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Difference Between Lice and Dandruff

Lice vs Dandruff

If your son or daughter has caught lice in his or her head from an infected student at school, you know how problematical it can be for the kid. Lice cause a lot of itchiness and are resistant to combing. Another scalp condition that causes a lot of embarrassment for a lot of people around the world is dandruff, and when these white flakes show up on the neck or the dress of the person, people seem to avoid such a person. These two scalp conditions have similar symptoms. This article will clearly explain the differences so that affected individual can take correct treatment.

Though both lice and dandruff are common scalp conditions, dandruff is more commonly perceived as dry skin and its flaking whereas, lice are parasitic infestation. The problem or confusion between dandruff is because of similar appearance of nits (egg of lice) and dandruff, both of which are white in color. Dandruff is embarrassing when it falls on your clothes frequently. It is actually a result of oily skin combining with yeast infection. When you comb your hair, dandruff comes off causing embarrassment. Though it is not harmful, getting rid of dandruff permanently is often very difficult. It is actually lice, which, though not very common, can be pretty problematical for those who suffer from it. Lice are small parasites that suck blood and make your head their home. They hatch eggs that turn into live lice after a few days. It is when they are in the form of nits that they appear just like dandruff.

While dandruff is not contagious, one can pass on lice to another person through sharing of personal products or through contact of heads which is pretty common in schools. While lice can move on their own, dandruff is stationery and even if you shed some of your dandruff on another person’s head, it is highly unlikely that he will develop dandruff.

If you are confused if you have dandruff or lice on your head, comb vigorously. While dandruff comes along with the comb, nits are resistant to combing and stick to your hair. Once you are sure about having either of two conditions, treatment becomes easy as without knowing whether you have dandruff or lice makes treatment difficult. First and foremost, keeping hair and scalp clean all the time is a must to even think of getting rid of both dandruff and lice. Lice can be cured with medicated shampoos that require cleaning of hair 2-3 times. Dandruff is harder to get rid off and requires regular cleaning with anti-dandruff shampoos. If you suffer from either lice or dandruff and have failed in your attempts to get rid of them, it is prudent to get prescription from your physician.

In brief:

Difference between Lice and Dandruff

• While dandruff is a condition of the scalp, lice is parasitic infestation

• Both dandruff and nits (egg of lice) are white in color causing confusion

• Combing causes dandruff (white flakes) to come off while lice eggs are resistant to combing and stick to hair

• Dandruff can sometimes be itchy while lice can cause severe itching at times as it is a blood sucking insect

• Both require different treatments as you require medicated shampoo to kill lice whereas removal of dandruff requires regular cleaning of hair with anti dandruff shampoo.


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