(scratch) Head Lice (scratch-scratch)

      • A friend’s tyke got it a few weeks back. Mom is still hosing the house with lice-killing stuff. Which I think is interesting, because she’s somewhat of the White-Trash type; not much concerned about appearances, or dirty clothes thrown everywhere, or dirty dishes piled in the sink, -always-, , , but kid gets sent home from school and BAM - the house is absolutely spotless - except for that odd smell. It’s the best thing to happen to that house in quite a while. Anyway, I think the entire block is fairly well protected at this point.
  • Does head lice do anything besides itch and gross people out? Does it cause any other diseases or conditions? What happens if it goes untreated (-aside from a chronic lack of education-)??? - MC

-(You are probably scratching your head right now.)

Last week,I got a notice saying it had been found in my sons classroom. I checked him;nothing. Don’t know too much about it,though.

Well, it’s a little bit like the clap. If you keep it, EVERYONE you’re with will eventually have it.

Head lice have nothing to do with how clean the person’s living space is. If you go over to an infested friend’s house and recline on his sofa, you will likely end up with lice.

Lice are a mtherfcking NIGHTMARE. Your hair must be combed several times over to locate lice and lice eggs, which must be carefully picked out. EVERYTHING which could carry them…bedding, pillows, rugs, teddy bears…must be laundered in hot water, or at least run through a hot dryer to kill the little bastards. Once you’re clean, preventative steps must be taken for at least two weeks to make sure they DON’T COME BACK.

Everyone in your house must be shampooed with lice-killer at least once. (A couple of times for the infested ones.) Rubbing oil scented with rosemary into your hair nightly is another fun preventative measure…the next morning you can wash the oil out with tea-tree oil shampoo, another fragrance disliked by lice.

I could go on, but this is depressing me…any other parents out there want to carry the ball? I know I’m forgetting stuff…it’s the sort of experience you try to repress afterward.


I have heard that lice in the US are less likely to infest the scalps of those of African descent. I also heard that the head lice in Africa have evolved to have an affinity to that kind of hair, and caucasians on that continent aren’t as likely to get em. Anyone else hear this?

Typhus is spread by body lice. Caused by Rickettsia prowazekii.
Paraphrased from britanica.com


Humans are the reservoir for Typhus (and possibly flying squirrels in the US!). But it is spread by body lice. You get it by rubbing crushed lice or their feces into a bite, and possibly from inhaling infective louse feces.

Those are hardy little buggers. Yeah, you have to comb with an extremely fine tooth comb. Your head & your pubic hair [if you got any]. If you get them in your pubic hair, you have to shave your pubic region. Lice medicine is expensive & stinks. Nuff said.

::frantically checking hair for squirrels::

      • Hold on there scooter - I thought that there was stuff that lived on top, and stuff that lived on the bottom and that they each stayed in their own neighborhoods. I haven’t ever heard of combing one’s pubic hair to gt rid of head lice. Are you talking about something else? - MC

Can we talk about scabies now? I had scabies once and they are THE WORST. I had slept in an old sleeping bag and they took great pleasure of invading every inch of me. The weird thing about scabies is that they don’t attack you above your neck.

What these charming fellows do is burrow in your skin and lay their eggs. The burrows create small blisters and unbearable itching - it’s also really hard to get rid of them. As with lice, you have to wash absolutely everything over and over again in really hot water and rub foul cream all over your body three times a day.

My head itches just reading this thread…

I know a young woman who has had head lice for at least a year- she now wears a windbreaker (even in the summer) with a hood up so people don’t see her head (which I’ve heard is crawling with lice). It’s more important to her that she have money for smokes then to bother with lice medicine, so she just stays infested. She also has a 6 month old baby, which I think is a crime…I can’t imagine it will be long before the baby gets them, too.

She is a real white trash, too. Lives in absolute filth. I think it’s so bad at this point she would have to just shave her head and move out of her apartment. (I mean, don’t these things reproduce??)


A friend is someone who likes you even though you’re as ugly as a hat full of assholes.

It happens that I have been doing a bit of research on head lice lately. I recommend these two Web sites for opposing views on the severity of the problem and necessity of the traditional remedies: the National Pediculosis Association, http://www.headlice.org/, and a page from Richard Pollack of the Harvard School of Public Health, http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/headlice.html. The general impression I get from other sources is that the usual advice given to parents about boiling the house and putting your family in a plastic bag for two months is more than is really necessary. Most up-to-date sources seem to agree that the usual OTC shampoos (Nix etc) are losing their effectiveness due to resistance.

I admitted a guy to our ICU not long ago who was there due to head lice. He had them so badly and he was so dirty that when he scratched himself he ended up with an enormous abcess on the back of his neck. This was helped along by the fact that he was a diabetic who spent about as much time monitoring his blood glucose as he did grooming his hair, which was the most filthy, tangled, greasy ponytail I’ve ever seen. (Now that I think about it, I think I saw a squirrel’s nest in there…)

We simply had to shave his head and scrub down his entire body with Quell; it was the first bath he’d had in months, at least. He was in surgery for 6 hours and in the hospital for about 2 months because he became septic from the infection. This wasn’t a homeless guy; he was married and had 3 kids.

[[Can we talk about scabies now? I had scabies once and they are THE WORST. I had slept in an old sleeping bag and they took great pleasure of invading every inch of me. The weird thing about scabies is that they don’t attack you above your neck.]]

Scabies acariasis is caused by a mite, sarcoptes scabiei. You wanna here something about mites above the neck, bud? You got another kind of mite that lives in your eyebrows and eyelashes. 90% of people have them.

JillGat: “You wanna here”

You know what I mean.

MC, I got them first. I accused my woman friend of giving them to me. She said HA! No way. Day later she got them in her pubes [ I got them on my head], her son got them in his eye lashes.

Anyway, her doc made her shave her pubes & put some medicine on that area. I was driving her home from the airport and I said HA, I don’t believe you & right there in the car she pulled down her pants & showed me & asked her to put them back on before someone saw…ah, lice.

Don’t forget to mention that it’s one of the most embarrassing experiences you can have. Someone of a sensitive nature could easily die from the mortification!

 When my daughter was about 8 years old she got lice from a cousin. For some reason, my husband and I never got them, but going to the drugstore to buy the medicine . . . . ooohhh!

  My sister-in-law (whose daughter had passed them on to my daughter) told me to "just buy some Rid and follow the directions and that will take care of them". Well, I had never had them and never even knew anyone who had them and I believed her. After trying Rid and various other over-the-counter remedies, we finally gave up and called the doctor for a prescription for Qwell (more humiliation!). It took several treatments to finally conquer the stubborn little *&#@(*.

 There is still a general feeling that only "dirty" people get lice, even though that is not true, and I hope I never have to deal with that problem again, ever, ever, ever.


You don’t have to be dirty to get lice. I got lice in high school. I was a counselor at a camp and got it from sleeping in the cabin. I had to call the mothers of all those kids and tell them that I had lice. Luckily, they were incredibly nice about it. All you have to do is be close enough to a person with lice and you can get it.

If I’m about to do someone’s hair and I suspect lice, by law I can’t do them. I can’t diagnose it, either. I have to tell them that I suspect lice and advise them to go to a doctor. Then I have to scrub down my station after they leave with a smelly chemical and do all kinds of fun things to my implements.

More woman than you’ll ever inflate!

No, you don’t have to be dirty to get lice; they’re incredibly contagious. Dirty people, however, don’t care that they have lice, don’t get rid of them, and wind up with a huge crop of bugs squirming in their hair. The Lice Guy in our ICU had so many of them that when I washed his hair, every time I dabbed at his head with a towel literally hundreds of lice came off on the towel. His entire scalp and neck were bleeding and infected from his constant scratching with oogy black fingernails. A “normal” person would get treated before it got to that point.

I agree. The guy we got it from said that he tried to get rid of them but gave up & decided to just let them be.