General chatter - Known Anyone With Head Lice Or Scalp Probs?




babenwaiting
08-08-2010, 08:39 PM
My ultra-clean, older neighbor, who is never around children, has had an itchy scalp for a week. She's never had anything like this, and has not used anyone's else hair brush. She did try on a hat briefly a couple of weeks ago. Her daughter examined her head/short white hair very carefully with a lighted, magnifying glass and saw nothing but healthy scalp. The itching comes and goes, and is worrying her. Any opinions on what else it could be?


Latchkey Princess
08-09-2010, 01:14 AM
Could it be just really dry skin? She should see her doctor or a dermatologist if she can.

kaplods
08-09-2010, 01:37 AM
With lice, you should be able to see either the adult lice or the nits (eggs stuck to the hair shaft). It could be mites, a lot of people are allergic to mites.

If she wants to try something before seeing a dermatologist, I would suggest Head and Shoulders shampoo with zinc pyrithione. It's my "miracle cure" for every skin issue I have including seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, acne breakouts, dry-itchy skin.... The zinc compound is an anti-microbial, killing/controlling bacteria, fungi, yeast, viruses, and it also seems to sooth inflammation.


Worth a shot anyway. I went to a dermatologist because the rash on my face was sometimes extremely horrible. I was prescribed a steroid cream for flares, and was told to use the Head and Shoulders as my only soap (hand soap, shampoo, face wash, body wash, foot soak).

I'd suggest the Head and Shoulders 2 in 1 (because the zinc is drying and the conditioner acts like a moisturizer). I actually use the Walmart Equate brand, because it's about half the price.

My hand used to burn and itch for no apparent reason (sometimes looking normal, and sometimes turning bright pink). My doctor told me I was probably allergic to something, but we never were able to pinpoint what it was. This rarely happens anymore and when it does, I'll wash my hands with the H&S and it will sooth it almost immediately.

The hand soap in my bathroom isn't really hand soap - it's the zinc shampoo. I've had guests ask what brand my hand soap is because it smells so nice and left their hands so smooth and soft (it's the conditioner that acts almost as a lotion, I think), and I explain what it is and why it's there (Dermatologist approved).

You can actually buy hand soaps and face soaps with zinc pyrithione, but they're hard to find and outrageously expensive - and they contain the same ingredients as the inexpensive dandruff shampoo.

Off topic, but zinc oxide is another great skin protectant and/or skin treatment. It's not very useful for the scalp (unless you're completely bald), but it's great for other itchy or irritated skin issues.

You can buy expensive zinc oxide hand or face cream, but I use "diaper rash" zinc oxide cream (making sure that zinc oxide is the main ingredient). Nothing gets rid of a pimple faster than a dab of zinc oxide cream (I use the Target version of Desitin Creamy, only $1.50 a tube). For daytime use (when I don't want white spots on my face), I use a clear zinc oxide cream (such as the sunscreen, Ocean Potion Skincare's Face 45).

Whenever my feet get itchy and burny from wearing sneakers all day, I rub them with the diaper rash cream and put on thin socks to sleep in.

I know it's a lot of different issues I talked about, but zinc has been my "miracle cure," for almost all skin issues I have.

It's cheap and safe, so it's worth a try.


babenwaiting
08-09-2010, 11:00 AM
Thank you both for your replies! :)

KarenBee
08-09-2010, 12:18 PM
If she tried on a hat it could be lice, (my daughter recently got it that way, and spread it to me), and if her hair is white it would be impossible to see the nits. One sure way to find out -- tell her to buy a lice comb -- get a metal one, the plastic ones are useless, and comb thru her hair. You don't always see the bugs on your scalp when you look for them (they move fast), but a thorough comb thru will catch them if they are there.

I have kids, so unfortunately I know a lot about lice and how to get rid of them.....

Thanks for the info about the zinc oxide, kpalods -- I have itchy feet caused by the herpes virus, and my daughter has acne breakouts -- we both just read your post together, and are going to try it.

kaplods
08-09-2010, 02:34 PM
I don't suggest head & shoulders or any of those shampoos, but a good sulfate-free tea tree oil shampoo.

If you're going to try a tea tree oil product, I'd recommend a patch test or using it on a limited area first.

I have a mild allergy, and my husband has an extremely severe allergy to tea tree oil.

His mom uses it EVERYWHERE. She buys a lot of products from the Melaleuca company (the company is named after the tea tree oil plant, and many of the products contain tee trea oil).

When we moved to WI and stayed with her for a couple of weeks, it was a disaster (and hubby was miserable until we realized what he was allergic to. Because it was in everything it was hard to pinpoint).

I have a lot of skin sensitivities and allergies, so we weren't supprised that the liquid hand soap in the guest bathroom irritated my hands (no redness, just itchiness), but hubby's hands turned bright red after washing with it. He didn't realize immediately that it was from the soap, so he continued to use it, and his hands got worse and worse until he made the connection (only after he was exposed to several other products). He helped his mom do dishes and it got worse (the dish shoap apparently also had tea tree oil in it). His mom sprayed some air freshener or something in the room, and his eyes and face were itchy and burning. Then his soles of his feet turned red and actually blistered from walking on her floors and carpets. Thank goodness we realized what it was before we did laundry there (and thankfully we used our own body washes when we showered).

His mom didn't initially believe his allergy was real (which is odd, because she has a severe allergy to hazelnuts herself), and decided to "test" his allergy a few times since (telling him on one visit that the hand soap in the guest bathroom didn't contain tea tree oil, when it did). It's gotten to the point that hubby won't use any soap in his mom's house "just in case."

I'm not saying it's a common allergy, but it's not outrageously rare either. When we looked online, we found that contact dermatitis was reported frequently enough to have quite a bit of information on it online.

I'm not saying anyone should avoid the products, just don't buy a tonload or wash your whole body with the stuff until you know whether or not you are.

ANOther
08-09-2010, 03:00 PM
I have a mild allergy, and my husband has an extremely severe allergy to tea tree oil.

His mom uses it EVERYWHERE. She buys a lot of products from the Melaleuca company (the company is named after the tea tree oil plant, and many of the products contain tee trea oil).

When we moved to WI and stayed with her for a couple of weeks, it was a disaster (and hubby was miserable until we realized what he was allergic to. Because it was in everything it was hard to pinpoint).

I have a lot of skin sensitivities and allergies, so we weren't supprised that the liquid hand soap in the guest bathroom irritated my hands (no redness, just itchiness), but hubby's hands turned bright red after washing with it. He didn't realize immediately that it was from the soap, so he continued to use it, and his hands got worse and worse until he made the connection (only after he was exposed to several other products). He helped his mom do dishes and it got worse (the dish shoap apparently also had tea tree oil in it). His mom sprayed some air freshener or something in the room, and his eyes and face were itchy and burning. Then his soles of his feet turned red and actually blistered from walking on her floors and carpets. Thank goodness we realized what it was before we did laundry there (and thankfully we used our own body washes when we showered).

His mom didn't initially believe his allergy was real (which is odd, because she has a severe allergy to hazelnuts herself), and decided to "test" his allergy a few times since (telling him on one visit that the hand soap in the guest bathroom didn't contain tea tree oil, when it did). It's gotten to the point that hubby won't use any soap in his mom's house "just in case."

I'm not saying it's a common allergy, but it's not outrageously rare either. When we looked online, we found that contact dermatitis was reported frequently enough to have quite a bit of information on it online.

I'm not saying anyone should avoid the products, just don't buy a tonload or wash your whole body with the stuff until you know whether or not you are.

Your MIL sounds like a real piece 'o work! She doesn't own shares in the company that she's so gung-ho about buying their products, is she?

GradPhase
08-09-2010, 04:13 PM
You mentioned she didn't have children, but does she have pets?

kaplods
08-09-2010, 06:36 PM
Your MIL sounds like a real piece 'o work! She doesn't own shares in the company that she's so gung-ho about buying their products, is she?

LOL - I don't think she's invested in the company, but she's a clean freak in general (she washes her garage floors and walls on a regular basis. I've never met anyone before who had a garage floor that looked clean enough to eat off of before. Our apartment is company-ready as my mom used to say (the kitchen floors look clean), but I can guarantee that her garage floor is cleaner than our kitchen floor. Maybe she gets a bulk discount. I'm not sure.


Actually though I think the real problem is that hubby and his mom both rub each other the wrong way. She seems to believe that everything he does is specifically calculated to annoy her, and hubby feels the same about her. And they both do seem to go out of their way to ruffle each others' feathers (I used to push hubby to visit his family more, and I would feel like their referee - now I stay out of it and let hubby decide when we're going to visit and how long we're going to stay).