Head lice is an extremely contagious infection caused by the infestation of the human head louse (pediculus humanus capitis). Head lice or pediculosis capitis can occur in anyone, but children aged 3-11 years old are most likely to become affected. Even the wealthiest people can be affected, as the infestation is not the result of the cleanliness of a person or the type of environment they are in.
Head lice infestation is also more common in girls than boys because girls usually have longer and smoother hair, which allows human lice to grab on easily. It is usually common in daycare centers, nurseries, playgrounds, schools, or other places where there is unusually close personal contact.
Effective Treatments Available for Head Lice
There are several effective head lice treatments available, with most of them needing to be used twice in order to kill the newly-hatched eggs (nits) of the lice.
Here are some of the most common treatments available for head lice.
- Over-the-counter medications
Over-the-counter medications only eliminate live lice, not their nits. So, you may want to use two treatments at least a week apart, to stop adult lice from laying eggs. These medications often contain chemicals that can kill lice such as:
- Pyrethrin. This is a pesticide made from chrysanthemum flowers which is ideal for use in children aged two years old and above. Do not use pyrethrin, however, if you are allergic to chrysanthemums.
- Permethrin. Here’s a synthetic pesticide that works in the same way as pyrethrin, but is only approved for use on babies and children who are over two months of age.
- Prescription medications
Here are a couple of prescribed medications approved for use in treating head lice.
- Benzyl alcohol. This is a lotion that can kill active lice and is approved for use for babies and children six months and older.
- Ivermectin. Here’s another lotion that is extremely effective in killing head lice and the newly hatched lice in just one use.
- Malathion. This is a strong lotion that can paralyze and kill lice, including the eggs. It is only approved for use on children aged six years and older. If you can still see head lice after one week, you should use the treatment again.
- Spinosad. This is a strong, effective treatment that can kill lice, including their eggs, in just one use.
Tips For Removing Head Lice
If you don’t want to use chemical treatments for head lice, you can use some home remedy tips to remove them. Here are some tips:
- Use a fine-tooth comb. A fine-tooth comb can remove lice and their eggs. You just have to wet your hair and use it to comb your hair. You may need to do this every week until you no longer see any lice moving on your head.
- Use a hairdryer. Hairdryers are not only used for drying the hair, but they can also be used for killing and eradicating head lice. Use a hair dryer on your freshly-washed hair so you can get rid of these parasitic insects.
- Use olive oil. One way to kill head lice is to suffocate them with olive oil. Apply olive oil on your hair overnight and comb it afterward to remove the lice and nits. Olive oil can help loosen the lice and the eggs from your hair shafts.
- Clean your house properly. You must clean your house properly to help prevent the spread of these parasitic insects.
- Avoid using other people’s hygienic items. You can reduce your chances of getting infected by not using other people’s combs, hats, scarves, etc.
You will need time and patience to get rid of these parasitic insects completely. Just properly follow instructions when using the best lice treatment. If you are using home remedies to treat head lice, always do it regularly. Consistency is key.
You may be able to kill these parasitic insects now, but there’s still a chance that you will be infected again. Prevention is always important when it comes to treating head lice.
Angelic Jones writes for Lice Care Solutions as a contributor where she offers quite the informative take on the site’s services such as best lice treatment and lice removal. Her fascination with health subjects allows Angelic to offer quite a unique spin on her pieces and make them interesting for readers. Angelic spends her free time checking the latest in fashion trends.