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Nits: what are they and what are they made of

Nits: what are they and what are they made of


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Many parents can be wrong when they think that a lice infestation will never run in their family. It is increasingly common, mainly in environments with temperatures between 28 and 32 degrees, the appearance of outbreaks of pediculosis in children of school age, both at home and at school. It requires more mechanical intervention on the part of the parents.

Nits are the eggs deposited by lice on children's hair, where they remain until they hatch. They are difficult to see and because of their color and shape, they can easily be mistaken for dandruff. Nits are distinguished by their gelatinous texture, similar to that of a glue, which makes them very attached to the child's hair.

Live eggs, that is, with an embryo, have a gelatinous gray color and are located close (3 to 4 mm) to the child's scalp. In fact, the distance between the nits and the scalp can be used as an indicator of how long a child has been infested and whether or not they still have an embryo. As the hair usually grows about 0.4 mm / day, it is almost certain that the eggs that are located more than 1 cm from the scalp, are already empty. In this case, they will be white.

It takes 8-10 days for the egg to hatch and release the young louse or nymph. Its appearance is the same as an adult louse but smaller. The nymphs mature into adults in approximately 7 days after incubation. A warm and humid environment is very favorable for the incubation of nits.

When head lice are detected in children, the first thing parents should do is remove the lice. After complete removal of lice, treatment continues with removal of empty or hatched nits. Experts, as well as parents, agree that nit removal is the most difficult stage of treatment, as the eggs are attached and fixed to the child's hair as if they were fixed with glue.

Nits are deposited by female lice at the base of the hair so that they are kept at the proper temperature for incubation. The nits are attached to the hair by the saliva deposited by the female louse, a resistant and insoluble substance in water, until the moment of hatching, which, in the case of hair lice, occurs in 8 to 10 days.

The complete removal of nits is only possible with the help of a comb with very fine, tight, and close-knit teeth, known as nits. Although there are plastic ones, metal ones are the most recommended by doctors and pharmacists. Not necessarily the most expensive are the best. The important thing is that they catch the nits, as well as the dead lice, and facilitate their removal for the parents.

If you want to know more about lice, we have prepared a series of lice and head lice videos with an expert who will give you a lot of information about what they are, how to prevent them and how to treat them.

You can read more articles similar to Nits: what are they and what are they made of, in the category of Lice and nits on site.