Head lice infect hair on the head. Tiny eggs on the hair look like flakes of dandruff. However, instead of flaking off the scalp, they stay in place.
Head lice can live up to 30 days on a human. Their eggs can live for more than 2 weeks.
Head lice spread easily, particularly among school children. Head lice are more common in close, overcrowded living conditions.
You can get head lice if you:
- Come in close contact with a person who has lice
- Touch the clothing or bedding of someone who has lice
- Share hats, towels, brushes, or combs of someone who has lice
Having head lice causes intense itching, but does not lead to serious medical problems. Unlike body lice, head lice never carry or spread diseases.
Having head lice does NOT mean the person has poor hygiene or low social status.