Can Adults Get Lice?
Can Adults Get Lice?
The simple answer is yes. Anybody, with any hair on their head, has an equal opportunity to “catch” head lice. That said, there are certain patterns we see regarding the adults that get head lice.
Moms Often Get Lice Before Dads
While we see lice most frequently in children, the fact of the matter is, if one child in the family has it, there’s a high likelihood that it will pass to others in the household. Once lice is in the home, it doesn’t discriminate based on age. So, lice can infest parents as easily as siblings of the child with lice. However, moms typically get lice more often than dads. This is because lice does discriminate based on hair length and hormone levels of the host.
It’s no surprise that moms typically have longer hair than dads. This essentially makes them a more desirable target for a lice infestation. However, what some people don’t know is that lice are deterred by high levels of testosterone – or that they might be, according to scientists. As a result, dad’s head – even if full of lustrous hair – is a less hospitable home for a louse.
What about cases where adults have lice, but their children do not? This is very rare. Our team at Lice Knowing You can count on both hands the number of times we’ve seen a parent with head lice when his or her children don’t have it. In these cases, parents most likely receive lice as a result of volunteering in the classroom, coaching their kids’ team, or working as a teacher. In any case, parents that get lice typically get it from children – whether they’re own, or someone else’s.
Can Adults Without Children Get Lice?
As discussed above, yes, anyone with head hair can get lice. But, we don’t typically see adults with lice who don’t frequently spend time with kids. So, where are they getting lice from?
One answer is that they have recently traveled to a country where lice are more prevalent. In the Netherlands, for example, parents less stringently remove lice from their children’s heads, so in some areas, lice spreads to a great percentage of parents than in the US.
There is also the possibility that travelers can pick up lice while on a plane – if they’re sitting next to someone with head lice. In fact, adults can get lice anytime their hair is in close contact with the hair of someone who has lice. Whether public transportation, concerts, or crowded areas, any situation in which there is hair to hair contact puts adults at risk of getting lice. Indeed, the only reason children more often have lice is because they spend more time in close quarters with each other.
I’m an Adult and I Have Lice. What Now?
Treating lice in adults is the same as treating lice in children. As the #1 lice treatment clinic in Washington and Oregon, we are inclined to say professional lice treatment is the way to go. A breakdown of costs shows that professional lice removal can actually be cheaper than attempting to get rid of lice yourself. It’s also easier – especially for moms and dads, who might not have time to remove lice from each others’ hair while watching the kids. When you book with Lice Knowing You, we guarantee that your service will be “one and done” – meaning that you’ll leave lice-free, with a 30-day guarantee.
Wherever you are at with a lice issue, keep in mind that adults very definitely can and do get lice. But, as with children, being vigilant and knowing the risk factors can keep your head lice-free!
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