Does nits look like dandruff?

To a novice eye, one can easily confuse lice nits (eggs) with dandruff, sebum secretions and hair casts. A good way to differentiate between an nit and normal hair findings is to see whether the particle glides or moves around easily. If the answer is yes, it is certainly not lice related. Over-the-counter (OTC) lice remedies no longer work well, because lice are resistant to these medicines. Hiring a professional lice service is not as expensive as one would think considering all.

Neither having lice or dandruff is dangerous. Constant scratching can injure the scalp, however, and may lead to a scalp infection.

Adult head lice can actually be spotted, although it’s a bit difficult. Use a head lice comb on wet hair under good lighting for the best effect

How to Spot the Difference Between Lice and Dandruff | Trusted Since 1922

Does nits look like dandruff

Lice vs Dandruff

Dandruff on the other hand often responds well to OTC anti-dandruff shampoos. People can purchase these shampoos in drugstores or online.

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While they share certain similarities – an itchy scalp being the most obvious – there are key differences that distinguish head lice from dandruff.

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Dandruff Symptoms
Most with dandruff only experience flaking and itching from the scalp. Symptoms of dandruff may include:

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How to tell the difference between lice and dandruff

Lice Symptoms
Head lice is most common amongst children and those who work with children. Symptoms of lice may include:

Dandruff, on the other hand, is caused by sensitivity to oleic acid. This acid is a by-product of the Malassezia globosa microbe, which we all have on our scalps. Not everyone is sensitive to oleic acid, but in some cases it can cause irritation, itching, and flakes.

What Do Nits Look Like

Lice vs Dandruff: How To Tell The Difference?

Comparing the symptoms of lice and dandruff can be useful in case you ever suspect that you have lice.

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Comparing Lice and Dandruff Symptoms

Treatment for head lice is recommended for persons diagnosed with an active infestation. All household members and other close contacts should be checked; those persons with evidence of an active infestation should be treated. (Source: CDC)

The major difference between these two conditions is their cause. Head lice are small parasitic creatures that feed off human blood. Saliva secreted by lice irritates the scalp, and is the cause of the itchiness and sores that characterize a lice infestation.

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