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ChocolateReigns's avatar

Why are lice sufferers looked down upon?

Asked by ChocolateReigns (5619points) January 7th, 2010

Apparently I have lice. I don’t really want to tell people about it because lice are usually considered “dirty”. But what’s the big deal? I mean, even rich people get lice. You clean the house and get rid of them. No big deal.

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12 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Because they are lousy? We have attached stigma to a lot of quotidian things. Think of “leprosy” (Hansen’s disease) – not very contagious, easily controlled with antibiotics, still subject to hysteria.

wonderingwhy's avatar

probably the historical association with poor/dirty living conditions and the association with them being something “only a lower class” must deal with. sadly any truth of such associations is secondary to the association itself.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

The modern (last 100 years) obsession with cleanliness has made anyone who gets them seem to be some kind of a “dirty primative”. You are right that they are no respecter of social class. I remember my granfather’s stories about life in the trenches in WW1. The criiters didn’t care if you were a Private or Colonel (but the Colonel had an easier time getting rid of them, having access to better sanitary facilities). After each rotation at the Front, the uniforms were boiled and the men took several baths with strong soap (no incecticides in 1917).
In the modern age, they are simple to deal with, but seem to be endemic wherever people are crowded together.. This is one reason for the military obsession with cleanliness. +GQ

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t look down upon people who get lice, I just don’t want to get it myself.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@JLeslie So you don’t want anything to do with people who have lice just because you don’t want to get the lice. How long after they say they’ve gotten rid of the lice will it be until you do things with them? Right away? Or will you never look at them the same way?

JLeslie's avatar

@ChocolateReigns I actually just visited a friend who had lice. Her daughters and she all got it seemingly from some schoolmates. My girlfriend calle dme about a week before I was to stay with them to tell me they had had lice, and had been rid of it for over a week, but wanted to give me the option of staying somewhere else if I was uncomfortable. I appreciated that she told me, and I told her as long as she sees no sign of it up until when I was coming that I was not worried. I stayed in her home 3 nights no problem. If they had had active lice problems, I would have stayed somewhere else, and I would have worn my hair tied back when with them.

dutchbrossis's avatar

I have a friend who has a friend who refuses to get rid of her lice, and then passes it on to my friend. I don’t want the lice to spread to me, and my friend’s friend needs to stop being selfish and clean her hair and house

YARNLADY's avatar

eeeewwwww, lice are contagious. I do not want anyone with lice to be spreading them about my house. If you had them last month, how do I know you don’t have them now? They are very difficult to get rid of, they get in the furniture, and anything else the head (if that’s where they are) touches.

My son and his wife had them, while they were living with me, and I made them use protective pads everytime they came out of their rooms.

mattbrowne's avatar

Ignorant people think it must be bad hygiene. But clean kids can get it in kindergarten for example.

JLeslie's avatar

@ChocolateReigns I think what you can summize from what we wrote is what we look down on is people who do not take care of getting rid of the lice, or risk infecting others. We realize anyone can have the bad luck of getting it.

Jlynn55's avatar

All people can get lice. Lice do not choose their victims based on social class or who is dirtier. In fact based on my own research and clinical based studies, lice like clean hair that smells good. They are actually attracted to clean hair that smells sweet. Do you use shampoos or conditioners that smell like fruit or flowers??? Try using a product that dosent smell sweet and dont wash your hair everyday. Every two to three days is more than enough and if you have oily hair like me, you can rinse your hair with warm water in between the washings. Try using Rosemary Repel Shampoo and Conditoner it contains Rosemary in it which Lice do no like, so they REPEL from your head. Hence the name! They have a leave in conditioning spray that I use everyday on my kids before they go off to school since I dont wash their hair everday! You can find their products at I use their products everyday on myself and my children. Their Lice Goodbye is also amazing gets rid of lice and their eggs or nits!!

Trust me this stuff works!

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@Jlynn55 I just heard that lice like clean heads today. Try telling that to the kids that I know, though.

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