When your child or anyone in your household contracts head lice, you will likely be inundated with a lot of misinformation from the internet and well-meaning, but inaccurate advice from family and friends. Most people think they can effectively treat lice on their own, and in some cases this is true. But lice are very resilient critters that can be extremely tough to get rid of with typical do-it-yourself (DIY) treatments. With the discovery of super lice, scientists found that “lice populations in at least 25 states have developed resistance to over-the-counter treatments.” This means that most doctor-recommended lice treatments will only cause you to waste hours of your time and money on treatments that will do little to eradicate your lice problem. To understand what we are talking about, let us look at the many home treatments that are available, and why they are largely ineffective.
OTC Treatment Products
For decades, parents have relied on over-the-counter (OTC) products to treat their lice problems. The issue with these products is that they are only effective in killing live lice, but do nothing to kill their eggs (nits). Just read the small print on any lice treatment from the pharmacy and it will plainly say that it only kills live lice. While this is a good thing, it is only providing a temporary solution to a much bigger problem. Female lice will lay about 5-10 eggs per day during their 30-day lifecycle. Gone unnoticed, each louse in your child’s hair can lay 150 eggs in a month. This means that thousands of new lice are produced in just a few short days. Since OTC products do not kill the nits, you can end up with a new outbreak in 7-10 days when if all the nits are left untreated. This can turn into an endless cycle that does nothing to solve the actual problem. The only way to rid your child of lice is to kill and comb out the viable nits. Once OTC products are applied, you must go through the tedious task of combing out the hair for an hour or more each day for up to two weeks. After all of that effort, if you left any lice or nits behind, you have to start the entire process again. The use of these pesticide products, known as pyrethroids, no longer killed the super lice tested in 104 out of 109 lice population tests, so they are essentially useless now.
Lice Suffocation Methods
Many natural treatment sites swear by a variety of natural home remedies to treat head lice. Some of these treatments include applying mayonnaise, petroleum jelly, olive oil, vinegar, and even mouthwash to their child’s head to suffocate the lice. While these natural methods may sound safer than pesticides, they are rarely effective in removing all the live lice and nits. At best, they just slow down the adult lice for a short time, and do nothing to kill off the nits. After applying these treatments to the head, lengthy comb-out sessions are necessary to scoop out each louse one by one. It can involve days or weeks of repeating the process to remove the lice. This is often tiresome for parents and uncomfortable for children. In addition, many of these household remedies, such as mayonnaise and olive oil, are messy and difficult to wash out completely. After each treatment, you have to clean out the combs thoroughly with disinfectant and wash the towels with bleach to kill off removed lice.
Essential Oil Treatments
Some websites claim to have had success with essential oil treatments. Tea tree, lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, nutmeg, and other essential oils are mixed with olive oil and applied to the scalp for 12 hours, usually overnight. Some sites recommend placing a plastic shower cap on your child’s head while they are sleeping to increase effectiveness. This poses a suffocation hazard for your child, so you should never do this. Some people are allergic to essential oils and will develop a rash or irritation when left on the scalp overnight. If you fail to do a skin test first to determine if your child is allergic, it can quickly turn a lice problem into a skin problem. Many sites also promote applying essential-oil treatments to the scalp as a preventative measure, but there is limited research to support this method. According to Safer Pest Control Project, “Head lice infestations can’t be prevented by any type of pretreatment.”
AirAllé System is Quick, Easy, and Fun
Now that you know how ineffective most of these DIY home treatments can be, what does work? Professional treatments at Lice Clinics of America. Our FDA-cleared, patented AirAllé system uses controlled, heated air to kill live lice and 99.2% of their eggs by drying them out. The one-time treatment takes 60-90 minutes from start to finish and is as easy as getting a hair blowout at the salon. Our trained professionals will verify the existence of lice, treat the head with a handheld heating tool, and then comb out the dead lice and eggs. A final topical rinse is then applied to the hair to kill any lone lice survivors, which you will wash out as soon as you get home. Even the so-called super lice are no match for our lice-treatment professionals at Lice Clinics of America.