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Doctor insights on: How Can I Tell If The Nits Are Dead Or Alive

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Dr. Michael Fisher
Board Certified, Dermatology
26 years in practice
29M people helped
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How can I tell if the nits are dead or alive?

How can I tell if the nits are dead or alive?

Nits dead or alive: According to the centers for disease control, if the nit has traveled a quarter inch down the length of the hair strand, it probably has either hatched or died. ...Read more

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Dr. Eric Weisman
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Dr. Heidi Fowler
193 doctors shared insights

Head Lice (Definition)

Pediculus humanus capitis (head lice) is a parasite that can affect humans & can betransmitted two ways. The most common is direct person to person contact. The second way is vector transmission – from a contaminated ...Read more


Dr. Larry Xanthopoulos
Board Certified, Pediatrics
16 years in practice
2M people helped
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Is it safe to continue school and go to public places when you have dead nits? How do you tell if they are dead, or just hatched?

Is it safe to continue school and go to public places when you have dead nits? How do you tell if they are dead, or just hatched?

If no live lice: If you do not see any live "crawlers" you are ok to be in a public place. Nits are the eggs, if you apply permethrin dose twice 2 weeks apart that should take care of the lice if they hatch ...Read more

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Dr. Eric Weisman
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Dr. Heidi Fowler
Board Certified, Psychiatry
19 years in practice
527M people helped
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Can you tell me if you have killed the head lice are the eggs dead as well?

Can you tell me if you have killed the head lice are the eggs dead as well?

Not always. Depends : On pediculicide used. The most effective approach is to retreat lice. The reason is that not all pediculicides kill the eggs. It is best to retreat in the window when the eggs have hatched into nymphs but are not yet hatching new eggs. There are however, some pediculicides which are strongly ovicidal. ...Read more

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Dr. James Ferguson
Board Certified, Pediatrics
40 years in practice
144M people helped
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What is the best way to remove dead nits from fine hair?

What is the best way to remove dead nits from fine hair?

Fine tooth comb: Most otc products come with a fine toothed comb used to remove the nits from the hair.Some find that soaking the hair in vinegar will loosen the nits & make them easier to separate. ...Read more

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Dr. Eric Weisman
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Dr. Ed Friedlander
Board Certified, Pathology
38 years in practice
136M people helped
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After using permethrin cream for crabs do the dead nits have to be removed or do they just fall off?

Use the comb: Most of the critters will fall off, but the comb that comes with the kit will help remove the eggs; or keep using the cream. Good luck. ...Read more

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Dr. James Ferguson
Board Certified, Pediatrics
40 years in practice
144M people helped
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How to get reed of dead head lice eggs?

How to get reed of dead head lice eggs?

Various methods: Many find soaking the hair with a stout vinegar will loosen the eggs from the hair.A nit comb (fine tooth) can then remove them a bit easier. Several treatments may be needed. ...Read more

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Dr. J. Lawrence Dohan
Board Certified, Dermatology
51 years in practice
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Dr. James Ferguson
Board Certified, Pediatrics
40 years in practice
144M people helped
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Can you tell me what are nits from lice bugs?

Egg encasements: Human lice are mature by 10 days of age and can start laying eggs thereafter. They do so at the level of the scalp within a hard shell that incubates the egg until the new lice emerges.The nit, is attached to the hair by a glue like material that is resistant to easy separation. Mild acidic washes like vinegar can help dissolve the glue and help with removal along with a fine tooth comb. ...Read more

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Dr. James Ferguson
Board Certified, Pediatrics
40 years in practice
144M people helped
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3 nits, none alive- wet combed with metal nit comb every 3 days for past 3 wks, washed/cleaned, see nothing in hair or comb since. Possible i beat it?

3 nits, none alive- wet combed with metal nit comb every 3 days for past 3 wks, washed/cleaned, see nothing in hair or comb since. Possible i beat it?

Maybe,maybe not: Nits mean the presence of adult lice. The duration of the infestation can be estimated by the distance of nits from the scalp.Hair grows ~.5in/mo, so if .5in high in hair they were around for a month.You will generally never be able to see the lice unless you shave off all the hair they hide in. They ay or may not be gone.If nits re-appear, they remain. ...Read more

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Dr. Joseph Eastern
Board Certified, Dermatology
38 years in practice
12M people helped
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How can I tell how long my child has had head lice, by the number if nits?

How can I tell how long my child has had head lice, by the number if nits?

Not by the number...: ...But by their location on the hair shafts. A head louse will attach her eggs (which is what nits are) to hair shafts at the point where they come out of the skin. As the hair grows, the nits move up from the scalp surface. Hair grows about 1 inch per month, on average - so if the nits are a half-inch away from the scalp, lice have been present for about 2 weeks; an inch away, 4 weeks; and so on. ...Read more

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Dr. Eric Weisman
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