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A lice infection? These are the clinical signs

Think your child has lice? We list the clinical signs and symptoms and tell you how to diagnose them correctly.
klinische tekenen luizeninfectie

Almost no child grows up without ever having had a lice infection – and as an adult, you can still encounter these critters. If you notice that your child is scratching a lot or you are informed that there is a lice outbreak at school, it’s better to call your son or daughter aside for a thorough check. We list the clinical signs and symptoms and explain how to make a correct diagnosis.

Lice Infection: Making a Diagnosis

It goes without saying that people plagued by lice suffer from itching. But there are a number of other possible symptoms, such as scratch injuries and mild skin rash (due to the lice bites) that look like eczema.

How can you be sure that your child has lice? There are three ways to know.

A simple visual inspection, or in other words: looking in your child’s hair. This method might be the easiest, but it is not recommended because it yields many false negatives.

It is better to comb the hair dry and after each movement, wipe the comb on a (preferably white) towel. This way, you can immediately see whether there were lice on the comb or not. This method is four times more efficient than a visual inspection.

Finally, the best way is to comb the hair wet: moisten the hair, apply conditioner, and comb through with a lice comb that you wipe on a (preferably white) towel each time.

Spotted Lice? Time to Treat!

If you’ve noticed live lice during combing, then of course it’s time for treatment. Whether you opt for Elimax shampoo or Elimax lotion depends on the amount of lice you notice on your son or daughter’s head.

An Active Infestation Versus One from the Past

If there is an active infestation, you are dealing with live head lice (and possibly nits that are more than half a centimeter from the scalp). If you notice empty or dead nits and no lice during the check, then there is no need to worry. What you see are signs of a past infestation.