West Houston Dermatology

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Head Lice: An Old Nemesis

Finally, Houston area kids are back in school.  As parents, we look forward to many things like good report cards, parent/teacher conferences, and activities.  An outbreak of head lice is not on the list of what we desire, but it seems that head lice can make an appearance during back to school time.  This may be due to kids going to summer camps where they share pillows, bedding, caps, and/or combs and brushes.  Though head lice are not medically dangerous, it is a nuisance to the household and an irritant to the patient’s scalp.  If left untreated, head lice can spread to the entire family, which is what causes parents to panic when a head lice outbreak is announced at school.  Treating head lice is fairly simple.  Parents should use the shampoo or lotion that your dermatologist prescribes and follow the directions carefully.  Parents want to treat head lice, but not over treat. In addition to using the prescribed or recommended shampoo or lotion, parents need to use a nit comb or a very fine-toothed comb to rid the hair of nits (eggs).  It’s a good idea to thoroughly wash all bedding and clothing to prevent lice from spreading.  Unfortunately, head lice can just be a reality of back to school, but the important thing is not to panic.  West Houston Dermatology is here to help, and we sincerely wish you and your family a great school year.