Mother Posted a Video on Facebook Showing Her Daughter’s Severe Head Lice Infestation
Karla Mendoza of Mexico posted a video on Facebook showing her daughter’s severe head lice infestation. The video shows a close-up of a head of black hair that is covered with tiny white eggs called nits. Adult lice can also be seen crawling through the child’s hair. The hairdresser, who has wisely put on rubber gloves, is examining the poor child’s hair. She also calls the infestation the “worst case I’ve ever seen.”
Mendoza thought that only her friends would be interested, but the video has gone viral. It was probably the severity of the infestation that drew so many viewers. Aranza, Karla’s eight-year-old daughter, doesn’t just have a few lice; she has thousands.
Head lice are wingless, parasitic insects that live hidden in human hair and feed on blood. Fortunately, they do not spread disease. Unfortunately, they are contagious and spread easily from person to person. That means Aranza may not be the only person in the Mendoza household to have them. Head lice infestations are a common problem, especially in children. They can, therefore, be a problem at schools.
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Head lice can cause itching that ranges from mild to unbearable. Some patients develop a rash. In the worst cases, the patient may scratch themselves so much that they develop a bacterial infection. Symptoms of such an infection include swollen lymph glands and tender, red skin that has crusts and oozes fluids. The patient may also complain about things moving around on their heads.
There are special shampoos and lotions that can be bought over the counter to treat head lice. If they fail, the doctor can prescribe stronger medications.
The eggs or nits can be harder to get rid of, for they actually stick to the scalp. They can’t be removed by simply brushing one’s hair or shaking one’s head. Special combs called nit combs can be used to remove the eggs. Metal nit combs work better than the plastic models. Rubbing olive oil into the hair or bees wax onto the comb can make it easier to remove the nit eggs. The patient should use the comb every 7 to 10 days.
The patient should also wash all of their clothes and bedding in hot water. If they develop symptoms of an infection or their treatment doesn’t work, they should see a doctor.