Naheed Jehangir

Children attending school often find themselves dealing with unwelcome visitors—lice in their hair.

The issue extends beyond individual cases, as these tiny pests easily transfer from one child to another within a group, prompting concerned mothers to diligently address the daily ritual of cleaning their children’s hair.

Causes of Hair Lice

Zubair Bhatti, an assistant professor and dermatologist at Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar, sheds light on the causes of hair lice. He explains that lice are highly contagious, spreading from person to person.

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On the flip side, some individuals naturally harbor lice, signifying an ongoing issue if left untreated. In medical terms, this condition is known as pediculosis capitis, denoting the infestation of lice in the hair.

Can Lice Cause Disease?

Dr. Zubair Bhatti addresses the potential diseases caused by lice infestation. Initially, the presence of lice results in itching. As lice feed on blood, continuous scratching may lead to infections, resulting in pus formation.

Pimples may emerge on the scalp, and without timely intervention, small holes can develop. Moreover, this condition may lead to the formation of lumps or pilar cysts in the neck, potentially escalating into severe health issues if not treated promptly.

Treatment and Precautions

Dermatologist Zubair Bhatti emphasizes the importance of maintaining clean hair through regular washing, recommending a frequency of at least twice a week.

In cases where lice are transferred due to contact with an infected individual, prompt cleaning is essential. Additionally, using anti-lice shampoo once a month is advisable. If lice are spontaneously developing in the hair without external transmission, seeking treatment from a dermatologist is crucial.

Why are lice more common in women than in men?

Dr. Zubair Bhatti explains that lice tend to thrive in thick hair, making women more susceptible due to their longer hair. In such cases, he suggests that women experiencing persistent lice infestations should consider cutting their hair short after treatment.

Liaquat Khan, a makeup artist, highlights the prevalence of lice even among well-known personalities in the film and drama industry. Despite technological advancements making lice removal quick and easy, many individuals remain unaware or neglectful. Lice, being a source of embarrassment, can be efficiently dealt with in parlors or salons.

Dr. Zubair emphasizes the importance of raising awareness to prevent lice infestations. Some schools celebrate Anti-Lice Day, during which teachers inspect students’ hair. If lice or unclean hair is detected, parents are notified.

Dr. Zubair suggests adopting practices from foreign countries, where a child with lice may be granted a week’s leave for treatment, considering lice as a legitimate health concern. This approach aims to foster awareness, encouraging individuals to keep themselves and their children lice-free.