When children get head lice, parents should remember that the presence of these tiny parasitic insects has nothing to do with dirt. Instead, lice infestations are related to the type of close contact that children are exposed to at school. In addition, children pose rather easy targets for lice because the little creatures are better able to cling to fine hair of thin diameter. Moreover, children often share combs, brushes, hats and other objects that spread lice. The first telltale sign of lice is usually itching behind the ears, on the scalp and at the nape of the neck. Treatment largely consists of an over-the-counter medicated shampoo or rinse containing permethrin or the recently FDA-approved comb-free shampoo ivermectin.
DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a 59-year-old female, about 145 pounds (I should be 135). For about 10 years, I have eaten no mammal meat, have excluded milk and dairy from my diet, and have avoided shellfish. I start each day with a bowl of cooked oat bran with soy milk. I average more than 30 grams of soluble and insoluble fiber per day. I eat salmon, tuna and a little poultry. I exercise vigorously at least three times a week and wear a heart monitor so I get at least 25 minutes in the 75- to 90-percent maximum zone. My blood pressure averages 102/58.