How to determine viable and nonviable nits

Advice on Lice which specializes in Head Lice treatments and removal services in Maryland has had an interesting week. As campers returned from their first session a common trend has been to find old nits mixed in with new fresh nits. The old nits represent eggs that have already hatched. They will appear on the hair as white but once removed you will see they are really transparent and what’s left is just the shell. The viable nits are always going to be darker, and more like a brownish mocha color . What you are seeing is the egg with the louse still inside the egg. Don’t ever assume that if you only see the empty eggs its not a active case. This is a huge mistake. Likely you will find the baby bugs (nymphs) on the scalp appearing to look like a freckle until they start to move. We have seen this commonly in kids returning from camp and most likely they were treated with a lice killing shampoo but were not combed out on a regular basis to remove all the nits. My suggestion is to continue with section by section comb outs with pantene conditioner and see if you find any live lice.

Good Luck, Allan Franco