Q:

How is it possible to check if a head lice nit is dead?

A:

Quick Answer

It is possible to check if head lice nits are alive by their color. However, without the aid of a magnifying glass or microscope, it is very difficult to tell if they are dead.

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Full Answer

Nits are eggs laid by head lice. These eggs attach firmly to the hair shaft close to the scalp. It is actually easier to see nits when a child has lice than the tiny adults crawling on the scalp. Living nits look yellow, tan or brown. It is easy to see the clear or white shell that the nits leave behind once they are born. These shells are probably the most visible part of the infestation because they stay stuck on a child's hair as it grows. Nit shells can mimic dandruff, but they do not shake off from a child's hair like dandruff flakes.

To prevent infestation, it is a good rule of thumb to keep treating the child until no more nits are visible, even if they are simply the shells that are left behind. Many schools have "no nits" policies that keep children at home to prevent other children from getting lice. Children with lice are highly contagious and should be treated as soon as the condition is detected.

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    Can bald men get lice?

    A:

    NYU Langone Medical Center states that lice can be found in the eyelashes, eyebrows and beard. This means that if a bald man has hair anywhere else on his face, it is possible for lice to be present.

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    What is the difference between lice and dandruff?

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    The difference between lice and dandruff is that lice are contagious parasites, while dandruff is a self-contained scalp condition that causes skin cells on the scalp to shed faster than normal. Lice are spread by direct contact with hair or infested belongings of a person with head lice, while dandruff has a variety of causes, although the most common cause is dry skin.

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    How can head lice and nits be identified?

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    Lice and nits can be identified when an affected individual experiences itchiness on certain parts of the body where lice are commonly found, such as on the scalp; nits (the insects' eggs) may be visible on hair shafts or strands. Determining whether someone has head lice is not easy, which is why it may be a good idea to contact a health care provider to verify the situation before treatment can begin, according to Mayo Clinic.

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    How do you get rid of lice fast?

    A:

    To get rid of lice quickly, comb out the lice and nits, then dry the hair using hot air. You need a fine-toothed metal comb, a paper towel, a plastic bowl with water, a regular comb, several hair clips, conditioner and a blow dryer.

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