PAUL WHITEHILL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL WHITEHILL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Removing head lice. Young girl having her hair brushed with a nit comb to remove dead head lice and nits. Head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) are small, wingless insects that suck blood from the scalp of humans and lay eggs (nits) on hairs. The lice leave itchy bites that cause scratching of the area. Scratching can lead to inflammation and infection of the skin. Head lice mostly affect children and are transmitted via direct contact. They can be killed by treating the hair with lotions or shampoos containing malathion or carbaryl. The dead lice and nits are then removed with a fine-toothed comb.
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