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Lice bites - how do lice bite?

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Nowadays, head lice is not as common as it once was, and many people may have difficulty recognizing head lice bites. However, it is important to understand not only the appearance of these bites, but also the accompanying symptoms and potential dangers.

What do the bites of linen lice, which often live in clothes and sometimes attack the body if they have been hungry for a long time, look like? They actively reproduce in the folds of clothing of people who do not follow hygiene rules, and can bite the legs, back, stomach or arms when a person is wearing clothes.

Pediculosis – one of the most common diseases caused by parasites, lice. Types of lice include head, body (body) and pubic lice, varying in size, color and location. We will talk about how different types of lice bite, how to cope with the consequences of bites and effectively get rid of parasites.

Symptoms of pediculosis

Lice live in different parts of the human body; the main route of infection is close contact with other people. Most often, head lice infect children who actively interact with each other.

Modern conditions have reduced the incidence of body lice. They usually affect people who lead an antisocial lifestyle and live in unsuitable sanitary conditions. These lice find refuge in the folds of clothing, mattresses and pillows.

Pubic lice live on the scalp of the genitals and are transmitted during intimacy.

The main symptoms of head lice include itching in the bite area (14-36% of cases), the appearance of spots and bite marks, redness of the skin, hardening and swelling of the skin, as well as discomfort, irritability and sleep disturbances.

Among blood-sucking insects, head lice are the most common. Their presence indicates the appearance of nits on the hair, which are firmly attached and, when pressed, produce a characteristic click.

Nowadays, cases of lice have become less common, but not everyone can determine what lice bites on the head look like. However, it is important to know not only the appearance of the bites, but also the symptoms that accompany them, as well as the potential dangers associated with this disease. After all, no one is immune from the possibility of becoming infected with pediculosis.

How and where do lice bite?

To accurately assess the presence of an infestation, it is important to identify the places where lice bite, since the locations of the bites depend on the type of insect.

Head lice bites usually leave marks on the back of the head, accompanied by itching and a burning sensation. Linen lice, crawling onto the human body to feed on blood, most often leave bites in the lumbar region, arms, legs and shoulder girdle.

Linen lice usually do not bite hairy areas of the body, and marks and itching in the pubic area indicate an infestation with pubic parasites.

How lice bite: the bite process

To understand the method of lice bites, pay attention to the characteristics of these insects. Lice cannot fly or jump, but they move well, which allows them to transfer to the head or body of a new host through close contact.

The bite is necessary for lice to gain access to human blood. The parasite's mouthparts are well adapted for piercing the skin. At the same time, the louse secretes a substance into the wound that causes itching. The affected areas may become inflamed and, when scratched, form crusts, which can serve as a “gateway” for infection.

What does a louse bite look like?

Head lice bites may not be noticeable on the scalp, but close inspection may reveal small red spots that may become larger due to frequent scratching.

Body lice bites are most noticeable on areas of skin that are closely adjacent to clothing. They are red spots with the center of the bite. The affected areas of the skin may be swollen and red.

What do lice bites look like?

Linen lice bites have a special character, different from the bites of other parasites. The main difference is in the sensations and not in appearance, primarily in the intense itching. In appearance, for example, bedbug bites form peculiar tracks, while lice bites look single. Fleas bite painfully, and after the blood has been sucked out, a hard and large lump forms at the site of the bite. With mosquito bites, the puncture mark is usually not visible. The differences become obvious upon closer inspection, but may be less noticeable at first glance.

Why bites are dangerous

A person affected by lice experiences severe itching and discomfort in the affected areas. In severe cases and untreated, head lice can cause behavioral disorders and depression. This may be accompanied by worsening sleep and appetite, as well as an increase in body temperature. Constant scratching of bite areas leads to the appearance of open wounds through which infections can easily penetrate.

How long does it take for lice bites to go away?

For bites to heal, it is important to effectively get rid of the parasites. Modern means make it possible to do this in one application, which promotes rapid healing of wounds without consequences for the body.

To relieve itching, you need to completely get rid of the parasites. After lice are eliminated, the itching will no longer bother the person.

There are many ways to combat parasites, including both medications and traditional medicine. Let's look at some of them.

What are the signs to determine that you have been bitten by a louse?

One of the most reliable signs for diagnosing lice is the detection of bite marks left by parasites on the scalp and behind the ear area. Interestingly, lice cannot bite unnoticed, since their oral apparatus is not adapted to this. Unlike mosquitoes, lice do not have a proboscis, so they literally bite into the body.

When bitten, small wounds a few millimeters in diameter can usually be found on the scalp. Most often, wounds are localized along the surface of hair growth, as well as behind the ears. In some cases, bites can spread to the neck and shoulder area if the lice are severely advanced.

If the body is very sensitive to contact with parasites, there is a possibility of finding large spots, as this is a natural hypersensitivity reaction.

Do nits bite?

Often, when a person develops pediculosis, he is concerned about the question of whether traces of nit bites can be found on the body, and not full-fledged adult parasites.

The answer to this question is clear - no. A nit is a louse egg that contains a nymph in a chitinous shell. The nit simply does not have a mouthparts for biting, and it also lacks limbs for movement.

Nits turn into lice when their chitinous shell is destroyed. In this case, the bites are inflicted by the louse, and not by the nit, since the hatching process is left behind.

Because of this, it is not surprising that sometimes nits can be found on the hair, but there will be no bite marks. It’s just that the lice have not yet hatched and begun their active activity. Bites will appear only after the lice hatch.

How to distinguish their lice bites from the bites of other insects

If any unusual changes are detected on the body, it is important to figure out what caused them. If it is associated with various pest insects, there are several characteristics that can help differentiate lice bites from other pests.

Mosquito bites usually leave light spots on the body with a regular rounded shape, without forming a system and occurring both during the day and at night.
Flea bites are found in a strictly defined area, not exceeding a meter from the floor level, since fleas are not able to jump higher. However, if fleas get on the bed initially, they can bite a person anywhere.
Bedbug bites usually leave a certain mark, most often in the form of a trail.
Body lice are difficult to distinguish from hair lice, but it is worth paying attention to the location of the spots. Body lice most often bite areas of the buttocks, back, abdomen and arms, while bites in the head area are not typical for them.
Hair lice also do not have systematic bites. Their origin can be determined by location.

Consequences of lice bites

Lice are insects that can carry many dangerous infections in their saliva, making lice a serious threat to human health.

Diseases that can be transmitted through lice bites include:

- relapsing fever, manifested by yellowing of the skin, rash, intoxication and increased body temperature;
- eruptive type, causing damage to vessels of different sizes;
- Volyn fever, symptoms reminiscent of typhus, but caused by another pathogen.

It is important to remember that the enzymes contained in the saliva of lice can cause severe allergic reactions, leading to the formation of tangles, damage to the eyebrows, eyelashes, as well as the smooth skin of the ears, behind the ears and neck. The intensity of allergic manifestations sometimes requires immediate medical attention. A person scratching bites also runs the risk of introducing an additional infection that causes suppuration of the wounds.

We should not forget that it is impossible to become infected with HIV or any sexually transmitted diseases through lice bites.

How to treat bites

If a person has developed a severe allergy due to lice bites, they should consult a doctor. At home, if there is no threat to life, first aid may include the following measures:

- Thoroughly clean the affected area with soap and water to prevent infection.
— Use of antiseptic agents for disinfection.
— Treating the bitten areas with products that reduce itching, for example, Rescuer, Fenistil and others.
— For severe itching, it is recommended to use creams, gels or ointments with anti-inflammatory and antipruritic properties, such as Menovazin, Bepanten, Levomekol and other similar drugs. Treatment is carried out on areas of the body that are not covered with hair, for example, behind the ears, neck and shoulders, if bites are present on them.

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