Visit Our Urgent Care to Treat Your Lice InfestationFrisco, TX
Lice are small insects that can cause a multitude of symptoms that may be concerning to you or your child. Unfortunately, these tiny pests are very common and can be transmitted from person to person. A lice infestation can form in a variety of places on your body, but most commonly it occurs in your hair and scalp. Different species of lice can also infest other places on your body, which give them their names: head lice, body lice and pubic lice.
If you suspect that you or your child may have lice, then visit our urgent care center to receive a diagnosis and treatment to get rid of these pests today.
Who does lice affect?
Head lice are common throughout the world and can affect anyone regardless of social or economic background. Children are found to be more frequently affected than adults, and males are typically affected more often than females. Ethnic background may also be a factor as to who is afflicted with the infestation as studies have shown that these tiny bugs favor certain hair structure and length. For example, there are fewer black children with lice because the lice are unable to grasp the shape or width of their host’s hair.
Body lice are common in poverty-stricken countries where crowding and low personal hygiene can facilitate the spread and multiplication of the parasite. Communal beds have a significant influence on the prevalence of body lice.
Pubic lice are common in sexually active teenagers and young adults that have had new or many recent partners. Patients with pubic lice also commonly have another sexually transmitted infections.
What do lice look like?
The eggs of head lice look like oval capsules that may be more transparent until after they hatch. The eggs then become white and more visible. After eight days, the baby lice, also called nymphs, turn into adult lice which are gray-white and can be 2 to 3 mm in length. If you look closely at the lice, you may see structures that resemble a mouth, which they use to suck blood from our bodies. They also have legs that are especially well adapted at grasping onto our hairs.
Body lice look similar to head lice but are larger in size. They can be up to 3-4 mm in length.
Public lice look different than both head and body lice. They are round and stubby as well as smaller in size — 0.8 to 1.2 mm. They are also transparent, making them difficult to see unless they have recently had a blood meal. Their legs also look different and end in crab-like claws, giving them the common name of crab lice.
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How do lice move from person to person?
Head lice move directly from the infected area of one person to a person who is touching that infected part. It is important to note that lice do not jump or fly. They also do not use pets as carriers. You may be concerned about hair dryers, combs or towels that may have come into contact with a person infected with lice. However, studies have not shown any evidence to support this theory.
Body lice are different from head lice in that they can live and lay eggs in clothing and bedding. Unlike head lice, they can live up to three days without a meal. This gives them time to transfer from one person’s clothes or bedding to another person.
Pubic lice are technically a sexually transmitted infection since they move from the pubic hair of one individual to another when they are in contact during sexual intercourse. It is less common but possible to encounter pubic lice from clothing, towels or linen.
What are the symptoms of lice?
Head lice can cause itching that occurs as an allergic reaction from the lice saliva that is injected into the skin when they feed. However, depending on the type of lice, the location of the itching can vary. Head lice can cause itching on the scalp, neck and behind the ears.
Body lice can also cause itching but in the chest, back and waist areas. Typically, these bites will develop into linear patches where clothing seams contact the skin like in the armpits or waist.
Pubic lice will also cause itching but in the pubic and armpit areas. However, in hairy individuals, pubic lice can take hold anywhere there is hair.
How does an urgent care physician diagnose lice?
Our urgent care physician will suspect head lice if patients come in with itchy scalps, especially in children. The diagnosis will be confirmed once the physician inspects the hair and sees the live, adult insects. The determination may also be made if there is a high concentration of eggs found within the hair and on the scalp.
Body lice will be diagnosed similarly to head lice, but instead of the hair, the physician will look for lice in the seams of clothing. Occasionally, the physician may find body lice living or feeding on the skin, which is indicative of a more severe infestation.
Pubic lice will be diagnosed similarly to head lice by looking through the patient’s pubic hair for eggs or adult lice.
How does an urgent care physician get rid of lice?
For head lice, one of our urgent care physicians can prescribe topical creams or shampoos that specifically target lice and rid the patient of the infestation. If the infestation is particularly severe or reoccurring, the physician can also prescribe an oral medication.
For body lice, most patients will be educated on the proper methods of exterminating the insects without medication. These include bathing thoroughly and washing all clothes and bedding in high temperatures of at least 130° F water. For more severe infestations where lice are found on the skin, you may receive a topical lotion or cream.
For pubic lice, the treatment is similar and calls for topical creams or shampoos that kill the lice. However, these lice are more resistant and may take longer to treat or require several treatments to eradicate the infestation.
Are you considering lice treatment in the Frisco area? Get more lice information at primarycarefriscotx.com/contact-us/.
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