Lice are annoying and embarrass people at times. They feed on the blood drawn from the scalp. However, they are harmless and are about the size of a sesame seed.

Their tiny tan-colored eggs are called nits and are found firmly attached to the hair shaft. These nits are hatched within one to two weeks after they are laid. Nits can be easily seen and identified than live lice. The live lice survive only up to two days off of the scalp. People more commonly get head lice through head-to-head contact rather than indirectly.

Identifying head lice in children:
Lice are very common in school kids, as they get in contact with one another more often. They occur most frequently in children between the age of 3 to 12 years.

An itchy scalp is the very common symptom of head lice. However, the itching may not start immediately and may sometimes be delayed for weeks as the head lice take time to develop.

If you suspect a lice infestation in your child, check for lice and nits with a fine-tooth comb on the scalp, around the nape of the neck and behind the ears. A good comb and bright light will be of good help.

Head lice treatments:
Combing helps in getting the lice out and won’t leave out the dead nits. Lice comb that is long with the tines close together would be effective. Comb your child’s hair while you have them in the bathtub. Use a soft conditioner so that the comb can go smoothly.

Head lice treatments that contain permethrin are found effective in clearing head lice. Permethrin comes in the form of either cream or lotion. When applied on the scalp, it effectively kills the lice. Follow the instructions on the label, or consult your pharmacist/doctor for the right application uses. After the treatment, remove the nits from your child’s hair using a fine-tooth comb to prevent further infestation.

Preventing head lice:
Lice are spread mostly through head-to-head contact. Sharing personal items like a comb, hair brushes, and hats can also be a reason. If your child has lice, treat it properly to avoid repeated infestation.

Wash all bedding, towels, and clothing of your child in hot water. Place the bedding items that cannot be washed in an airtight bag for two weeks. Clean all hair-care items in warm soapy water. But don’t fret over extensive cleaning.

Remember head lice doesn’t mean your child has poor hygiene and it is nothing to be embarrassed about.

For a person longing for stronger strands and thicker tresses, healthy foods come as the knight in shining armour. Hair follicles are some of the most metabolically active cells with the highest cell turnover rate in the body. Restricting calories or falling short on protein, minerals, essential fatty acids, and vitamins can lead to abnormalities in hair fiber structure, production, pigmentation changes and hair loss. If you’re deficient in the nutritional building blocks like protein, your body stops producing healthy hair.

Hair growth is most productive from age 15 to 30 and may slow or change after 40. Below are a few healthy foods that are rich in the above-mentioned minerals and nutrients that help in preventing hair loss:

Nuts:
Nuts, like almonds and walnuts, are natural emollients for the hair follicles. They moisturize the hair shaft, making it look glossy. Nuts are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, helping in reducing hair loss and increasing hair growth. Nuts are also rich in vitamin B, vitamin E, and zinc. Vitamin E teams up with selenium to make the cell membranes strong and provide antioxidant defense.

Spinach:
Popeye’s favourite vegetable Spinach is also in the iron-rich camp, preventing the hair from thinning. Beyond beefing up your iron levels, spinach also contains folate, and vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis and cross-linking of keratin fibers which occur in fiber production of the hair.

Sweet potatoes:
Sweet potatoes served in any style, be it baked, roasted or toasted, are found to be healthy to hair as they are full of vitamin B6 and vitamin A. Vitamin A in sweet potatoes aid in sebum production and help in speeding up the hair growth rate.

Eggs:
Eggs, a great source of protein and biotin, are important for the growth of healthy hair. Biotin keeps enzymes to metabolize nutrients that nourish hair follicles. Beyond the biotin, the yolks are potent in vitamin D which is important to get via diet or supplementation since our bodies don’t produce it naturally.

Fishes:
It’s probably clear as crystal that protein is important to those who dream of healthy hair. Sudden weight loss or a poor diet low in protein, low in healthy fats can contribute to shedding and weak, unhealthy hair. Fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, and sardines offer protein, vitamin D, omega-3 fats and other hair-boosting components to nourish the skin and thicken the fat layer around the hair follicle, preventing hair loss and boosting up the hair growth.

When you are under stress, you may notice a lot of physical symptoms such as feeling anxious or exhausted, having trouble concentrating, and even getting sick with a headache. Along with these symptoms, stress can also cause temporary hair loss.

Telogen effluvium is the term used for hair loss that occurs temporarily as a result of too much stress or shock to your body. Hair loss is normal, but telogen effluvium results in excessive hair loss due to a disruption in the hair’s natural growth and rest cycle.

About 80 to 90 percent of hair follicles on the scalp are actively growing, with the other 10 to 20 percent in the resting phase. Many events can disrupt this balance and cause temporary hair loss, typically resulting in hair falling out in clumps when you brush, wash, or style your locks.

Telogen effluvium will resolve on its own once the stress comes under control and the body will get back to normal. Though you don’t need treatment, you should take better care of yourself to help your hair get back to its normal cycle.

What can you do in your daily life that helps to keep your stress levels under control and to protect yourself from the temporary hair loss:

● Start a regular exercise program or yoga class and learn relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing.
● Take time each day to listen to soothing music or to relax your mind and body.
● Become more involved with friends and family rather than staying alone because of stress.
● Eat a healthy diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, and proteins to get plenty of nutrients. Take a vitamin and mineral supplement in case of any deficiency.
● Treat your hair gently, especially when styling and using heat appliances.

Keeping stress from reaching severe levels, nurturing your physical and mental health, and treating your mind and body well will be reflected in both your inner and outer beauty.

head lice

At some point of time if you encountered head lice you know how annoying, itchy and frustrating it would have felt. Head lice or louse is an insect that infests the hair of human heads, commonly found among children. Here are certain things you need to know about head lice which will help you be more prepared.

• Head lice doesn’t mean you have poor hygiene.

Lot of people who have head lice feel very embarrassed and feel that it reflects poor on their overall hygiene. Getting head lice doesn’t have anything to do with your hygiene. You get lice from other people.

• Lice are wingless insects. They can’t fly or jump.

They are wingless insects that spend their entire lives on human scalp and feeding exclusively on human blood. You will contract head lice if your head is close to a person who has head lice. Sometimes head lice spreads by sharing a comb, hat or a hairbrush.

• Lice live on human scalp. Not on furniture or toys.

Lice need to blood to survive. They cannot live on innominate objects for more than a day. So don’t fret over extensive cleaning.
However wash all your blankets, bedding and clothing in hot water. Stuffed animals should be put in the dryer. Anything that can’t fit in a dryer can be collected and stuffed into a bag, any lice within the bag should be dead.

• Head lice treatments

Head lice treatments that contain permethrin can be useful and effective in clearing of head lice. Permethrin usually comes in the form of a cream or lotion. When applied on the scalp it effectively kills lice and mites. Follow the instructions on the label, or consult your pharmacist/doctor for the right application uses.

• Try combing.

Combing will help in getting the lice out and won’t leave out the dead nits. A good lice comb that has long, preferably a metal one with the tines close together would be effective. Most pharmacies do sell these combs.before using the comb ensure all the hair tangles are out otherwise the comb won’t go through. If you do have children, comb their hair while you have them in the bathtub. A soft conditioner can be used so that the comb can go smoothly. With each comb through check for lice, dead nits, then rinse the comb and repeat.

Having lice is nothing to fret over and be embarrassed about. With proper understanding and following the necessary steps head lice can easily be taken care of!

exzema

Eczema is skin condition which causes itching and scaly patches on the surface of the skin. Living with eczema can be frustrating and annoying as an eczema flare up can pop at the most inconvenient of times. A lot of people are embarrassed if their rash visible. This condition can be aggravated due to several factors, but mainly due to sudden high levels of stress or even environmental factors.

Coping with eczema takes a great deal of patience and understanding. You need to understand the condition and learn as much as you can on what are the possible ways to keep a calm and peaceful environment around you so as to keep the sudden flare ups in check.

Regular skin care and medication can keep the itching and scratching at bay and provide much needed relief. Try to ensure to keep your skin moisturized at all times and not let it dry out. Use of special soaps cleansers and lotions will help your skin hydrated and dry free at all times.

Opt for a syndet bar instead of Soap, which is gentle and skin friendly than traditional soaps. Since syndet bars are pH neutral it does not cause irritation and is useful for those who have sensitive skin.

Eczema can be managed by making certain lifestyle changes and making smart moves. Try your best to maintain a good healthy skin, and use products that are skin friendly and most of all, products which feel comfortable on your skin. Practicing good skin care and a well-planned routine is the key to (keep your skin healthy.