Lice eggs vs dandruff: how to tell the difference between them? well, the answer is simple. Lice feed on blood from your scalp and lay eggs on hair shafts while dandruff creates flakes on your scalp. Head lice are highly contagious while dandruff is not. Also, there are different factors that cause dandruff or lice to appear on your scalp. And each skin condition requires a different treatment.
Both of head lice and dandruff cause itching, irritation, and small bumps on the scalp. These conditions are common and they can affect anyone at any age. Sometimes, it’s not easy to get rid of them.
You may also not be able to distinguish between lice eggs and dandruff as they look similar at first sight. once you figure out which one of them you have, you will be able to treat the condition effectively.
To get rid of these skin conditions, you should know first dandruff and lice eggs causes and symptoms. And how they also look like on the scalp.
Lice Eggs vs Dandruff: Causes
Dandruff is a common skin condition that affects up to 50% of the general population. There are various factors that could be responsible for causing dandruff in your hair. These factors include:
- Oily skin.
- Dry skin.
- Skin yeast.
- Unhealthy diet.
- Some hair-care products.
This skin condition is non-contagious and it’s not a reflection of poor hygiene. Also, there is another type of dandruff, known as cradle cap, affects infants and it causes a flaky scalp. This type makes the scalp appears scaly and greasy.
Head lice are tiny insects that live on the scalp and feed on blood. They are highly contagious as lice crawl from one scalp to another. According to the CDC, head lice have three forms:
- Nits (eggs).
- Nymphs (young adults).
- Adult (are about the size of a sesame seed).
Adult lice lay small, oval-shaped eggs on hair shafts near the scalp. It’s hard to get rid of them because lice can crawl onto clothes, combs, hair accessories, and towels. So family members can easily get lice from each other.
Symptoms Of Dandruff And Lice:
Both of dandruff and head lice cause itching, irritation, and redness. Lice saliva causes irritation to the scalp which makes the scalp itch. As for dandruff, your scalp becomes very dry and flaky and this causes itching.
- Scaly skin on your scalp.
- Yellowish or white flakes form on the scalp.
- The scalp becomes red due to itching.
- White specks that fall while brushing.
- Irritation and itching.
- Usually, itching and other symptoms become worse in winter.
- Lice eggs stuck to hair shafts close to the scalp.
- Nits ( lice eggs ) don’t brush out as they stuck to your hair, You’ll need special tools like a fine-toothed comb to get rid of the eggs effectively.
- Tiny insects move on the scalp or in hair.
- Small red bumps on the scalp and on the back of the neck.
- Severe itching especially during the night as lice become more active at this time.
- Dark spots on the scalp.
Lice Eggs Vs Dandruff: Treatment
Medicated shampoo can help reduce dandruff and cleanse your scalp effectively. Also, if you’re experiencing a fungal infection that causes skin flaking, medicated shampoos can help clear up the infection.
If dandruff is severe, shampoo your hair every day to relieve itching, inflammation, and irritation and decrease dandruff. Use a shampoo that contains salicylic acid, coal tar, selenium sulfide, or ketoconazole to help you get rid of dandruff.
There are also some effective home remedies that you can try to reduce dandruff and itching. Using coconut oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera, and apple cider vinegar may help decrease dandruff, Check out this article. Some studies showed that tea tree oil relieves itching and decreases greasiness and scaling.
Lice transfer from one head to another quickly and it’s not easy to get rid of them. Also, all family members can get them from the infected scalp. So you will need to use special medicated shampoos that can kill lice and lice eggs. Medicated shampoos that contain permethrin and pyrethrin can help combat lice. You should also wash your hair again after one week with a medical shampoo to be sure that you get rid of all the lice.
Additionally, use a metal or plastic fine-toothed comb to remove lice eggs from hair follicles per day. Clean the comb well before using it and between strokes with a tissue.
Head lice live up to four weeks so you will need to shampoo your hair and use combs during this time to be sure there are no lice eggs left in your scalp.
Also, wash bed sheets, towels, and clothes in hot water to kill all lice. Head lice can crawl onto furniture and carpets so make sure to vacuum them well to kill all remaining lice.
It’s not easy to prevent dandruff but making some lifestyle changes can help reduce dandruff. These changes include:
- Anti-dandruff And anti-fungal shampoos can clear up your scalp.
- Keep your stress levels under control.
- Don’t scratch your scalp as this will spread flakes in your hair.
- Avoid using harsh hair products like hair sprays and hair dyes.
- Eat more healthy food.
- Use tea tree oil shampoo to soothe dandruff symptoms and decrease flaking.
Head lice transfer by close contact so having them is not an indication of poor hygiene. To prevent lice, don’t let anyone use your personal items like combs, brushes, hair ties, and hats. Also, if one of your family members gets lice, examine your hair and scalp every couple of days and avoid sharing items with them.
Dandruff and lice eggs are common skin conditions that can affect anyone at any age. There are similarities between dandruff and lice eggs in appearance and symptoms. So you may not tell the difference between them at first.
They cause itching, inflammation, redness in the scalp. Also, having dandruff or lice makes small red bumps to form on your scalp. Lice lay oval-shaped eggs that attached to hair shafts while dandruff makes your scalp full of white or yellowish flakes.
Using medicated shampoo for both conditions can help you get rid of them effectively. Some home remedies like aloe vera or tea tree oil can help reduce dandruff and relieve its symptoms. Fine-toothed combs help also remove lice eggs and lice from your hair. Consult a doctor if the symptoms of both conditions persist.