Headlice is probably something we had while we were at school but now Superdrug has warned parents after a recent surge in infestations. 

The retailer reported a staggering 121 percent increase in sales for their head lice treatment spray. 

As the warmer weather approaches it can be a trigger for head lice. 

Niamh McMillan, Superdrug’s Pharmacy Superintendent, has shared advice on how to prevent and treat head lice.

But first of all, what is head lice?

They are small insects that live in hair. They often lay their eggs on hairs near the scalp and while head lice can get to anyone, they are more common among children aged four to 12 years old. 

Meanwhile, during the warmer summer months, there is a greater chance for head lice to be transmitted from head to head.

How to spot head lice

‌If you suspect your child has head lice then the first step is to inspect their head. You should only begin head lice treatment, once you have spotted lice in their hair.

How to treat head lice

‌The wet combing method can help remove head lice from hair. First, use a fine-toothed comb and gently pull the comb through sections of wet hair, from roots to the end. Wipe the comb after each stroke, checking each time for head lice. 

It comes as a study from Teaching Abroad Direct has highlighted the UK towns and cities with surging cases of head lice earlier this year.

Experts say some hotspots could see cases of head lice increase by as much as 15 percent during the February half-term. Meanwhile, inquiries for nit treatment went up by a third between December and January.

Researchers said enquiries about head lice had seen a particular increase in Leeds – up 129.1 percent in the past two years. Elsewhere, Manchester saw a 121.4 percent spike in searches.

The number of inquiries had gone up 124.2 percent during the same time. Edinburgh and Birmingham had search volumes 68.9 and 63.1 percent above the norm, while Glasgow saw a 37.8 percent increase. 

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