Head lice – these tiny parasitic critters have always been a cause of concern for parents who have children experience an infestation which is why the rush in finding the best lice medicine and head lice home remedies never died. Kids’ daily activities have always been active in school, play or at home and unavoidable circumstances sometimes occur where they could acquire head lice. Head lice infestation, otherwise known as pediculosis, can easily spread from one person to the other through direct head to head contact making the condition highly contagious, which is why children are more prone to infestation because of their daily physical contact with other kids who could have active lice infestation. So it would be prudent for parents to take action and treat an infestation early on whether by over-the-counter or prescribed medicines or home cures for lice.
There are cases though where children are overtreated for louse which could cause unnecessary side effects such as skin irritations even with natural head lice home remedies. This happens because an itchy scalp, dandruff, or dust particles are misdiagnosed as active lice and live lice eggs meaning there was never an infestation in the first place. In order to diagnose properly, head lice symptoms must be observed properly. One distinct symptom of lice is the head itching and scratching. It is a form of an allergic reaction when lice start to feed on blood from the scalp. Look for evidence of active lice on your child’s head. However, lice are so tiny and can sometimes blend well with the host’s hair making it a lot more difficult to find one active moving on the scalp. Alternatively, look for live nits or lice eggs usually found near the base of the hair shaft. Nits are commonly mistaken as dandruff or dust particles because of its color and size. Note though that live nits are oval in shape, hard and are mostly found around and behind the ears and at the back of the head or near the nape area. If you can positively confirm an infestation, then it is time to begin with lice treatment.
There are a number of head lice treatments sold in the market and different head lice home remedies can also be found online. It is up to you to choose which treatment you prefer best. Either way, in treating lice infestation, strict adherence to instructions could make a significant difference in the success of the treatment. Using lice medicine may be the easiest, less hassle way to treat lice infestation. More like pesticides for lice, over-the-counter and prescribed medicines are toxic to lice on contact. A downside to the treatment is that majority of these medicines cannot kill live nits which means there is a possibility of reinfestation unless retreated. This is why physicians would recommend retreatment after 7 to 9 days from the first application which is enough time that live nits hatch and unleash new sets of nymphs (immature or young head lice). Yet, there still lingers controversy on chemical lice treatment and that is the resistance of head lice to the medicine itself. Experts believe that the reason for resistant lice could be one of the following:
- Misdiagnosis of active lice infestation
- Not following the directions of the treatment to the letter
- Lice have developed a resistance to the treatment itself. This could be remedied by using a new treatment as per doctor’s advice
- There is reinfestation
Another point of concern with chemical treatment is the fact that it is toxic and could be dangerous to children 2 years of age and below. Also, most parents are more concerned of the side effects lice medicines can cause to children. Plus, most lice medicines cannot kill nits. So, they opt to choose safer and natural ways of dealing with lice through available home remedies for head lice.
Head lice treatment home remedy is extremely popular with parents who want to use non-toxic means of getting rid of head lice. Different recipes exist everywhere and parents share their unique experiences with their recipes with other parents who share the same dilemma. But regardless of the popularity of head lice home remedies, there is no 100% guarantee they are effective. While some parents would find a particular remedy effective, the same remedy could have a different effect on others. But even with the possibility of trial and error, most parents still feel more confident and safer with natural remedies. To list a few of home remedy for head lice and nits:
- Treatment with oil-based ingredients such as mayonnaise or olive oil is supposed to ‘smother’ head lice. If left on hair long enough, say 2 hours while some opt to leave it overnight, lice will have difficulty breathing, thus slowing them down. More lice will be removed once hair is rinsed and combed with lice comb.
- Treatment with Vaseline is also one of the head lice home remedies. Just like oil-based treatment, the application of Vaseline makes it hard to breathe for head lice. The downside to this kind of treatment is the fact the Vaseline can be a pain to remove. It usually takes a week of washing and shampooing to get rid of all the Vaseline.
- Herbal treatment is also available as home remedy for head lice through the use of tea tree oil and other essential oils. The most common way to use tea tree oil is by taking 5 to 10 drops of tea tree oil and mix with a small amount of baby shampoo that has no conditioner. Some would add a few drops of olive oil to the mixture. Lather the mixture properly into the hair and leave it on with shower cap for at least 30 minutes before rinsing. Comb with lice and nit comb.
- White vinegar is the treatment that is effective in killing lice. It is believe that the acid in vinegar can dissolve nits’ exoskeleton, killing them altogether or make them a lot easier to remove. You will have to soak the hair with white vinegar, cover with damp towel and leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes. Some would prefer to leave it on overnight. Rinse in the morning and comb with head lice.
Non-toxic lice products are also available in market today. One in particular is the HairClean 1-2-3 that contains coconut oil, anise oil and ylang ylang oil and has been proven effective in Israel. LiceOut is a non-toxic gel that traps head lice so that it is easier to remove them with lice and nit comb.
With all the remedies available for use, it is still best to continue using lice and nit combs to permanently remove head lice and nits. Head lice home remedies can be effective means of getting rid of lice, but it is also wise to take supplementary measures as prevention from reinfestation.