What happens if you don’t treat head lice? Shocking video reveals up to 20,000 blood-sucking parasites could live on your scalp in just one month
Head lice are easily killed with a special shampoo, but these parasitic insects become super-resistant squatters when left untreated.
The TikTok account, whatifshow, revealed that as many as 20,000 tiny insects could live on your head after one month, many of which would resist treatment.
These blood-sucking parasites are eliminated in nine to 10 days with the FDA-approved permethrin lotion and a fine-toothed comb that catches the lice and eggs.
However, ignoring the critters allows them to turn your scalp into their new home, which can lead to infections.
The TikTok account, whatifshow , revealed what happens when head lice are untreated. In the first week you will see nits, which are developing insects
Lice can also be contracted by sharing tools such as brushes, combs or towels with someone with an infestation.
And they are most common in primary school children who pass the insects to each other during play.
These small bugs can fly to jump from person to person, so if a child is infested with lice, the rest of the family likely will be too.
Symptoms include extreme itchiness of the scalp, a crawling sensation across the scalp and sores or scabs on the scalp from scratching.
The term ‘feeling lousy’ comes from having head lice, where the lice feeding off someone’s blood can run that person down and give them low-level, flu-like symptoms.
Extreme infestations that have gone untreated for a long time can result in toxic shock syndrome.
The TikToker explains that the infestation would be visible in two weeks.
Strands of hair would be covered in tiny white eggs, known as nits, which appear yellow.
A week later, adults will start to appear and crawl all throughout your scalp.
The fully grown and developed adult louse is the size of a sesame seed.
Lice can also be contracted by sharing tools such as brushes, combs or towels with someone with an infestation
Strands of hair would be covered in tiny white eggs, known as nits, which appear yellow. A week later, adults will start to appear and crawl all throughout your scalp
Adults can live for up to 30 days on your scalp
It has six legs and is tan to grayish-white in color. And adults can live for up to 30 days on your scalp.
WHAT ARE HEAD LICE?
Head lice are tiny insects which live and lay their eggs in hair. Their empty egg cases which stick to hair are known as ‘nits’.
Lice, which can be treated by an over-the-counter medication, quickly multiply and can cause itching and inflammation of the scalp.
In severe cases, infections can be caused when children scratch their head with dirty fingernails or if faecal matter from the lice gets into a scratch.
All people who come in contact with the infected person should also check if they have contracted the bug because it spreads easily.
Clothing, bedding and other products need to be laundered in high heat in order to kill the bugs.
If something can’t be washed, then it needs to be either dry cleaned or sealed in a bag for two weeks to help kill off the infestation.
‘Now things are getting itchy. You’d scratch to try and relieve yourself from that awful itch, but this would only leave you with painful soars that would be at risk of getting infected,’ the TikToker said in the video.
Adult lice can lay about six to 10 nits a day when it finds a host, and the eggs take about nine days to hatch.
If untreated, these nits can multiply by the tens of thousands.
‘Eventually, you could end up carrying 20,000 of these unwanted hitchhikers, including treatment-resistant super-lice,’ the narrator said.
Lice feces is the next nightmare of this parasitic infestation.
Your scalp will then begin to smell because of the bacteria build-up on the lice, on their eggs and in and on their excretions.
At this point, the person’s sleep is disrupted due to itching and the stench coming from their head.
Australian baby and child CPR experts recently busted the biggest myths and misconceptions about head lice, including how they can not live anywhere other than the human head and are not transmitted by jumping or flying from person to person.
Keeping your locks clean and shiny will not deter head lice as they ‘do not discriminate’ and are not the result of dirty hair or poor hygiene.
CPR Kids do not recommend insecticides for treating head lice.
‘Insecticides can actually have more serious health effects than the lice themselves as they can cause skin irritation,’ the post read.
Finally, keeping your kids away from school or daycare will not break a head lice infestation and CPR Kids say eradication is more effective.
‘Head lice eradication is most effective if the schools and the community work together to treat an infestation, for example, running a Nitbuster program,’ they said