Treating head lice!

2

What is Head Lice? Also called Pediculus humanus capitis (peh-DICK-you-lus HUE-man-us CAP-ih-TUS), head lice are parasitic insects found on the heads of people. Having head lice is very common. However, there are no reliable data on how many people get head lice in the United States each year.

Who is at risk for getting it? Anyone who comes in close contact (especially head-to-head contact) with someone who already has head lice is at greatest risk. Occasionally, head lice may be acquired from contact with clothing (such as hats, scarves, coats) or other personal items (such as brushes or towels) that belong to an infested person. Preschool and elementary-age children, 3-11, and their families are infested most often. Girls get head lice more often than boys, women more than men. In the United States, African-Americans rarely get head lice. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.

What do head lice look like? There are three forms of lice: the egg (also called a nit), the nymph, and the adult. Nits are head lice eggs. They are very small, about the size of a knot in thread, hard to see, and are often confused for dandruff or hair spray droplets. They are firmly attached to the hair shaft. They are oval and usually yellow to white. Nymph: The nit hatches into a baby louse called a nymph. It looks like an adult head louse, but is smaller. Adult: The adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed, has six legs, and is tan to greyish-white. Adult lice can live up to 30 days on a persons head. To live, adult lice need to feed on blood. If the louse falls off a person, it dies within approximately 2 days.
What are the signs and symptoms of head lice infestation? Tickling feeling of something moving in the hair. Itching, caused by an allergic reaction to the bites. Irritability. Sores on the head caused by scratching. These sores can sometimes become infected.

How is it diagnosed? An infestation is diagnosed by looking closely through the hair and scalp for nits, nymphs, or adults. Finding a nymph or adult may be difficult; there are usually few of them and they can move quickly from searching fingers. If crawling lice are not seen, finding nits within a 1/4 inch of the scalp confirms that a person is infested and should be treated. If you are not sure if a person has head lice, the diagnosis should be made by your health care provider, school nurse, or a professional from the local health department or agricultural extension service.

NATURAL PRODUCTS:

Olive Oil: Put olive oil on your childs hair and put a plastic wrap around without leaving any air come in. The oil will thus asphyxiate head lice. After about two hours, preferably three, wash the hair with mild shampoo, rinse well and comb the hair with a head lice comb to remove dead lice.

Vinegar: Vinegar is a very powerful weapon against head lice eggs, called nits. Vinegar will not kill adult head lice but the acid contained in vinegar might kill nymphs, though, which are young lice that cannot lay eggs yet. You can use different types of vinegars for head lice, such as white vinegar, wine vinegar (red or white), or apple cider vinegar. Using vinegar to remove head lice will be effective because vinegar dissolves whatever glue lice use to lay eggs on the hair shaft. Dont forget to comb your hair and rinse it with equal parts of water and vinegar after the vinegar lice treatment for maximum effectiveness.

Mayonnaise: There are no scientific studies that prove the effectiveness of mayonnaise as a treatment for head lice, but there are many parents who have been using it for years and are very satisfied with the effectiveness of this home remedy against adult head lice (expect to only get rid of adult lice and nymphs and not lice eggs). You should not use low fat mayonnaise, as it will not have enough oil in it to kill adult lice. Apply the mayonnaise on the hair, coating very well and insisting on the scalp area, the neck area and behind the ears. This is where adult lice are more likely to be found. Wrap the hair well in a plastic wrap or a shower cap and leave on for 8 hours (overnight).

Coconut Oil: Instead of mayonnaise I would use coconut oil as a preventative. It is a great conditioner for the hair. You can get the coconut oil to a liquid state by placing the bottle of oil in a pan of water and heat lightly so that the solid matter turns to liquid.(you can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to this) Then you saturate the hair with the with the oil, place a plastic cap (or bag) over the hair and let the child sit with it for 1-2, and then shampoo. You will find that the hair is in a wonderful condition.

Natural Preventative Products: Fair Tales Hair Care Rosemary Repel

REMINDERS FOR KIDS
  • Remind your children not to share brushes, combs or hats with other kids and that they bring their own pillows on sleep over dates.
WEBSITES:
  • Center For Disease Control: www.CDC.Gov
  • Health Site: www.KidsHealth.org
TREATING HEAD LICE

The most important step in treating a head lice infestation is to treat the person and other family members with head lice with medication to kill the lice. Wash clothing and bedding worn or used by the infested person in the 2-day period just before treatment is started.

Treat the infested person: Requires using an over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication. Follow these treatment steps:

Before applying treatment, remove all clothing from the waist up.

Apply lice medicine, also called pediculicide (peh-DICK-you-luh-side), according to label instructions. If your child has extra long hair (longer than shoulder length), you may need to use a second bottle. Pay special attention to instructions on the bottle regarding how long the medication should be left on and whether rinsing the hair is recommended after treatment. WARNING: Do NOT use a creme rinse or combination shampoo/conditioner before using lice medicine. Do not re-wash hair for 1-2 days after treatment.

Have the infested person put on clean clothing after treatment.

If a few live lice are still found 8-12 hours after treatment, but are moving more slowly than before, do not retreat. Comb dead and remaining live lice out of the hair. The medicine may take longer to kill lice.

If, after 8-12 hours of treatment, no dead lice are found and lice seem as active as before, the medicine may not be working. See your health care provider for a different medication; follow treatment directions.

Nit (head lice egg) combs, often found in lice medicine packages, should be used to comb nits and lice from the hair shaft.

After treatment, check hair and comb with a nit comb to remove nits and lice every 2-3 days. Continue to check for 2-3 weeks until you are sure all lice and nits are gone.

If using OTC pediculicides, retreat in 7-10 days. If using the prescription drug malathion, retreat in 7-10 days ONLY if crawling bugs are found.

When treating lice: Do not use extra amounts of the lice medication unless instructed. These drugs are insecticides and can be dangerous when misused or overused. Do not treat the infested person more than 3 times with the same medication if it does not seem to work. See your health care provider for alternative medication. Do not mix head lice drugs.

Treat the household:

Head lice do not survive long if they fall off a person and cannot feed. You dont need to spend a lot of time or money on housecleaning activities. Follow these steps to help avoid re-infestation by lice that have recently fallen off the hair or crawled onto clothing or furniture.

To kill lice and nits, machine wash all washable clothing and bed linens that the infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment. Use the hot water (130F) cycle. Dry laundry using high heat for at least 20 minutes. Put pillows in the dryer.

Dry clean clothing that is not washable, (coats, hats, scarves, etc.). OR Store all clothing, stuffed animals, comforters, etc., that cannot be washed or dry cleaned into a plastic bag; seal for 2 weeks.
Soak combs and brushes for 1 hour in rubbing alcohol, Lysol*, or wash with soap and hot (130F) water.
Vacuum the floor and furniture. The risk of getting re-infested from a louse that has fallen onto a carpet or sofa is very small.

Prevent Reinfestation:

Lice are most commonly spread directly by head-to-head contact and much less frequently by lice that have crawled onto clothing or belongings. As a short-term measure to control a head lice outbreak in a community, school, or camp, you can teach children to avoid playtime and other activities that are likely to spread lice.

Avoid head-to-head contact common during play at school and at home (sports activities, on a playground, slumber parties, at camp). Do not share clothing, such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, or hair ribbons. Do not share infested combs, brushes, or towels. Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with an infested person.

My child has head lice. I dont. Should I treat myself to prevent being infested?

No, although anyone living with an infested person can get head lice. Check household contacts for lice and nits every 2-3 days.

Treat only if crawling lice or nits (eggs) within a 1/4 inch of the scalp are found.

I have heard that head lice medications dont work, or that head lice are resistant to medication. Is this true?

Like germs that are resistant to antibiotics, some lice also develop resistance to the medicine used to kill them. However, there are many reasons why medications may seem not to work

  • Not following treatment instructions fully. Common problems include:
    making the hair too wet with water before applying a pediculicide this dilutes the pediculicide
    using a creme rinse or conditioner shampoo before applying a pediculicide this interferes with the medication
    failure to leave the pediculicide on long enough follow drug label instructions
    re-shampooing the hair again immediately after applying the pediculicide dont rewash hair for 1-2 days after treatment
    inadequate amount of medication extra long hair may require two bottles of pediculide to fully wet the hair
    not combing. Using medication alone may not be enough to cure a head lice infestation. Combing the hair to remove lice and eggs has been shown to help.
  • Medication not working at all (resistance).
    If head lice medication does not kill any crawling bugs within 24 hours, then resistance is likely. If the medication kills some of the bugs or the bugs are twitching 24 hours after treatment then resistance to medication is probably not occurring.
  • Medication kills crawling bugs, but is not able to penetrate the eggs. It is very difficult for head lice medication to penetrate the nit shell. Medication may effectively kill crawling bugs, but may not treat the nits. This is why follow-up treatment is recommended.
  • New infection. You can get infested more than once with head lice. Children often get re-infested from a playmate. If your child is infested, discuss it with parents of the children your child plays with. Treating all infested children at the same time will help prevent reinfestation.
  • Misdiagnosis of a head lice infestation. A diagnosis can be made if a person has crawling bugs on the head or many lice eggs within 1/4 inch (about the width of your little finger) of the scalp. Nits found on the hair shaft further than 1/4 inch from the scalp have already hatched. Treatment is not recommended for people who only have nits further than 1/4 inch away from the scalp
Should my pets be treated for head lice?
  • No. Head lice do not live on pets.
My child is under 2 years old and has been diagnosed with head lice. Can I treat him or her with prescription or OTC drugs?
  • For children under 2 years old, remove crawling bugs and nits using a nit comb. If this does not work, ask your childs health care provider for treatment recommendations. The safety of head lice medications has not been tested in children 2 years of age and under.
What medications are available to treat head lice?

Many head lice medications are available at your local drug store. Each over the counter product contains one of the following active ingredients.

  • Pyrethrins (pie-WREATH-rins) often combined with piperonyl butoxide (pie-PER-a-nil beu-TOX-side): Brand name products include A-200*, Pronto*, R&C*, Rid*, Triple X*. Pyrethrins are natural extracts from the chrysanthemum flower. Though safe and effective, pyrethrins only kill crawling lice, not unhatched nits. A second treatment is recommended in 7-10 days to kill any newly hatched lice. Treatment failures are common.
  • Permethrin (per-meth-rin): Brand name product: Nix*. Permethrins are similar to natural pyrethrins. Permethrins are safe and effective and may continue to kill newly hatched lice for several days after treatment. A second treatment may be necessary in 7-10 days to kill any newly hatched lice that may have hatched after residual medication from the first treatment was no longer active. Treatment failures are common.
What are the prescription drugs used to treat head lice?
  • Malathion (Ovide*): When used as directed, malathion is effective in treating lice. Some medication remains on the hair and can kill newly hatched lice for seven days after treatment. Malathion is intended for use on people 6 years of age and older. Malathion may sting if applied to open sores caused by scratching. The medication is flammable. Click here for instructions on how to use malathion to treat head lice.
  • Lindane (Kwell*): When used as directed, the drug is probably safe. Overuse, misuse, or accidentally swallowing Lindane can be toxic to the brain and other parts of the nervous system. For those reasons Lindane is generally used only if other medications have failed. Lindane should not be used if excessive scratching has caused open sores on the head. It should be used with caution in persons who weigh less than 110 pounds.

[FACTS Adapted from Center For Disease Control site]

September 28, 2014

Leave a comment

2 comments

  1. junosays: December 3, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    We discovered a local company hat makes a non pesticide lice killing spray it saved us from the constant struggle when our kids brought lice home from kindergarten and we just could Not get rid of them! http://www.Liceease.com

  2. Julie Esays: October 1, 2014 at 11:20 am

    If clothing & bedding is not dirty, please do not waste water washing! Water does not kill lice, heat does. Just put your stuff in the dryer on high for 20 minutes. #saveeverydrop

RELATED CHATS

Treating head lice!Hyperactive and ADHD in Young Children: Some Alternative SolutionsTreating head lice!Backpack Display at UCSB to Help Create a Dialogue About SuicideTreating head lice!To toss or not to toss: is your toothbrush making you sick?

What is Head Lice? Also called Pediculus humanus capitis (peh-DICK-you-lus HUE-man-us CAP-ih-TUS), head lice are parasitic insects found on the heads of people. Having head lice is very common. However, there are no reliable data on how many people get head lice in the United States each year.

Who is at risk for getting it? Anyone who comes in close contact (especially head-to-head contact) with someone who already has head lice is at greatest risk. Occasionally, head lice may be acquired from contact with clothing (such as hats, scarves, coats) or other personal items (such as brushes or towels) that belong to an infested person. Preschool and elementary-age children, 3-11, and their families are infested most often. Girls get head lice more often than boys, women more than men. In the United States, African-Americans rarely get head lice. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.

What do head lice look like? There are three forms of lice: the egg (also called a nit), the nymph, and the adult. Nits are head lice eggs. They are very small, about the size of a knot in thread, hard to see, and are often confused for dandruff or hair spray droplets. They are firmly attached to the hair shaft. They are oval and usually yellow to white. Nymph: The nit hatches into a baby louse called a nymph. It looks like an adult head louse, but is smaller. Adult: The adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed, has six legs, and is tan to greyish-white. Adult lice can live up to 30 days on a persons head. To live, adult lice need to feed on blood. If the louse falls off a person, it dies within approximately 2 days.
What are the signs and symptoms of head lice infestation? Tickling feeling of something moving in the hair. Itching, caused by an allergic reaction to the bites. Irritability. Sores on the head caused by scratching. These sores can sometimes become infected.

How is it diagnosed? An infestation is diagnosed by looking closely through the hair and scalp for nits, nymphs, or adults. Finding a nymph or adult may be difficult; there are usually few of them and they can move quickly from searching fingers. If crawling lice are not seen, finding nits within a 1/4 inch of the scalp confirms that a person is infested and should be treated. If you are not sure if a person has head lice, the diagnosis should be made by your health care provider, school nurse, or a professional from the local health department or agricultural extension service.

NATURAL PRODUCTS:

Olive Oil: Put olive oil on your childs hair and put a plastic wrap around without leaving any air come in. The oil will thus asphyxiate head lice. After about two hours, preferably three, wash the hair with mild shampoo, rinse well and comb the hair with a head lice comb to remove dead lice.

Vinegar: Vinegar is a very powerful weapon against head lice eggs, called nits. Vinegar will not kill adult head lice but the acid contained in vinegar might kill nymphs, though, which are young lice that cannot lay eggs yet. You can use different types of vinegars for head lice, such as white vinegar, wine vinegar (red or white), or apple cider vinegar. Using vinegar to remove head lice will be effective because vinegar dissolves whatever glue lice use to lay eggs on the hair shaft. Dont forget to comb your hair and rinse it with equal parts of water and vinegar after the vinegar lice treatment for maximum effectiveness.

Mayonnaise: There are no scientific studies that prove the effectiveness of mayonnaise as a treatment for head lice, but there are many parents who have been using it for years and are very satisfied with the effectiveness of this home remedy against adult head lice (expect to only get rid of adult lice and nymphs and not lice eggs). You should not use low fat mayonnaise, as it will not have enough oil in it to kill adult lice. Apply the mayonnaise on the hair, coating very well and insisting on the scalp area, the neck area and behind the ears. This is where adult lice are more likely to be found. Wrap the hair well in a plastic wrap or a shower cap and leave on for 8 hours (overnight).

Coconut Oil: Instead of mayonnaise I would use coconut oil as a preventative. It is a great conditioner for the hair. You can get the coconut oil to a liquid state by placing the bottle of oil in a pan of water and heat lightly so that the solid matter turns to liquid.(you can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to this) Then you saturate the hair with the with the oil, place a plastic cap (or bag) over the hair and let the child sit with it for 1-2, and then shampoo. You will find that the hair is in a wonderful condition.

Natural Preventative Products: Fair Tales Hair Care Rosemary Repel

REMINDERS FOR KIDS
  • Remind your children not to share brushes, combs or hats with other kids and that they bring their own pillows on sleep over dates.
WEBSITES:
  • Center For Disease Control: www.CDC.Gov
  • Health Site: www.KidsHealth.org
TREATING HEAD LICE

The most important step in treating a head lice infestation is to treat the person and other family members with head lice with medication to kill the lice. Wash clothing and bedding worn or used by the infested person in the 2-day period just before treatment is started.

Treat the infested person: Requires using an over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication. Follow these treatment steps:

Before applying treatment, remove all clothing from the waist up.

Apply lice medicine, also called pediculicide (peh-DICK-you-luh-side), according to label instructions. If your child has extra long hair (longer than shoulder length), you may need to use a second bottle. Pay special attention to instructions on the bottle regarding how long the medication should be left on and whether rinsing the hair is recommended after treatment. WARNING: Do NOT use a creme rinse or combination shampoo/conditioner before using lice medicine. Do not re-wash hair for 1-2 days after treatment.

Have the infested person put on clean clothing after treatment.

If a few live lice are still found 8-12 hours after treatment, but are moving more slowly than before, do not retreat. Comb dead and remaining live lice out of the hair. The medicine may take longer to kill lice.

If, after 8-12 hours of treatment, no dead lice are found and lice seem as active as before, the medicine may not be working. See your health care provider for a different medication; follow treatment directions.

Nit (head lice egg) combs, often found in lice medicine packages, should be used to comb nits and lice from the hair shaft.

After treatment, check hair and comb with a nit comb to remove nits and lice every 2-3 days. Continue to check for 2-3 weeks until you are sure all lice and nits are gone.

If using OTC pediculicides, retreat in 7-10 days. If using the prescription drug malathion, retreat in 7-10 days ONLY if crawling bugs are found.

When treating lice: Do not use extra amounts of the lice medication unless instructed. These drugs are insecticides and can be dangerous when misused or overused. Do not treat the infested person more than 3 times with the same medication if it does not seem to work. See your health care provider for alternative medication. Do not mix head lice drugs.

Treat the household:

Head lice do not survive long if they fall off a person and cannot feed. You dont need to spend a lot of time or money on housecleaning activities. Follow these steps to help avoid re-infestation by lice that have recently fallen off the hair or crawled onto clothing or furniture.

To kill lice and nits, machine wash all washable clothing and bed linens that the infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment. Use the hot water (130F) cycle. Dry laundry using high heat for at least 20 minutes. Put pillows in the dryer.

Dry clean clothing that is not washable, (coats, hats, scarves, etc.). OR Store all clothing, stuffed animals, comforters, etc., that cannot be washed or dry cleaned into a plastic bag; seal for 2 weeks.
Soak combs and brushes for 1 hour in rubbing alcohol, Lysol*, or wash with soap and hot (130F) water.
Vacuum the floor and furniture. The risk of getting re-infested from a louse that has fallen onto a carpet or sofa is very small.

Prevent Reinfestation:

Lice are most commonly spread directly by head-to-head contact and much less frequently by lice that have crawled onto clothing or belongings. As a short-term measure to control a head lice outbreak in a community, school, or camp, you can teach children to avoid playtime and other activities that are likely to spread lice.

Avoid head-to-head contact common during play at school and at home (sports activities, on a playground, slumber parties, at camp). Do not share clothing, such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, or hair ribbons. Do not share infested combs, brushes, or towels. Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with an infested person.

My child has head lice. I dont. Should I treat myself to prevent being infested?

No, although anyone living with an infested person can get head lice. Check household contacts for lice and nits every 2-3 days.

Treat only if crawling lice or nits (eggs) within a 1/4 inch of the scalp are found.

I have heard that head lice medications dont work, or that head lice are resistant to medication. Is this true?

Like germs that are resistant to antibiotics, some lice also develop resistance to the medicine used to kill them. However, there are many reasons why medications may seem not to work

  • Not following treatment instructions fully. Common problems include:
    making the hair too wet with water before applying a pediculicide this dilutes the pediculicide
    using a creme rinse or conditioner shampoo before applying a pediculicide this interferes with the medication
    failure to leave the pediculicide on long enough follow drug label instructions
    re-shampooing the hair again immediately after applying the pediculicide dont rewash hair for 1-2 days after treatment
    inadequate amount of medication extra long hair may require two bottles of pediculide to fully wet the hair
    not combing. Using medication alone may not be enough to cure a head lice infestation. Combing the hair to remove lice and eggs has been shown to help.
  • Medication not working at all (resistance).
    If head lice medication does not kill any crawling bugs within 24 hours, then resistance is likely. If the medication kills some of the bugs or the bugs are twitching 24 hours after treatment then resistance to medication is probably not occurring.
  • Medication kills crawling bugs, but is not able to penetrate the eggs. It is very difficult for head lice medication to penetrate the nit shell. Medication may effectively kill crawling bugs, but may not treat the nits. This is why follow-up treatment is recommended.
  • New infection. You can get infested more than once with head lice. Children often get re-infested from a playmate. If your child is infested, discuss it with parents of the children your child plays with. Treating all infested children at the same time will help prevent reinfestation.
  • Misdiagnosis of a head lice infestation. A diagnosis can be made if a person has crawling bugs on the head or many lice eggs within 1/4 inch (about the width of your little finger) of the scalp. Nits found on the hair shaft further than 1/4 inch from the scalp have already hatched. Treatment is not recommended for people who only have nits further than 1/4 inch away from the scalp
Should my pets be treated for head lice?
  • No. Head lice do not live on pets.
My child is under 2 years old and has been diagnosed with head lice. Can I treat him or her with prescription or OTC drugs?
  • For children under 2 years old, remove crawling bugs and nits using a nit comb. If this does not work, ask your childs health care provider for treatment recommendations. The safety of head lice medications has not been tested in children 2 years of age and under.
What medications are available to treat head lice?

Many head lice medications are available at your local drug store. Each over the counter product contains one of the following active ingredients.

  • Pyrethrins (pie-WREATH-rins) often combined with piperonyl butoxide (pie-PER-a-nil beu-TOX-side): Brand name products include A-200*, Pronto*, R&C*, Rid*, Triple X*. Pyrethrins are natural extracts from the chrysanthemum flower. Though safe and effective, pyrethrins only kill crawling lice, not unhatched nits. A second treatment is recommended in 7-10 days to kill any newly hatched lice. Treatment failures are common.
  • Permethrin (per-meth-rin): Brand name product: Nix*. Permethrins are similar to natural pyrethrins. Permethrins are safe and effective and may continue to kill newly hatched lice for several days after treatment. A second treatment may be necessary in 7-10 days to kill any newly hatched lice that may have hatched after residual medication from the first treatment was no longer active. Treatment failures are common.
What are the prescription drugs used to treat head lice?
  • Malathion (Ovide*): When used as directed, malathion is effective in treating lice. Some medication remains on the hair and can kill newly hatched lice for seven days after treatment. Malathion is intended for use on people 6 years of age and older. Malathion may sting if applied to open sores caused by scratching. The medication is flammable. Click here for instructions on how to use malathion to treat head lice.
  • Lindane (Kwell*): When used as directed, the drug is probably safe. Overuse, misuse, or accidentally swallowing Lindane can be toxic to the brain and other parts of the nervous system. For those reasons Lindane is generally used only if other medications have failed. Lindane should not be used if excessive scratching has caused open sores on the head. It should be used with caution in persons who weigh less than 110 pounds.

[FACTS Adapted from Center For Disease Control site]

Category: Health care & fitness

SUBSCRIBE – WEEKLY SCENE

Weekly SceneBusiness Update

First Last

Emai

ZIP

April 2020
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
March 30, 2020 March 31, 2020 April 1, 2020 April 2, 2020 April 3, 2020 April 4, 2020 April 5, 2020
April 6, 2020 April 7, 2020 April 8, 2020 April 9, 2020 April 10, 2020 April 11, 2020 April 12, 2020
April 13, 2020 April 14, 2020 April 15, 2020 April 16, 2020 April 17, 2020 April 18, 2020 April 19, 2020
April 20, 2020 April 21, 2020 April 22, 2020 April 23, 2020 April 24, 2020 April 25, 2020 April 26, 2020
April 27, 2020 April 28, 2020 April 29, 2020 April 30, 2020 May 1, 2020 May 2, 2020 May 3, 2020