How to safely and effectively control head lice and nits.....
Posted Sep 10 2009 10:55pm
September is Head Lice Prevention Month - our children are coming back to school with new clothes and backpacks and some of them may be coming back with their heads crawling with tiny, pesky head lice. The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (who do not regard head lice as a health hazard) estimate between 6 to 12 million cases of head lice infestations will occur this year in the USA and around 3 million people will also have head lice infestations in the UK. Obviously head lice are a very common, very expensive and very annoying persistant problem for children, parents and schools.
Head lice are tiny, little "vampires" that feed exclusively on human blood and can only be spread through direct contact. Although head lice can be really annoying, they are not very dangerous. Head Lice have three stages - nit or egg, nymph and adults. When you are infested with lice, you are bound to have lice in all three stages and you need to remove all three stages if you ever want to acheive real control.
If you have a child between the ages of three to ten, your child will probably develop a head lice infestation - which is a very common infestation for most children - who are in close contact with other infested friends school. Head lice infestations have managed to not only survive but to increase - despite man’s vain attempts to "control" them for thousands of years. I personally believe a young child will have been bitten thousands of times before their scalp becomes irritated enough for you to notice typical head scratching. Remember, the biggest problem you will now face is not controlling the head lice - it is in removing all of the head lice nits (eggs).
I never recommend either over-the-counter or especially prescrption lice killing products (POISONS) which I believe are not only ineffective, but extremely dangerous AND they actually make it harder to remove the nits!. There are several alternative home remedies but they are not really the complete answer either but, they are safe.
One home remedy for head lice involves saturating the hair with vinegar but, vinegar may take two or three days to kill headlice and it will not remove their nits. Yet another home remedy advises you to mix equal parts of vinegar and water and apply to the head overnight using a shower cap. You are to continue to use this remedy twice a week unttil you control all the lice but it will not remove the nits. It is extremely hard to keep a shower cap on a little child allnight long.
Another home remedy has you mash onions to release their juices and apply to the infested head. Leave on for four hours, then shampoo. Use this remedy twice a week - until the lice disappear. (But, the nits will still be there.)
You can also add a few drops of baby oil to vinegar and apply to the head, Leave the mixture on for one hour, then shampoo thoroughly. You can also mix half a pound of butter with a few drops of lemon juice. Apply to the hair; leave on for about 20 minutes, then wash thoroughly. Note: neither treatment will remove all of the nits.
You can also mash an apple and massage it into the scalp. Wash off after half an hour. Or, you can make a paste of garlic and lemon juice. Apply this to the hair and leave on for 30 minutes. Wash thoroughly. Neither treatment will remove the nits.
You can grind a custard-apple, including seeds, to make a fine paste. Massage the paste onto the hair and cover with a cloth or shower cap. Wear it overnight. Shampoo hair well in the morning. Once again this treatment will not remove nits and it is very difficult to keep a little child's head covered even for a little while.
Another remedy suggests that you can mixing several drops of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) in a bottle of shampoo- then use this mix on a daily basis for at least five to seven days. Another way is to apply tea tree oil directly to the head and leave on overnight. Wear a head covering to avoid staining bed linens.Tea tree oil will also not remove the nits and the pure essential tea tree oil can be be very irritating, especially to sensitive areas. Some people and cats have a high sensitivity to the tea tree oil and you must keep it away from the eyes! Note: Tea tree oil has estrogenic and anti-androgenic properties.
You can try to use mayonnaise to "control" head lice. But you need to cover the hair with a shower cap for eight hours to suffocate the head lice. Personally I think that this is a terrible mess and I know of no way to keep the shower cap on a 3 to 10 year old's head for eight hours .
Salt water is far more effective - it basically kills lice instantly, rinses out easily but, it also does not remove the nits.
The oldest way to remove head lice and their nits is to become a nit picker. This process however guarantees that you and the child will be having a "lousy" time, as nit-picking can be extremely frustrating, painfull and time consuming. What you will need is a lice comb, tweezers, and a bright light and you will need to nit-pick when your childs hair is still wet. The quickest, safest, most efficient way to both remove head lice and remove all of their nits without combing is by using Lice R Gone protease enzyme shampoo. Peppermint is a natural lice repellant - when a louse comes in contact with something peppermint scented, it literally will turn around and walk away. Lice R Gone is the only patented, FDA registered medical device with peppermint on the market today. Read my free Lice Chapter at: http://www.stephentvedten.com/16_Lice_&_Scabies.pdf
Lice R Gone Shampoo will safely and effectively remove both lice and nits in ten minutes if you have not previously used a toxic pediculicide POISON - if you have previously used a toxic lice POISON leave the Lice R Gone shampoo on for 30 minutes - this is done in order to dissolve the hardened nit glue. If you have an ongoing lice infestation - simply shampoo with Lice R Gone once a week for three weeks. There is enough in the Lice R Gone bottle to do 16 shampoos.