Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

●● WITH Dr Paul Bowen, a GP with McIlvride Med­i­cal Prac­tice, Poyn­ton, and ex­ec­u­tive chair of NHS East­ern Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG) ARE you a par­ent who’s been driven to dis­trac­tion by head lice?

Then why not join forces with friends and neigh­bours to put paid to the pests once and for all?

That’s the aim of Na­tional Bug Bust­ing Day, which is hap­pen­ing on Satur­day, Jan­uary 31 in a bid to find and zap all head lice in one fell swoop – stop­ping them cir­cu­lat­ing end­lessly.

If you’re ready for the chal­lenge, there’s a step-by-step guide to the art of wet comb­ing, con­sid­ered the most ef­fec­tive way of re­mov­ing head lice.

The tech­nique in­volves the sys­tem­atic use of a spe­cial fine-toothed comb which can be bought from lo­cal phar­ma­cists. ●● WASH the hair us­ing or­di­nary sham­poo and ap­ply plenty of con­di­tioner be­fore us­ing a wide-toothed comb to straighten and un­tan­gle the hair. ●● ONCE the comb moves freely through the hair with­out drag­ging, switch to a louse de­tec­tion comb. Make sure the teeth of the comb slot into the hair at the roots, with the bevel-edge of the teeth lightly touch­ing the scalp. ●● DRAW the comb down to the ends of the hair with ev­ery stroke, and check the comb for lice. ●● RE­MOVE lice by wip­ing or rins­ing the comb.

●● WORK me­thod­i­cally through the hair, sec­tion by sec­tion, so that the whole head of hair is combed through. ●● RINSE out con­di­tioner and re­peat the comb­ing pro­ce­dure in the wet hair. ●● RE­PEAT the pro­ce­dure on days five, nine and 13 so that you clear young lice as they hatch – be­fore they have time to reach ma­tu­rity.

Head lice can be treated with med­i­cated lo­tion or spray in­stead, although no med­i­cated treat­ment is 100 per cent ef­fec­tive.

Med­i­cated treat­ments should only be used if a mov­ing head louse is found.

More than one in three UK chil­dren are likely to get head lice at some time dur­ing the year, and it is a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem in school chil­dren aged four to 11.

There’s no shame in hav­ing head lice, as it’s not the re­sult of dirty hair or poor hy­giene.

Head lice can af­fect all types of hair, ir­re­spec­tive of its con­di­tion and length.

●● Dr Paul Bowen

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