It’s actually quite common to mistake head lice for dandruff or vice versa. They look similar and the average person probably hasn’t seen lice before. There are some distinct differences and once you know them, you’ll be bale to tell the difference.
Location Of Head Lice Eggs
Let’s start with the location of nits (lice eggs). Lice lay eggs about a quarter on an inch from the scalp because they need the warmth of the body to incubate and survive. They also need to be close to the scalp to get their blood supply (That’s their breakfast, lunch and dinner). They survive by sucking blood from your head (yuck). So an egg found at that area would be a definite clue that there’s a lice infestation. If it’s farther away from the scalp, it might be a dead egg or empty nit, or possibly dandruff.
Dandruff can shake right out of your hair but lice eggs don’t budge. Lice eggs secrete a glue-like substance and they will not move if you shake your hair or run your fingers through your hair. Nits (lice eggs) must be individually pulled off with your nails or a lice comb.
What Is Dandruff?
Dandruff is a common form of skin eczema, also called Seborrheic dermatitis. Dandruff can be caused by too much oil on the scalp, which dries and turns into flakes. It is only considered dandruff if it’s on the human scalp. It usually appears as large white yellow flakes. Dandruff might be associated with an irritated head.
Neither dandruff nor head lice present any serious health risks. Lice don’t spread disease, and dandruff can be easily treated with medicated shampoo.
If you discover that it is head lice, give us a call for a lice treatment appointment. If you’re not sure, we can give you a head check!