Trying on Halloween costumes at the store could put people at risk for contracting one creepy crawler – head lice.
Head lice feed on human blood and live close to the scalp in the hair, eyebrows and eyelashes.
People can get a different type of scare when shopping for Halloween costumes because the wigs and the masks worn by other shoppers could be infested.
Experts recommend for people to wear caps when trying on costumes and to seal items for 48 hours in order to kill any bugs.
Heidi Klum is known for her Halloween costumes that typically take her all day to create. She dressed as Jessica Rabbit for her Halloween party in 2015. Doctors see an increase in head lice during Halloween season because of people trying on wigs and masks at stores
Celebrity couples such as Heidi Klum and Seal (left) and Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel (right) transform for Halloween. What they might not realize is that lice can live in wigs and masks if an infested person tries it on when shopping for a costume
Doctors see a jump in head lice infestations around the Halloween season and can be attributed to costume shopping, according to WTOL-TV.
‘We have a lot of people going into stores right now, trying on masks, trying on costumes and trying on wigs,’ said Cherie Sexton, a pediatric nurse practitioner in Ohio.
‘And a lot of people don’t give much thought into the fact that several people could’ve tried it on before them.’
An estimated six to 12 million lice infestations occur every year in the United States for children aged three to 11, according to the CDC.
These bugs spread from direct contact with someone else who is infested.
If someone tries on a wig at a Halloween store, then it can easily help transport the lice from one person to another.
Sexton recommended for shoppers to avoid trying on wigs and masks at a Halloween store if they aren’t wearing a shower cap.
People who become infested with head lice will experience itching, sores on the head and a tickling feeling from the bugs moving around.
Ellen DeGeneres (left) and Chrissy Teigen (right) have both transformed for Halloween. Last year, Ellen dressed up as Sia for her talk show. Chrissy Teigen showed up as Guy Fieri in 2015 for the Fab Life Show. Head lice can live in the wigs that both of the celebrities wore
Lice feast on human blood and travel by crawling onto their host. They typically are found in children aged three to 11 who have come in contact with someone else who is infested
Head lice can be treated by an over-the-counter medication applied directly to the infected area.
All people who come in contact with the infected person should also check if they have contracted the bug because it spreads easily through clothing and other personal items.
Clothing, bedding and other products need to be laundered in high heat in order to kill the bugs.
If something can’t be washed, then it needs to be either dry cleaned or sealed in a bag for two weeks to help kill off the infestation.
Shoppers who buy costumes at a store should seal it in a bag for 48 hours to make sure they are clean of all bugs.