Separating Reality from Myth
In order to successfully treat and eradicate head lice from your life, you first need to separate fact from myth. There are a number lice removal service companies, treatment methods, and products that are inferior, completely ineffective, not necessary and/or possibly harmful and dangerous. Learn more about the truth of head lice treatment and removal services.
Education is Key
When your child comes home with head lice, it is important to educate yourself about the pros and cons of each removal alternative before making a lice treatment decision. You’ll want to know what the most effective and least harmful head lice treatment is. There is a wide range of treatment options available for head lice infestations (pediculosis). Your first inclination may be to buy the most toxic lice shampoo on the market. This is a dangerous option that can actually make the problem worse.
Manual Combing & Nit-Picking: Natural & Safe
The Only Guaranteed Head Lice Removal Method
Worldwide pediculosis experts confirm that mechanical removal with a comb is the safest and most effective way to treat head lice and prevent re-infestation. The fact of the matter is that the only way to properly treat and control head lice requires manual removal of lice and their eggs (nits) with a fine-toothed lice comb. When done correctly, thorough combing completely removes both lice and nits.
Even the world’s top lice experts need a microscope to identify whether or not a nit is viable (alive). That is why experts recommend that every nit and louse be combed or picked out of the hair by hand during a head lice infestation. Manual removal is the only guaranteed way to get rid of head lice. There are no short-cuts to complete removal during a head lice infestation. Other (over-the-counter and prescription) lice removal methods and products have proven to be less effective (even entirely ineffective), and have the potential to be dangerous and harmful to the applicant’s health. Manual removal is the only head lice treatment method that is completely natural, non-toxic and 100% safe.
Other Head Lice Removal Treatments
Why They Are Ineffective and Possibly Dangerous
Other treatment methods and lice removal products cannot remove ALL lice and nits on a human head and do not come with a 100% lice-free guarantee. Accordingly, the lice that remain continue to lay eggs, nits continue to hatch, and re-infestation occurs. Manual combing and removal of live lice and viable nits is the only way to properly treat head lice and prevent re-infestation.
There are no over-the-counter or prescription treatments that claim to kill lice that are totally safe and scientifically proven to be 100% effective against head lice and nits. These treatments are potentially harmful pesticides and reliance on them promotes repeated use and contributes to the toxic build up in the system and resistance to the pesticides. Are we really prepared to expose our children or ourselves to harmful chemicals?
Each person is unique and can react differently to chemicals. Although the FDA requires testing before the product is approved, it can’t foresee potential problems in every individual. It’s common for the FDA to hear about issues after the damage has been done. The National Pediculosis Association (NPA) warns there are many instances chemical head lice products should not be used. In general, children’s growing bodies are far less able to process these chemicals. They have less developed immune systems, their detoxification processes are not yet developed and their organs are still growing. This makes them far more susceptible and sensitive to toxic threats.
Over-the-counter treatments contain permethrin/pyrethrin, which is derived from chrysanthemums. Children and adults exposed to these products can have symptoms of redness, swelling, excessive itching and respiratory distress. In addition, published research indicates that 80% of adult lice are resistant to these over the counter treatments. Some studies have drawn connections between overuse of these products with leukemia and autism. Regardless, after the treatment is administered – the nits and bugs still need to be manually removed through combing.
- Solvents: Head lice pesticide preparations contain both “inert” and “active” ingredients. Active ingredients are the chemicals that kill the lice. Inert ingredients are the carriers for these chemicals. In lice treatment products, it is common for active chemical ingredients to be dissolved in an inert solvent. However, “inert” does not equal “harmless.” Exposure to these toxic solvents can be significantly worse than the actual chemicals themselves.
- Lice shampoos: Shampoos kill only 50-70 % of nits. Remaining nits will hatch, generating a cycle of re-infestation. Most people mistakenly believe one application of an over the counter shampoo will be enough to control the infestation. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Shampoos do not kill eggs under the age of four days. Manual lice and nit removal is still necessary.
Treatments Prescribed by Doctors for Head Lice Removal:
- Malathion: A highly toxic derivative of nerve gas which works by disrupting the chemical reactions in lice and human nervous systems. Extremely toxic orally, Malathion is a possible carcinogen, mutagen (mutates DNA) and endocrine disrupter. In its raw state, malathion is readily absorbed into the skin. Learn more about Malathion.
- Lindane: Though this toxic chemical has been globally banned for use in agriculture, it is still the working ingredient in more than 2 million prescriptions for head lice and scabies. New York followed California in banning the chemical compound and it’s forbidden in 52 countries. Despite evidence of its health dangers, parts of the U.S. still allow prescriptions containing Lindane in pharmaceutical compounds. Lindane can have a number of health impacts, including neurological effects, cancer, blood disorders, endocrine disruption, liver toxicity, reproductive effects and immunological effects. Read more about Lindane.
- Benzyl Alcohol: Fairly new on the market and used to smother adult lice but does nothing for nits. Manual lice & nit removal is still necessary.
- Controlled Heated Air Devices: Technology that claims to ‘dehydrate’ bugs and kill all three stages of head lice. The claims have not been substantiated by any official studies or research, and are only based on the company’s contentions. Per the company’s own literature, manual removal is still necessary.
- Cetaphil, Vaseline and Olive Oil: Used to smother lice, must remain on the hair for 8-12 hours and repeated 3-4 times over several weeks but still does not get rid of nits. Manual removal is still necessary.