Lice-itchy scratchy

  1. Bear with me...I'm new to school nursing! I have a student who had lice...probably about 3 weeks ago (not sure..I didn't see the student, but heard about it after he returned to school). He was brought to the clinic late last week scratching away at his head. I saw nothing other than dry skin and a very slight discoloration (pink) around his right ear. My guess is that's where the infestation was previously. But he was scratching all over. So my question is how long does someone feel itchy after lice has been treated? He was brought back to clinic today, but I was not available to see him (long story). Teacher said she thinks she sees nits though. I'm sure he will be brought back to clinic tomorrow and I'll have a look then. Also, I've never seen lice up close and personal...Will I know it when I see it?? I've read that nits won't just fall off like dandruff does, but adult lice are hard to spot b/c they are fast and hide from light. I'm sure it's possible he could have a re infestation too.
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  3. by   Ilovegiraffes
    It's very possible there's a re-infestation....or that it wasn't totally eradicated in the first place. Nits are recognizable on a strand of hair vs dandruff because nits won't "fleck off" like dandruff.

    Lice treatment products tend to be quite drying to the scalp, so that could be making him feel itchy, too!

    Don't despise your youth - or newbie status to school nursing! All too soon, you'll be an EXPERT on head lice!
  4. by   NurseEllie13
    Also, all the nits I've seen so far have that very tell-tale "tear drop" shape.
  5. by   Ilovegiraffes
    Another thought: check out ....they have oodles of info AND can even get free downloads. I really like their lice info coloring book.....I use it with the Kindergarten class!
  6. by   Cackalacky
    Even though I had lice as a child, I had never seen them before, but let me tell you, when you see lice you'll definitely know.
  7. by   motherof3sons
    Lice move and jump in the hair....I almost dropped a LOL, while transferring her bed to chair and was up close and personal to her head and saw lice jumping in her hair....ewww!
  8. by   Nurse ABC
    Those lice treatments can really dry out the scalp plus with the dry winter air that doesn't help. I can usually tell by feeling the hair if a student was just treated. The hair feels very dry as well. That can make them itch for quite a while. Conditioner can help in these instances which is not something a lot of kids have access to that I take for granted!

    Lice do not jump. They are very fast and will retreat from light and the air hitting them. They like to stay snuggled warm in the hair esp around the nape of the neck area and back of the ears where it's warmer. You will definately be able to know what it is when you see one. If you spend enough time parting several sections you will usually find one if in there.

    They are right about the nits. They won't come out unless you pull with your fingernails or a lice comb. They also feel kind of firm unlike a piece of dandruff. There's plenty of info on the net and You Tube as well!
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from motherof3sons
    Lice move and jump in the hair....I almost dropped a LOL, while transferring her bed to chair and was up close and personal to her head and saw lice jumping in her hair....ewww!
    That was probably fleas. Lice do not jump.

    I thought we had a "sticky" up with info related to Frequently Asked Questions but don't see anything. Here is my favorite for lice:

    Neither able to fly nor jump, lice are also unlikely to wander far from their preferred habitat. Lice and their eggs are unable to burrow into the scalp.
    Head lice are mainly acquired by direct head-to-head contact with an infested person's hair. Despite commonly held beliefs to the contrary, inanimate objects (such as combs, brushes, hats, helmets, headphones and hair accessories) are insignificant in harboring or transmitting head lice or their eggs. Hence, there is little, if any, reason to focus efforts to clean the home or to bag clothing, toys or other items with the intent of reducing the transmission of head lice.
    Often, presumed cases of head louse infestations are based upon the discovery of louse eggs ('nits') or egg-like material. Without magnification and suitable expertise, they are difficult to correctly distinguish from other material caught in the hair. Amongst presumed 'nits' submitted to us by physicians, nurses, teachers and parents, the vast majority are simply artifacts such as dandruff, hairspray droplets, scabs, dirt, or other insects. None of these would justify treatment for head lice.Itching of the scalp, or the perception that something is crawling on the head, do not necessarily suggest that head lice are present, and they do not warrant treatment for lice.
  10. by   Artistyc1
    Hate to tell you, but this is misinformation. Lice don't JUMP. They don't have the proper jointing of their legs to do that. Parents get this sort of misinformation, and the hysteria perpetuates. I don't know what you may have seen on that woman's head, but it couldn't have been lice.