Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Nit Eggs and Dandruff Flakes

Nit Eggs vs Dandruff Flakes

Scratchy and itchy heads are the telltale signs that a person is either having a lice problem or a dandruff one. Though many people seem to confuse the two based on appearances, there are a myriad of differences between them.

People mistake the two due to their color from a top view of a person’s head. Both nits and dandruff can be seen as white specks on the head. However, dandruff is seen to be flakes on the head while nits are oval in shape.

The main difference between the two is their origins. Nits are the eggs of lice, a type of parasite bugs that reside in the hair and feed on human blood. On the other hand, dandruff are dead skin cells that are often caused by numerous conditions but also results in itchiness and flakes in the colors of white and yellow. By the definitions, nits are potential lives of lice and generations of parasites while dandruff is dead remnants of skin.

Another major different between nits is that nits are very hard to remove from the head, specifically from the hair shaft. Nits are attached to the hair shaft by a waterproof, glue-like substance that is secreted by lice in order to attach themselves. This substance cannot be removed even with the force of water. On the other side, dandruff is very easy to remove. A shake of the head, flicking and combing hair can help remove the dandruff from the head that falls onto the shoulders or the ground.

Nits are also potential lice and can grow rapidly if the eggs are not removed. If an egg grows into a louse, it can lays a lot of eggs (nits). It can be contagious and spread to other people by sharing hair items like combs, hair accessories, and towels. Dandruff, on the other hand, is not contagious and cannot spread to another person. It can grow and accumulate in a person’s head if not treated immediately.

The same goes for lice, though the lice have also the potential to carry diseases and grow an infestation on a person’s head. This will result in severe itchiness and wounds.

Dandruff can be of the result of several conditions like:

Dry skin
Seborrheic dermatitis
A fungus called malassezia

On the other hand, lice can be caused by contact with a person infected by lice. It can either be direct contact (a person’s head to another person’s head) or indirectly by sharing personal grooming items like combs and brushes, hair accessories like caps, hats, and hair decorations (used by girls). Headsets can also be a way for lice contact. Aside from hair-related things, lice can also travel by way of home furnishings like towels, clothing, pillows, blankets, and upholstery.

Both conditions require treatments like medicated cream rinses and shampoos. The main ingredient in the lice treatment is pyrethrin or permethrin while dandruff shampoo can include zinc pyrithione or salicylic acid.


1.In the most basic sense, nits are eggs of live parasites while dandruff is dead skin from the head.
2.Nits are very hard to remove due to the substance that coats them while dandruff can be easily removed by flicking and combining the hair as wells as shaking the head.
3.The main ingredient in lice treatment is pyrethrin or permethrin while the treatment for dandruff shampoo can include zinc pyrithione or salicylic acid.
4.Dandruff cannot grow since it is already dead but nits can grow into lice and can cause an infestation.
5.Nits stay in the hair shaft. Dandruff doesn’t and can fall away from the head.

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