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Dermatology Glossary

 

The Lice Lifecycle

The female feeds on blood and then mates. Within one to two days, she will lay her eggs on the hair very close to the scalp. Ten days later, the first nymphs emerge, and over the following ten days, the next generation of adults is ready to mate. One female can lay between 50 and 150 eggs in her lifetime.

Live lice eggs are brown and located within half an inch of the scalp. Since these eggs do not have a nervous system, which has implications in that they are not killed by insecticide treatment.

Hatched eggs are clear or white and are found farther away from the scalp. They are no longer a threat of spreading further infestation. If you have treated head lice and then see hatched eggs on the hair, there is no need to repeat the treatment.

Because it can take between two and six weeks for symptoms to appear after an infestation, it is important to examine anyone who may have been in close contact with the person who has lice in the weeks prior to diagnosis.


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