Head Lice Facts and faction

Tuesday, 23 June 2015  |  Editor

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About head lice treatment
  • For the infestation to stop, all head lice and eggs (nits) must be killed at the same time
  • Treatments which effectively eliminate head lice will not require the use of a nit comb as the dead insects will drop out while washing the hair (one cannot defy the law of gravity! ? if the insects are dead, they have no power of attaching themselves to hair and they have to drop out)
  • Repeated applications are only required in treatments which do not kill head lice and nits after the first application
  • Inappropriately, herbs with anti-septic rather that anti-parasitic properties are used in various formulas to fight parasites. This is why they are not effective on lice but are more suitable for the cosmetic industry to make soaps, face washes, body creams, etc.
  • Using the fine tooth comb rarely removes nits as the conditioner makes hair slippery and the comb cannot grip the eggs well, which are firmly glued to the hair
  • Prolonged nit combing damages hair and roots. It may lead to more dandruff, irritated and broken skin and secondary scalp infection
  • Dry nit combing is more painful and damaging to hair than wet combing but is more successful at removing the eggs
  • Nit combing with conditioner is purely a cosmetic procedure when live lice, which are tangled up in a conditioner or shampoo, are manually removed. This must be repeated thoroughly many times for at least 2 weeks and the person treated must be away from the source of infection. If re-infestation occurs in the meantime, this method becomes an endless and frustrating task
  • Products which require re-applications and the use of a nit comb can be effectively replaced by any inexpensive hair conditioner (please check the contents for any harmful chemicals) or a teaspoon of organic cooking oil. They will act as lubricants and make hair slippery to allow the nit comb to run through easily
  • Lice can only become immune to substances which do not eliminate them and their eggs 100%. As some of them survive, over a period of time they are likely to become resistant to such products. This is believed to be the reason why chemical treatments are becoming less and less effective. Dead organisms do not build up resistance because…they are dead
  • More and more health authorities in the UK recognize the potential dangers, which the treatments with pesticides may pose so they favour wet-combing over the use of chemical shampoos
  • There is always a risk of a particularly resistant strain of lice developing (so called "Super-bug"), so if you choose to use a chemical treatment, do not repeat it over and over again, if it didn't work the first time. By re-applying, you might be adding to the problem of building up resistance in lice and you might be adversely affecting your child's health
  • Be aware of the treatments which call themselves "natural” just because they include one or two herbal ingredients. They may still contain harsh chemical additives or solvents, so always read the label carefully and do not be afraid to ask questions
  • If you suffer from any specific skin condition or scalp sensitivity even a genuine natural product may not be suitable for you. Always clarify your doubts before you make a purchase
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