If you have small children who intermix with other children, someday they might come home with head lice. See what you can do about it below.
Head lice are parasitic wingless insects. They attach themselves to people's heads and feed on their blood, causing itching and irritation of the scalp.
An adult is called a louse and is about the size of a sesame seed. The eggs, called nits, are even smaller.
Head lice are extremely contagious. They are most common among preschool children attending child care centers and elementary school. In small children they spread by head-to-head contact. Because children playing in groups are often close together, lice can readily transfer from child-to-child. They can also be spread by sharing personal belongings, such as hats or hairbrushes.
Children found to have head lice in school are likely to be sent home so as not to contaminate others.
You can detect head lice, and nits, by careful inspection of a child's head. Part the hair in several spots and use a magnifying glass in good light. Inspect the scalp for lice and the hair for nits. Lice live on the scalp but lay their eggs on the hair.
If you are really diligent and willing to spend the time, you may be able to get rid of the lice by combing and picking, but this takes time and maybe some experience. You have to get every louse and every nit.
Follow this link to see Head Lice Combs available on Amazon.com.
You can hire professional help. There are companies that specialize in this but it is expensive as they come to your house and charge by the hour at fees up to $100 per hour.
A less expensive and more thorough solution is described below.
Steps for getting rid of head lice are as follows:
1. Treat the head with a new prescription medication recently approved by the FDA, this being Ulesfia (benzyl alcohol) Lotion 5%.
2. Comb out the dead lice and nits.
3. After one weeek repeat steps 1. and 2.
4. For the next few weeks wash the hair with Rosemary Repel shampoo.
Apply the Ulesfia solution to dry hair and massage it into the scalp. Treat the whole head of hair; don't miss anything. Leave the lotion on for 10 minutes. The lotion kills the lice by suffocating them.
Rinse the lotion out of the hair using clean water. Then comb the dead lice and nits out of the hair using a lice comb.
The lotion only kills the lice, not the nits. Thus a second application of the Ulesfia lotion is required one week later. This is to kill any new lice that have hatched from any missed nits.
Shampooing with Rosemary Repel shampoo for a few weeks following treatment is a precaution. Rosemary Repel shampoo is made from plant oils and is believed to help suffocate lice.
Follow this link to see Rosemary Repel Shampoo available on Amazon.com.
Super Lice are lice that have developed an immunity to the most common over the counter remedies. Since the 1980s products used to fight head lice used pyrethrins as their active ingredient. Pyrethrins are derived from Chrysanthrmums. However genetic mutations over the years have resulted in strains of head lice that are resistant to pyrethrin.
In recent years the FDA has approved other lice fighters that are effective against super lice, however these require a prescription to obtain. These include Sklice, Ulesfla, and Natroba. The use of Ulesfla is described above.