need to be taken prior to lice treatment. In addition, we've included a list of helpful lice detection tools that will simplify the lice detection process.

The first step in lice detection is noticing any of the 5 lice symptoms.

  • Itching- Itching is usually the first sign that lice may be present. IT is also the most common lice symptom. Children may be itching only slightly more than usual or you may notice vigorous and frequent itching.
  • Red Sores on Scalp- Another Lice detection sign is small red sores on the scalp caused by scratching the scalp after being bitten by the louse. This lice detection step is important because gone unnoticed the sores may become infected and result in swollen glands. However, most lice detection tests do not produce this symptom.
  • Tickling feeling in hair- Lice detection may be noticed when a child complains that someone is "tickling him on his hair".
  • Insomnia- Sleeplessness is a common sign of lice infestation since lice are more active at night. Lice detection may actually start by noticing that your child is more tired than usual.
  • Live Lice or nits- This is the most obvious lice detection symptom, and it is the only way to confirm a lice diagnosis.

The second step in the lice detection process is inspecting the scalp for head lice and nits.

The lice detection inspection step involves lice detection tools. You will need:

  • Time- Be sure that you are not rushing the lice detection inspection process. You need about 3-5 minutes per person for a thorough examination of the hair and scalp.
  • high-magnification lamps- Lice detection is very difficult because lice are small and crawl fast. The use of a magnifying lamp makes it easier for the clinician during the lice detection process.
  • Sticks- Lice detection sticks help the clinician check the hair. Two sticks are used to lift and separate the hair so that the hair shaft can be checked for lice and nit presence.
  • Gloves- While lice detection can be done without gloves, lice detection clinicians prefer to use gloves for hygienic purposes.

Once you have all the tools necessary for lice detection you are now ready to inspect the hair. Check the entire head for lice, paying close attention to the areas where lice detection are most common- behind the ears, at the nape of the neck, and the crown of the head. Head lice are hard to see because they are fast crawlers, however the nits can be seen. Some people confuse nits with other debris in the hair such as lint or dandruff. Unlike these other particles that come off easily, nits are glued on to the hair shaft and do not brush off easily. If you see an item in the hair and you are unsure if it is a nit simply remove the hair with the nit and contact the Licenders lice treatment center for identification.

The third step to lice detection is identifying other people who may be infected with lice. If you have a positive lice detection diagnosis all family members should be inspected for head lice. Also, the school and family friends who have been in close contact with the infested person over the previous week should be notified so that they can be inspected for head lice as well.

In summary if you notice any signs and symptoms of head lice do a lice detection inspection before you use any lice shampoos or lice combs to be sure that what you see is actually lice. If lice detection is confirmed, notify anyone with whom your child may have come in contact.

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