How Contagious Are Head Lice in Adults?

Adults are susceptible to head lice just like children.
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When you think of head lice, it’s likely that you don’t think of a contagious virus being spread amongst the population. Most people simply imagine an itchy scalp and little else. That is because head lice are not contagious in the way we usually imagine – in fact, they are not easily spread whatsoever. It takes some real work to catch head lice from a coworker or friend. It happens, though. As an adult, what are you to do? Well, just like your children, you have the same options available, including professional head lice treatment and non-toxic solutions!

How Contagious Are Head Lice?

Yes, head lice are contagious. Not in the same way as the flu, though. In fact, head lice are currently rated as a ‘low contagion’ risk. The reason for such a low contagion risk is that head lice:

  • Cannot jump
  • Do not hop
  • Do not fly
  • Can only crawl

Head lice are only contagious if you come in direct contact with someone who has them. That means direct head-to-head contact with a coworker, family member, or friend. Your head must touch their head.

Still, indirect contact is a possibility, albeit less common. Indirect contact includes sharing a hat, scarf, or comb that has head lice in the fibers; any contaminated item, really. This is the primary reason why so many experts believe children are at an increased risk for head lice. They often share their clothing items rampantly or share bedding at a sleepover.

Head Lice in Adults

Head lice, known as pediculosis capitis, are known to cause itching along the scalp. The cause of this itching is the saliva within each bite, not the actual bug itself. When a head lice feasts on the scalp, their saliva causes an allergic reaction in the body. Then, the person experiences an itching, burning sensation that we cannot help but scratch.

Head lice affect people of all ages and races. Typically, women experience head lice more often than males. The reason for this is likely the volume of their hair. With more space to hide and crawl, head lice feel more at home on a woman’s scalp.

In adults, head lice tend to spread via children. As we mentioned before, kids are at an increased risk of head lice infestation due to their penchant for sharing and playing closely with other kids. Once kids are infected with head lice, adults either attempt to handle the issue themselves or do not realize the extent of the infestation. It then spreads to everyone in the house.

If you or anyone in your family has head lice, you will want to seek immediate professional help. You see, over-the-counter medications often fail to treat the problem and are usually full of chemicals that you don’t want on your or your family’s scalp.

Your best option is to seek out Lice Lifters. With one phone call, we can schedule a lice treatment appointment and have your scalp free of nits and pests for the foreseeable future. Give us a call at 972-805-1308! We serve Frisco and surrounding areas.