How To Get Rid of Beard lice: They say when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But what happens when life gives you lice? More specifically, Beard lice.
You are probably scratching your beard thoughtfully and wondering right now, “Lice? In my beard? How is that even possible??!!”
This is a question a lot of people have pondered on. You’ve probably heard about head lice, body lice and even pubic lice (if you haven’t, take a moment to let that sink in), but beard lice? Yikes!
Yes, lice can exist in your beard.
At this point, I’d like to tell you to kindly calm down.
Don’t go tearing out your beard hairs in panic. A lice infestation is not a death sentence and is in fact very treatable.
How To Get Rid of Beard lice: What is Lice?
Or What are Lice? Either way, you get the gist.
Lice are wingless, highly contagious parasites that feed on human blood.
Yeesh! Imagine a specie of itchy little vampires buried in your hair.
Lice get their nourishment by sucking small amounts of blood from humans. Their favourite feeding area is the scalp, behind the ears, and at the nape of the neck. Although their bite is painless, their saliva causes an allergic reaction in most people. It is what causes red marks and itching, which are usually the first signs of infestation. If left untreated, a rash and infection can occur. The intense itching can cause the individual to itch until he breaks the skin, leaving an opening for germs and lice faeces to enter the body which could lead to secondary infections. These secondary infections are even far worse than lice themselves.
Although usually confined to the head, lice can sometimes set up house in beards, eyebrows and even eyelashes!
They can travel from the head, along with the sideburns, and settle in the beards.
Types of Lice
You’d probably be surprised to learn that there are other types of lice apart from the critters that nest in your hair.
There are different types of lice infestation and they are found on different parts of the body. They include:
1. Head Lice
This is the most common type of lice infestation. These lice set up shop in the scalp. They are grey-white in colour and are as small as sesame seeds. They are visible to the human eyes and are found behind the ears, around the neckline at the base of the scalp and they can sometimes nest in the beards.
2. Body lice
The lice is commonly found in overpopulated areas or areas with impoverished housing arrangements. The body lice attach itself to the seam of clothing and facial hair and transfer itself to the human body to feed. They can travel around quickly and can jump really high. They can stay as long as 3 days away from the human host.
3. Pubic lice
They are also known as “crabs”. This is because they look like tiny versions of the crabs found at sea. They attach themselves to the coarse hair and skin around the genitals, armpits, and beards and feed on your blood, and they can be spread very easily by contact. Fortunately, they don’t spread any harmful diseases and just cause really intense itching.
What causes these pesky little monsters?
Millions of people get infected by lice every year. However, the fact that you have lice, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are dirty. It has nothing to do with hygiene or cleanliness. This because lice is gotten majorly by contact.
The easiest way to get lice is by contact with an infected person, or contact with an infected person’s belongings such as beds, pillows, headbands, towels, etc.
Pubic lice are also very easily gotten through sexual contact that is when the genitals come in close contact with each other; and even non-sexual contact such as kissing somebody with lice in their beards. Unlike body lice, pubic lice cannot survive for long without their host. By the way, if you get pubic lice from a sexual partner, you should go test for other STI’s too, to be on the safe side.
What are the signs and symptoms of a beard lice infestation?
The most common sign of lice infestation is intense itching. Sometimes, a rash might occur if left untreated. Another sign might be a ticklish sensation in your hair, which is caused by the movement of the lice.
The bites from lice are usually seen as small, itchy, red bumps. However, long-term lice infestations may lead to discolouration of the skin.
The itching is usually worse at night because that’s usually when the lice come out to feed. Continued scratching of the area could lead to other secondary skin infections.
Other symptoms include; slight fever, bags under the eyes due to lack of sleep caused by the nocturnal activity of lice, swollen glands, and in very extreme cases, Anaemia (ie. Shortage of blood in the body).
Sometimes, some people might not have symptoms, but still, unknowingly pass on lice without realizing it.
In order to accurately determine if you have a lice infestation, use a mirror or ask your friend to help examine your head and beards for moving lice or nits (eggs that lice lay). They are very visible to the naked eye. Better still, go to the hospital for a thorough check by a doctor.
Also, check your clothes and bedding to ensure that they aren’t infested with the critters.
Treatment of beard lice Or How to Get Rid of Beard Lice
I asked two of my friends what they would do if they found out they had lice in their beard. One exclaimed, “I would shave everything off immediately!!” The other guy said, “Shave ke?! Lice and I will live together forever!!”
The good news is this, there are treatments for lice that don’t involve you shaving off your precious beard or hair.
Anti-lice shampoos containing Pyrethrin or Permethrin as their main ingredients are considered the first line of defense against lice infestations.
Special anti-lice insecticides can also be applied all over the body. Some products may require you to apply a second treatment seven days after the first dose. This is because there might still be some eggs waiting to hatch.
It may take three or four days before the itching subsides.
Clothes and bedding should be washed in hot water, this is to destroy the lice and nits hiding in the clothes.
Also, if your hygiene routine wasn’t good before, in order to help prevent a re-infestation, you might have to step up your cleanliness level.
Another assumption is that hair dye can kill lice. This is false because all the louse need is one hair follicle to grab onto in order to access the skin for its blood meal.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on How To Get Rid of Beard lice
How long will my beard itch after lice are gone?
When an individual first got infected with lice, it may take up to 4-5 weeks for the itching to begin. After that, the itching will usually happen 1-2 days after. Now, how long will my head itch after the lice are gone?
You have already followed all the guides and instructions on possible ways to get rid of them, results are already showing but your heard is still itching you. It might take up to 3-4 days before your heard stop itching you after lice are gone. It all depends on your body system.
How To Get Rid of Beard lice: Do hair dryers kill lice?
Hairdryer work by producing heat that is enough to get wet hair dried. Now leveraging on the fact that lice cannot survive extreme heat temperatures. The heat will kill lice and also dry out nits before they can even colonize.
How To Get Rid of Beard lice: Can hot water kill lice?
Yes, hot water can kill lice. For example scarves, pillowcases, clothing, bedding, and towels worn or used by a person infected with lice can be disinfected with hot water.
How To Get Rid of Beard lice: Does washing clothes in hot water kill lice?
Soaking or washing of clothes infested with lice for several hours can kill lice down to the nits.
How long can you have lice without noticing?
How long it takes before one notice lice infestation vary since you may not feel itchy right away. The symptoms may not be noticed for up to six weeks the first time you get lice.
What do lice look like?
Lice are grey-white or tan. They are approximately the size of sesame seeds. They have six legs and no wings. They attach to the hair near the base of the follicle shaft and lay eggs close to the scalp.
Can I get beard lice from my pets?
No, you can’t. Animals have their own type of lice and they can’t survive on humans, and human lice can’t survive on animals.
Do Black People get beard lice?
This is one of the most searched questions on the internet. The answer is Yes, but not often. This is because of the nature of their hair is shaped differently than Caucasian hair, this it’s harder for lice to grasp their hooks around the hair strands. This makes it harder for lice to be found in Negro hair.
Does having beard lice mean I’m dirty?
As much as good hygiene is important, lice feed on blood, not on dirt. They are found in clean and dirty environments, alike.
If I go swimming, will it drown the lice?
No. Lice have spiracles that keep the water out. That’s like saying they can hold their breath and can stay underwater for hours.
Do I have to shave my beard if I have beard lice?
No. There are over the counter treatments that are very effective in battling lice. However, shaving might also ensure that the lice are permanently eradicated but it’s not necessary.
Can body lice transmit diseases?
Well, recent studies have shown that body lice can infect transmit typhus fever and trench fever.
Can I get lice in my pubic hair?
Yes, you can. You can also get lice in your beards, moustache, eyebrows, even your eyelashes!
How many lice can I have in my beard?
An infected person might have as many as a dozen active lice, and about a hundred or more dormant eggs.
Where did lice originate from?
Lice have been in existence since the time of the early man. Other animals have their own species of lice and they can’t affect humans and vice versa
Can I use regular insecticides to get rid of lice?
No!!! I’ve been asked this question a lot. You can’t spray insecticides on your body to get rid of lice because the chemicals they are composed of are dangerous to human health. There are specially formulated anti-lice insecticides and shampoos that you can use instead.
Can I get rid of lice hiding my clothes?
Yes, you can. Soak the infected clothes in boiling hot water with disinfectant to wash.
After they are dry, iron at the top heat. These extreme temperatures are sure to kill off the lice and their eggs.
Are there cheap home remedies I can use to treat beard lice?
On the internet, you will see a thousand and one different types of “effective” home remedies. However, I can’t say for sure which actually truly effective because data is lacking on the proof of their efficacy. It also depends on how bad the infestation is. It’s actually best to get recommendations from a doctor or pharmacist.
What substance can I use on my hair?
Well, considering the fact that lice are not naturally acquired, there’s really nothing you can do. There’s also a huge risk of applying something that might damage your hair. I’ll advise that If you haven’t discovered an obvious outbreak of lice on your hair, do nothing.
And if you do get an outbreak, apply anti-lice shampoos containing these key ingredients, Permethrin or Pyrethrin. Use according to the instructions on the label. Some products might require you to apply again after a few days.
If the symptoms still persist, please consult your physician.
Can lice cause death?
If someone dies from lice, it might be as a result of the secondary infections caused by itching. Or as a result of unsafe treatment methods.
Can lice infestations reoccur even after treatment?
Yes. This is because lice are gotten by contact. If after treatment, you come in contact with an infected person, you can be re-infected.
Can I use the anti-lice shampoo on my beard?
Of course, you can, if your beard is infested. So long as you follow the instructions on the label.
There have been various theories and assumptions regarding how lice spread quickly. One assumption says that the current increase in the rise of “selfies”, especially group selfies might be a perfect ground for lice to spread. This is because at the moment the picture is being taken, heads and beards make contact for a short while, which is enough time for lice to jump from head to head.
Can you feel lice crawling on your head?
When you have head lice, you might be able to feel the bugs moving on your scalp. Lice can cause a sensation that something is moving.
What happens if lice go untreated?
Head lice left untreated can lead to emotional and sleep disturbance. For example. consistent scratching can cause a breakage of the skin.
In conclusion, a lice infestation is not the end of the world. If you get infected, take the appropriate steps and get treated immediately.
How To Get Rid of Beard lice: Does saltwater kill lice?
Yes, Saltwater can kill lice. If you live near an ocean, a swim would help you get rid of lice.
How To Get Rid of Beard lice: Will Epsom salt kill lice?
Do lice like clean or dirty hair?
What lice care about is sucking of blood, all they do is move from one head to another looking for whose blood to suck next. Washing your head hair regularly will give you an edge to get rid of it before it gets late.
How many lice is a bad infestation?
The average bad infestation is 20
How do I check my own hair for lice?
Get two mirrors with each facing other to check your scalp. Lice like to stay in a warm place so checking behind your ears and the nape of your neck is a great place to look. You are looking to find lice or possible nits attached to the hair.