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Symptoms, Skin

Exposing The Truth: Do I Have Lice Or Am I Paranoid?

- Written By

Brenda Galloway , ABMS

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This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts. Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument. This article contains scientific references. Read more about our process.

Do I Have Lice or Am I Paranoid?

Do i have lice or am i paranoid?” is a common question. After feeling a scratchy scalp, which is unpleasant. Although the worry of having lice might be pretty upsetting, it’s essential to face the matter calmly. 

In this article, we’ll look at the symptoms of a lice infestation and offer advice on what to do if you think you have them. Implementing the tips and tactics discussed in this article can lessen your concern about lice. 

What do lice do?

The little, wingless insects known as lice are blood-eating parasites that dwell on the scalp. They are very contagious and spread quickly when people directly touch one other or share goods like combs, caps, or pillows.

Lice are classified into three types:

  • A head lice infestation on the scalp. They are visible around the nape of the neck and behind the ears.
  • After emerging from clothing and bedding, body lice feed on the skin. Body lice most commonly afflict those who are unable to bathe or wash their clothes on a regular basis, such as homeless people.
  • Pubic lice are crab-like parasites that infest the pubic skin and hair. They may be discovered occasionally on coarse body hair, such as chest hair, brows, or eyelashes.
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Common symptoms and signs of head lice

1) Constant scalp itchiness

A constant itchy scalp is one of the most typical signs of a lice infestation. The body’s response to the saliva of the lice that have bit your scalp has caused this itching.

2) Visible lice or nits

Lice can be challenging to find because they travel swiftly and hide in the hair. Nits, which are little white or yellowish oval-shaped specks adhered to the hair shafts, may be visible, as well as them or their eggs.

3) Sores or irritated skin

Frequent scratching of the scalp due to lice bites may result in sores or irritated skin. If these sores are not treated, they could get infectious.

Common misconceptions related to head lice 

It’s critical to dispel the following myths about a lice infestation: Contrary to widespread assumption, having lice does not indicate poor personal cleanliness. No matter how clean or unclean their hair is, anyone can get lice.

1) Lice jumping

Lice are unable to fly or jump. Direct head-to-head contact is the most typical way for them to spread since they crawl from one hair strand to the next.


It's critical to get confirmation from a certified specialist or a medical professional if you think you could have lice. They will be able to give you a specific diagnosis and direct you toward the best course of action. Self-diagnosis frequently results in unneeded worry and anxiety.

2) Lice paranoia

A severe dread of lice characterizes lichen phobia. Those with lice paranoia may believe they have lice even when they don’t. They could vehemently avoid interacting with others because they think everyone else has lice. Lice paranoia is a very distressing and stressful illness that may be crippling. There are numerous ways to treat lice paranoia, and seeking medical help is essential if you or someone you care about suffers.

A chemical reaction in your skin generates scavenging, which makes it crawl about aimlessly without any stimulation. General anxiousness results in hives and itching. To lessen irritation, take an over-the-counter antihistamine. An Itchy Mom Syndrome case may have its roots in an insect infestation. There are several ways to stop this itching, and many of them are free and easy.

Showering is an excellent option if you are itching and worried about lice. When you have lice, you think every hair follicle on your head is infested with swine or nits. When you identify and acknowledge natural cues, you will usually feel relaxed.

3) Lice infestation treatments are available

A variety of over-the-counter medications are available to treat lice infestations.

Most of the chemicals in these products can kill both live lice and their eggs. 

Let’s watch the video to know how to check and treat lice?

Source / Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

What if the medication is ineffective?

There are several reasons why a treatment could fail. If no active lice infestation was not initially, a misdiagnosis could be a problem. The drug may have been administered wrongly, the lice may have resisted the treatment or a subsequent infestation may have occurred. Thank goodness, there are several treatment options.

A board-certified dermatologist can assist you in reviewing your previous actions and advising you on the best course of action if therapy does not work.

For many people, having lice can be an upsetting and unpleasant issue. You may choose the best treatment and extermination methods for these annoying insects by becoming knowledgeable about recognizing the correct symptoms and diagnosing them effectively. Following the treatment guidelines and repeating them thoroughly to remove all lice is critical.

1) Manual extraction

A lice comb with fine teeth is used to comb through the hair and remove lice and nits during manual removal. This procedure calls for perseverance and thoroughness to remove all lice.

2) Professional support

It could be essential to seek professional help in severe cases or when self-care measures fail. Expert advice and treatment choices suited to your particular circumstance can be obtained from professional lice removal businesses specializing in treating lice infestations.

3) Reinfestation prevention

To limit the risk of lice transfer to others and to prevent reinfestation, take the following precautions:

4) Avoid face-to-face contact 

Avoid close contact with people with lice, especially during activities like sports or sleepovers where head contact is frequent.

5) No personal items should be shared.

It is recommended to avoid sharing hats, helmets, combs, brushes, and other personal objects that come into touch with hair.

6) Clean bedding and clothing

Machine wash and dry clothing, bedding, and any other materials that may have come into contact with lice using the hottest settings recommended for the fabric. Upholstered furniture, automobile seats, and other areas where lice may have been present should be vacuumed.

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What might one mistake lice for?

One of the initial indications of lice is itching. However, this symptom cannot prove that the parasite is present. There are other causes of itching, which are frequently mistaken for lice.

1) Dandruff

A little patch of dry skin known as dandruff itches. Many people mistake this common scalp ailment for nits. Nits must be removed with a specialized comb since they are adhered to the hair shaft, while dandruff is flaky and simple to brush off.

2) Laundry and hair products

Hair product drips might also be mistaken for lice. Itchy scalps can be caused by improperly using shampoo or keeping hair products on overnight. Additionally, product debris may be simple to remove. Hair products and cleaning goods can result in contact dermatitis when a new product produces itchiness or a rash.

3) Skin problems

Numerous skin disorders, such as scalp psoriasis and eczema, can be mistaken for itchiness, dandruff, or reddish spots brought on by lice.

Protecting from lice at home

Head lice are on the rise. It would be best if you were cautious to avoid catching or passing them on. Personal things such as hats, combs, hairclips, and brushes should never be exchanged.

Wash your clothes and sheets regularly. If you suspect your home has a lice infestation, vacuum the flooring and furniture before covering it with a plastic drop cloth for two weeks.

Protecting from lice at School

Stopping the spread of lice in places like schools or nurseries may be difficult. You can teach your child to avoid establishing direct hair contact with other youngsters while playing. Avoiding common spaces for headgear and clothing, such as locker rooms and closets, may also help to reduce lice transmission.

The bottom line

Although having an itchy scalp can be worrying, it’s crucial to maintain your composure. If you believe you have lice, get a professional opinion and use the recommended treatments. Remember that lice are not a symptom of poor hygiene and can infect anyone.

You can effectively treat lice infestations and reduce the possibility of reinfestation by taking the appropriate precautions and following preventive measures. All head lice infections must be treated as soon as feasible.

Whether a youngster exhibits symptoms, checking their hair is still a good idea. Asking for assistance while you’re feeling overwhelmed is preferable to struggling with numerous infestations that are only going to get more challenging to get rid of. 

How we reviewed this article

Trend Of Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy

Global Health, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria

Head lice

American Academy of Dermatology Association
Head Lice: Overview



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