Lice vs. dandruff: Differences, pictures, and symptoms

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. here ’ s our process. Lice are easy to confuse with dandruff, which is a very coarse problem. While louse are a irregular infestation, dandruff is a chronic skin condition.

Every class, 6 to 12 million people in the United States get head bird louse. Most are children ages 3 to 12 years old. Both worm and dandruff are normally treatable at home. Distinguishing one from the early can help a person choose the right treatment.

Lice vs. dandruff

Doctor inspecting a girls scalp to determine if it's lice or dandruff parcel on PinterestDandruff flakes from the scalp, but nits stick to the hair. Dandruff, besides known as seborrheic dermatitis, is a peel discipline that causes the top layer of skin to shed besides promptly. This shedding produces a dry, bizarre, antsy scalp. People with dandruff may besides notice flakes of skin on their clothes. yeast causes some types of dandruff that tend to be peculiarly antsy. Lice are parasites that live on the scalp and eat human blood. Lice can cause intense itch. Head louse do not spread diseases, but they are highly catching. Close liaison with the head or haircloth of a person with worm — such as from sharing hairbrushes or giving hugs — can spread the infestation. Young children frequently hug or touch each early, and indeed question worm are more common in kids than adults and families with kids. Some authoritative differences between plant louse and dandruff include :

  • Location: Lice lay eggs called nits while dandruff causes flaky skin. The two look similar, but close inspection reveals key differences. Nits stick to the hair while dandruff flakes, easily falling off of hair. While dandruff is visible on the scalp, lice lay eggs on hair, not the scalp.
  • Contagion: Dandruff is not contagious, but lice spread easily from person to person. If a classmate, friend, or family member has recently had lice, lice could be the reason why a person develops an itchy scalp.
  • Itching: Dandruff and lice both itch. Dandruff tends to itch more when the scalp is dry. People with lice may feel a crawling sensation on their scalp.
  • Lymph nodes: Lice can cause bacterial infections, especially when a person scratches their scalp too hard and causes bleeding. Some people with lice notice that the lymph nodes on their neck or behind their ears feel swollen
  • Color: Lice are tiny, and people may need a magnifying glass to see them. If a person notices bugs or black or brown spots on the scalp or in the hair, this usually means they have lice, not dandruff.
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Symptoms of dandruff

Some people with dandruff explicate seborrheic dermatitis on other areas of their body. When this happens, a person might notice flaking or lepidote skin on the confront, breast, neck, or ears. These areas may be dry, crimson, and painful or antsy. Most people, however, experience a balmy form of dandruff only on the scalp. Symptoms of dandruff include :

  • flaky skin that is either very oily or very dry
  • white or yellowish flakes on clothes
  • an itchy scalp
  • red patches on the scalp
  • symptoms that worsen in the winter or dry weather

Some people with dandruff detect temp hair loss, but hair’s-breadth passing is more typical of early conditions .

Symptoms of lice

Lice are much more common among children and people in close liaison with children, such as teachers, parents, daycare workers, and babysitters. Signs and symptoms of louse admit :

  • intense itching on the scalp
  • constantly scratching the head
  • red or bloody spots on the scalp from scratching
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • teardrop-shaped lice eggs on the hair
  • tiny black spots on the scalp or in the hair


share on PinterestA person should wash clothes and bed sheets at 130°F or hotter if they used them 2 days prior to lice treatment. A image of insecticidal shampoo can kill louse, sometimes with barely one treatment. It is besides vital to comb nits out of the hair’s-breadth. People should follow the routine on the shampoo packaging. over-the-counter ( OTC ) worm remedies work well, but some louse are repellent to these medicines. so if the beginning treatment does not work, a person may want to see a sophisticate for an alternative prescription remedy. Lice remedies are available at pharmacies and on-line. Head bird louse can not live for long without a server. Washing items that make it easy for plant louse to hop back onto a person can reduce the spread of these bugs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) recommend :

  • Washing clothing, bed sheets, and other items in water of 130°F or hotter.
  • Soaking brushes and combs in 130°F water for at least 5–10 minutes.
  • Vacuuming all carpets and rugs in the home.
  • Avoiding using insecticidal sprays or other poisons.
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Dandruff often responds well to OTC anti-dandruff shampoo. People can purchase these shampoos in drugstores or on-line. The american Academy of Dermatology recommend shampooing with an anti-dandruff shampoo doubly a week unless a person is african-american. African-Americans tend to have drier hair and scalp, so they may be better off shampooing with anti-dandruff shampoo only once per week. People with light hair should avoid shampoo with coal pitch since this can change hair color. Some people find that their dandruff does not get well with an anti-dandruff shampoo. If symptoms do not improve, the flakes may be due to a yeast infection on the scalp, an autoimmune condition, eczema, or a severe event of dandruff. A dermatologist can help person identify the implicit in induce, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as any triggers. Some people may need prescription anti-dandruff shampoo.


dandruff is common and unmanageable to prevent. regularly washing the hair reduces dandruff in some people, but lack of hygiene does not cause dandruff. People with dandruff can try to identify triggers, such as cold or dry atmosphere. People with peculiarly dry scalp sometimes get relief from sleeping with a humidifier. To prevent louse, avoid close contact with people at high risk of worm, particularly very young children. Avoid sharing combs, brushes, pillows, and other items where plant louse may hide. If a person in the family has plant louse, treat them and early family members for bird louse.

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Neither having worm or dandruff is dangerous. constant rub can injure the scalp, however, and may lead to a scalp infection. Both louse and dandruff normally react well to boughten treatments, and so a person can try an OTC remedy as their first gear response. If OTC treatments do not work, it is best to see a doctor or dermatologist for scalp itch or pain .

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