Finding those tricky lice

If you feel itchy, or a note comes home from school that someone in your class has lice, be sure your parents look very closely at your hair and scalp (the skin on your head).

Because lice move quickly, it's often hard to see the live bugs. Your parents are more likely to see the eggs that lice lay. These eggs are called nits, which:

  • Attach to the hair near the scalp.
  • Look like tiny seeds.
  • May be yellow, brown, tan, or even sort of clear.
  • Are really hard to scrape off: If your mom or dad sees something on your hair and it comes off easily, it's probably just lint or a flake of skin. If it seems stuck to your hair, it might be a nit.


                louseA magnified picture of an adult louse.

              nitA magnified picture of a nit attached to a strand of hair.

Next: Getting rid of lice.

Photo references:

Photos used with permission of Elsevier. Dermatology DDxDeck, Vol 1, Pg 93. Habif T, Campbell J, Chapman M et al. Copyright Elsevier (2006).