Home Medical Law Can black people get lice? – Facts vs Myth

Can black people get lice? – Facts vs Myth

Can black people get lice

Can black people get lice in their hair? – There’s a notion among the African American community that Black people can’t get lice, the crawling little creatures that infest the hair and leaves one scratching for dear life.

In this article, we discuss the facts, data and research into the topic and some common concerns and questions people ask about lice.

Can black people get lice in their hair

While data on the topic has been somewhat inconclusive on how being black or Caucasian affects lice infestation and proliferation in hair, the truth is one, African Americans can get lice too.

However, in 1985, a study showed that approximately 10% of Caucasian children had lice. Only 0.3% of African American children had lice. It is unclear why this difference. Going by this, it is easy to believe that African Americans are somehow immune to lice if only 0.3% of African American kids in the United States have head lice. Such an assumption will be ill advised though hair texture is seen as a major factor in this lower infestation rate of lice in black people’s hair.

A book that provides answers to the question “can black people get lice in their hair?”, is written by Milton Orkin and Howard Maibach. The book makes reference to a study in Florida, revealing that black people were 35 times less likely to get lice compared to Caucasians and other Asiatic races. The title of the book is Cutaneous Infestations and Insect Bites.

So far, it seems the studies are observation based and not grounded in science. But is the observed low lice susceptibility of African Americans in US the same for all black people worldwide?

Well, a report by the WHO shows that lice is a huge problem in children in Africa. The prevalence rate among school children is between 3.5 to 50%, according to the report.

Lice FAQs

HOW DO YOU GET LICE IN HAIR?

You can transmit lice by having close contact with the infested person, or sharing personal items like clothing, scarves, caps, combs, and brushes.

HOW MUCH HEAD LICE IS IN AN INFESTED PERSON’S HAIR?

In most cases, there are 10-15 head lice. Personal hygiene is often a plays a key role in the number of lice found. This includes how frequently a person washes hair with shampoos, changes clothes, and bathes.

WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO GET HEAD LICE?

Head lice can be found in people from all socio-economic backgrounds. Head lice is more common in children, especially those under the age of five.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF SOMEONE IS HEAD LICE?

Itching of the scalp can be caused by lice. Guardians should be alert and check for lice when their kids scratch their head excessively or frequently.

HOW TO CHECK FOR HEAD LICE

A simple way to test for lice is to place the head on a towel that is light colored, such as white. Next, gently brush your hair and scalp towards the towel. You will find lice on the towel. Infested persons are more likely to have few lice so it is easy to miss them. You should inspect the head of the person, especially the back and around the ears. Don’t confuse lice and nits with dandruff.

What should you do if you suspect someone is infected?

You should consult your doctor, school nurse or county health department for help. If necessary, the entire family should be examined and treated.

Conclusion

Can black people get lice in their hair?, of course. Despite a lower infestation rate, it is still possible for African Americans and black people around the globe to get lice. If you think you might have lice, consult your dermatologist.

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