Head lice are tiny little bugs that feed on blood from the human scalp and cause itching. These wingless creatures, fortunately, do not carry any diseases but definitely affects the confidence of the child. Seeing your child scratching his/her head furiously like a monkey is not a good sight. The problems with head lice are more social related than health. Therefore, it is important that treatment for head lice removal is started as early as possible.
Head lice are common and mostly affect 3-12-year-olds. Every year, almost 6-8 million children in this age group get head lice. Children are usually most susceptible to catching head lice because they group together while playing. Head lice can’t fly or jump so they move from person to person when they come into direct contact head to head.
Symptoms of Head Lice include-
- Itching behind the ears, near the nape
- Tickling sensation in a day or while sleeping
- Bite marks near the ear or nape
- A dandruff-like appearance which does not wash away
Treatment for Head Lice can be done in two ways – going to a head lice removal clinic or doing it in the home. Both are effective, the difference comes from the cost and time involved. If you are planning to do it in the home, then you can try out the following treatments and remedies-
Combing is The Start
The first step to any head lice removal treatment is to use a nit-picking comb and run it over the head. A good quality comb will remove most head lice and their nits. Even if you are using a specialized shampoo or conditioner, it is necessary to comb the hair as it removes any leftovers.
Run the comb multiple times over wet hair and see if any strays are left or not. Long hair is slightly more time consuming to comb than short hair.
Use a Conditioner-and-Comb Method
You can always use the counter insecticides and shampoos but most of them are ineffective. A more effective way is to use a special head-lice conditioner. It is a cheap product that you can use with combing.
It has a special chemical that when applied, immobilizes the lice. You then run a comb over the conditioned hair to remove the lice. The main limitation is that it only works with adult lice and not nits.
After using the conditioner and comb method, you can use hair dryers to remove the nits. After having a wash, use the blow dryer to heat the hair. It will kill most of the nits and some live lice. This method should not be used after applying OTC medicines or shampoos as these can contain inflammable chemicals.
Ivermectin 0.5% is a naturally derived anti-parasitic drug that is recommended for killing many forms of human parasites including head lice. When applied, it paralyzes and kills off the adult lice, or it stops them from making larvae for a while. This treats the infestation.
Using Listerine is a cheap and effective way of killing the lice. Just pour it on the scalp and cover it with a shower cap. Within 3-4 hours it will do its job. Don’t let it come in contact with the eyes.
Head lice are a common and annoying problem that can cause irritation and itching in kids and adults. Let’s have a look at the symptoms of head lice and how you can use these five simple, cheap and easy to use treatments for head lice removal.