How long will my head itch after lice are gone? This raises a lot of questions as well as stress and panic for some people.
After having a lice case, one of the common experiences most people have involves an itchy scalp. This can be very uncomfortable especially following successful treatment. Shouldn’t the treatment take care of such itching in the first place?
Well, it should. However, some people still experience itchy scalp after treatment.
For many, this question is asked out of desperation to get immediate relief. Could it be due to complications or are there still lice there? Read on to find out why.
Kids Are Mostly Affected
When it comes to lice problems, kids are the most affected due to the nature of the activities they engage in. Head lice are mostly spread by head-to-head contact and this happens a lot among kids. When kids go to school or wherever they meet up, they get these parasites which can be worrisome.
As a parent, seeing your kids experiencing itchy scalp can be disturbing. You want to find the best relief as soon as possible, but to do that, you’ll need to know why your kid’s scalp still itches even after treatment has been provided.
Adults aren’t entirely left out of the picture. Most adults will be embarrassed to find out they have a head lice problem.
It’s nothing to be ashamed about. You could have gotten that from your kids. Therefore, applying urgent treatment is necessary.
Causes of Itchy Scalp After Lice Are Gone
If you’re experiencing itchiness on your scalp after lice are gone, it could be due to reasons such as healing louse bites, dry scalp resulting from treatment, incomplete treatment, or psychosomatic itching. A combination of any of these reasons could also be responsible.
Knowledge of the causes of itchy scalp helps you better understand how long an itchy scalp will last. As such, let’s briefly discuss each of the possible reasons for your itchy scalp.
Healing Louse Bites
When lice feed, they bite in a much similar way to mosquitoes and other blood-sucking pests. These parasitic pests cause irritations through such bites. As you scratch the itchy scalp, the situation worsens with louse bites opening up in the process.
This may lead to infection and other complications.
To solve this problem, consider adding a cold compress to the bite or itchy area. This limits the intensity of the itchiness and ensures it heals fast enough. This could take anywhere from a few days to a week or more depending on how severe the bites are.
Dry Scalp Resulting from Treatment
If you’re experiencing a scalp itch long after lice are gone, it could be due to dry scalp resulting from treatment. This condition points to the treatment used. Now, most such treatments have a few things in common; they contain salt-based compounds and chemicals which are responsible for dry and itchy scalp.
You may want to avoid using these chemicals and salt-based compounds altogether. Fast relief from the itchy scalp can be achieved by using safer and non-irritant products such as natural oils, moisturizing & dandruff shampoos as well as deep conditioning treatments.
Relief should come within a short time of resolving your lice issue. This shouldn’t take long as itchy scalp should be gone within a few days to a week or more. How fast you get relief depends on the severity of our lice problem.
Complicated lice problems should take a longer period of time than normal to completely resolve. This should last anywhere from 8 to 14 days.
When treating a head lice problem, it’s important to fully complete the treatment regimen to guard against post lice itch. Not doing so only partially solves the problem. In reality, a partial solution is no solution at all. It’s necessary to first complete the treatment before expecting itchy conditions to stop.
With complete treatment, full relief from itchy scalp should be achieved within 2 to 8 days depending on the treatment used.
Psychosomatic itching is mostly panic-induced.
It may not be due to lice-related causes but may be triggered by paranoia or anxiety. Psychological approaches are best used to tackle post lice itchy conditions. This doesn’t take long. It’s simply resolved by changing your state of mind or psychological balancing.
Time Taken to Get Relief Depends on Treatment Method Adopted
One important fact you must know about itchy scalp long after lice are gone is that relief depends on the treatment adopted. Recall we said certain lice treatments contain chemicals and compounds responsible for scalp itch after the parasites are gone.
This may last from 4 to 8 days or more depending on how severe the itch is. We recommend going for safer treatment remedies such as natural oils, moisturizing & dandruff shampoos as well as deep conditioning treatments.
Preventing Future Episodes
Dealing with a lice problem and its after-effects such as itchy skin isn’t pretty. The best way to handle this is by preventing future episodes. Your kid’s head should be inspected regularly for signs of head lice resurgence after successful treatment.
Doing so enables you to tackle the problem as early as possible. You don’t need lice sprays or powders as these could easily cause scalp irritation which results in itchiness. Frequent vacuuming of floors, carpets, furniture, and fabrics should be done.
Vacuuming helps reduce the chance of a head lice problem ever happening. Frequently used items like towels, clothing, and bedding should be washed in hot water or placed in a hot dryer for at least 20 minutes. This kills off the parasites and helps with fast relief from itchy scalp.
Also, consider immersing your combs and all brushes used on the scalp in hot water. This action helps sanitize them by killing all parasites on these items.
We’ve been discussing the length of time taken for the itchy scalp to fully recover. We’ve also seen that time taken to recover depends on the treatment type used. After lice are gone, not all itchy scalp will be lice related as seen with psychosomatic itching.