With the kids back at school, head lice often becomes a hot topic for many parents. Head lice are small, flat insects about three millimetres long that live on the human scalp, feeding on blood. They cannot jump, fly or swim but are spread when people have their heads close together or by sharing combs, brushes and hats. The female lice lay eggs called nits close to the scalp and these are glued firmly to each hair. The eggs hatch in about a week and live for up to 40 days.
Scabies is quite a common skin condition caused by tiny insects (scabies mites) that get under the surface of the skin. The adult female burrows along and lays eggs as it goes. The eggs hatch into larvae that travel to the skin’s surface, mature into adults, mate and repeat the cycle.
The thought that you, or your children, may have threadworms probably makes you feel ill, not to mention wondering if your standards of hygiene and cleanliness have slipped. In most cases, hygiene is not the issue. Instead it is more the fact that threadworms (also known as pinworms) are fairly common in the wider environment, and easy to catch. The good news is that threadworms are easily treated.