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Lice Infestation

Itching and scratching

Isabel Weinert & Marta Campbell
28.07.2014  10:53 Uhr

Good English language skills are usually helpful when advising foreign-language customers. PTA-Forum has compiled the most important vocabulary, questions and advice on "lice".

Despite good hygiene, in this country, it repeatedly happens that head lice keep spreading among children in kindergartens and schools. Normally only hair is infested with these lice. The greyish brown beasties are two to three millimetres large and feed on the blood of the scalp. Their saliva causes strong itching. Parents therefore only notice the head louse infection when their child is constantly scratching its head, sometimes even scraping their skin until it bleeds. The skin frequently gets inflamed, mainly behind the ears and on the neck.

For self-medication, numerous preparations are available for local application. Before they can recommend any medicine, PTA or the pharmacist needs to ask some questions. Information on how to use the preparation is just as important.

Important questions for the consultation

  • Have you clearly identified the head lice?
  • Have reddish, inflamed patches arisen?
  • If so, where are these patches located?
  • When did you notice the head lice?
  • Do you have several children?
  • Would you like a medicine with a synthetic substance or do you prefer to apply a solution with a base of coconut or soya oil?

Information on the correct application of the recommended preparation

  • Pay careful attention to the manufacturer’s instructions for use, otherwise the success of the treatment may be jeopardized.
  • Soak the hair with the necessary amount of the preparation.
  • Allow the preparation sufficient time to take effect.
  • Repeat the application after one week.

Additional information

  • Comb the hair daily with a nit comb.
  • Cut your child’s fingernails short.
  • Check daily not only the person suffering from head lice, but do the same for all other family members.
  • Change daily underwear, sweaters, towels and preferably also bed linen and wash these at minimum 60 °C.
  • Place brushes and combs in 60 °C hot water for 10 minutes.
  • Put items that cannot be washed, in a properly sealed plastic bag and place it in the freezer at a temperature of minus 18 °C minimum for one to two days.
  • If the lice have not disappeared despite the treatment, you should see a doctor.


Deutsch / German Englisch / English
befallen infested
Entzündung inflammation
Juckreiz itching
kämmen to comb
Kindergarten kindergarten
Kontaktperson contact person
Kopflaus head louse (plural: lice)
kratzen to scratch/to scrape
Mitschüler schoolmates
Nissenkamm nit comb
Speichel saliva
aufs Spiel setzen/gefährden to jeopardy
Vocabulary on lice