Lice Bite Symptoms. Is itching always present when one has Head Lice? No, most people do not have any itching symptoms when they have Head Lice. Itching symptoms won’t kick in until you have had lice for at least 3 months. First of all Head Lice do not want their host to know that they are setting up a Lice colony on their their head, until the Lice colony is well populated. Secondly the new colony needs to have sent out other Lice to other hosts to create satellite lice colonies. Then 3 months into the Head Lice infestation, the host sometimes has an allergic reaction, which causes the itching. The Head Lice leave saliva, an anticoagulant, and an anesthetic when feeding on a human host. All of these substances can trigger an allergic reaction to the bites.
Head Lice Itching. One of the most common urban myths about head lice symptoms is that your scalp and head will be itchy. In fact, very few people who have head lice experience itching as a symptom. The truth is that is takes 2 to 3 months of an active head lice infestation before there is even a chance of itching. Why is that? Because when lice feed on the human scalp, they leave behind a combination of saliva, anesthetic, and anticoagulant when they take a blood meal. And these substances do not initially cause an allergic reaction in humans. However, after an extended period of time, and 50,000 – 100,000 head louse bites, a small percentage of people will develop an itchy scalp and/or an allergic rash on the back of the neck from the bites.
Lice Bite Symptoms. In addition the lice have become resistant to the OTC and Rx pesticide lice products. So, if it’s not lice then why is my scalp itching? There are many reasons your scalp can itch and most of them have nothing to do with head lice. Your scalp can actually itch because it is sweaty, hot, dry, or even because you recently tried a new hair product.
Lice Bite Symptoms. Unhappy Scalp. Most of the itching associated with head lice is due to an unhappy scalp. What can cause an unhappy scalp? First of all pesticide lice removal products such as pesticide lice shampoos are very caustic and will make your scalp unhappy. Secondly repeatedly lice combing your child’s scalp can result in an unhappy scalp. Just like with a mosquito bite, itching can last up to 2 weeks after the lice are no longer there. It still takes time for the histamine reaction of the lice feeding on the scalp skin to settle down.
So, if you are feeling itchy be sure to consider other possibilities before assuming you have head lice. If you want the Peace of Mind of a definitive head lice diagnosis, give NitWits a call today at 617-816-9487. NitWits, Boston’s Premier Class Lice Service.