Q:

What is "black lice"?

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Quick Answer

Black lice are more typically known as head lice, which is a type of tiny parasite that prefers to stay on the scalp of humans for warmth. Adult head lice are about the size of a sesame seed and drink tiny amounts of blood for nourishment, notes KidsHealth. Their presence can cause itchy skin irritation, which seems to worsen at night.

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Full Answer

Even though head lice are not known to transmit any disease, it is possible for their host to develop secondary skin infections due to scratching too frequently and too hard. Head lice do not pick their hosts based upon cleanliness, age, ethnicity or hair type. They do not spread by jumping or flying, but rather by people's heads touching or the sharing of bedding, hats, combs and hair accessories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lice spread most easily among children, especially at school. Once an infestation takes place, lice can survive on a human head for as many as 30 days and lay as many as eight eggs per day, reports KidsHealth. There are a number of over-the-counter treatments for getting rid of the insects available in almost any drug store. It is important to follow their instructions precisely to prevent spreading and reinfestation, recommends the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some home remedies for head lice?

    A:

    Home remedies for treating head lice include soaking clothing and bedding in water with a temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, dry cleaning, sealing contaminated items in a plastic bag for 2 weeks, wet-combing the hair, using domestic smothering agents and vacuum cleaning. If a child is affected, it is a good idea to consult a doctor or medical professional for assistance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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  • Q:

    What are some homemade cures for head lice?

    A:

    Wet-combing, essential oils and smothering agents are all common home remedies for head lice. However, there is no scientific evidence showing that any of these treatments work, according to Mayo Clinic.

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  • Q:

    Does mayonnaise kill head lice?

    A:

    Mayonnaise is commonly used as a home remedy to kill head lice, but its effectiveness is not scientifically proven, according to WebMD. To smother lice, a thick layer of mayonnaise is applied to the infected person's head and left on overnight underneath a bathing cap.

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  • Q:

    What do lice bites look like?

    A:

    Lice bites commonly occur near the scalp and can be identified by small red bumps occasionally accompanied by a rash or infection, says Kids Health. Head lice can cause skin to become raw, ooze clear fluid, crust over and potentially become infected, states WebMD. Pubic lice bites appear as bruises. Body lice cause itchy sores, and eggs may be found in clothing.

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