Any child can get head lice. Families need to know that there is no association between head lice infestations and poor hygiene or socioeconomic status. Head lice spread through close contact. They can't jump or fly so they must crawl between touching heads. They can also be spread through the sharing of combs, brushes, hats, etc.
In an article for the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright© 2006 by the American Academy of Pediatrics), authors Brad M. Goates, MS, Joseph S. Atkin, BA, Kevin G. Wilding, BS, Kurtis G. Birch, BS, Michael R. Cottam, MS, Sarah E. Bush, PhD, and Dale H. Clayton, MS, PhD tested different treatment methods on a total of 169 individuals infested with head lice.
THE RESULTS: The most successful and safe method, which used a custom-built machine called the LouseBuster, resulted in nearly 100% mortality of eggs and 80% mortality of hatched lice. Virtually all subjects were cured of head lice when examined one week after treatment with the LouseBuster. There were no adverse effects of treatment.
THE CONCLUSIONS. Findings demonstrate that one 30-minute application of hot air eradicates head lice infestations. In summary, hot air is an effective, safe treatment and one to which lice are unlikely to evolve resistance.
THE QUESTION: WHY? Most doctors recommend using ineffective over-the-counter or prescription lice treatments that contain pesticides. However, what parent wants to apply a pesticide directly to their children’s skin. Many doctors will also prescribe an oral systemic medication, but these medicines only kill adult lice as they bite into a person, but they won't kill off nits, which means the infestation will continue and existing eggs will hatch and the cycle continues. Nits are the bane of many families’ lives because once your child gets them the whole family needs to take preventative measures. Sadly, the most common approach is to use shampoos and lotions, many of which contain dangerous chemicals.
Over the counter medications include pyrethrins with piperonyl butoxide (marketed under the name "Rid”) and Permethin (marketed under the name “Nix”). These products have been in use for decades and while they were once very effective against lice and their eggs, they have become less and less effective. Like antibiotic resistant bacteria, the lice have evolved immunity to the pesticides that have been in use for so long.
Manufacturers are now marketing a permethrin spray for the home so that worried parents can kill lice around their homes and in their cars. Why companies are encouraging parents to spray poison in their homes in an effort to "clean" them cannot be explained. Simple vacuuming is effective.
Some doctors prescribe a pesticide called Malathion. Malathion is only available by prescription and requires an 8-12 hour treatment. It is marketed under the name "Ovide." The CDC acknowledges that Ovide may only be partially ovicidal. This means that it only kills some lice eggs (nits) but not all. Further, this means that an additional 8-12 hour exposure may be necessary to kill any remaining bugs that hatch from nits left viable after the treatment. It is curious that a doctor would prescribe this as a first line treatment (after over-the-counter treatments), knowing that it isn't guaranteed to be a one-time solution. Then there is Ulesfia. Ulesfia is a benzyl alcohol lotion. It is an effective pediculocide (it kills lice) but it is not an ovicide (it does not kill nits/eggs). The instructions recommend another treatment in 7 days. Benzyl alcohol is systemically absorbed and it can be toxic. If one is only killing live lice and not nits, the same end could be achieved with a non-toxic product.
It should be remembered that these products are insecticides. Many products contain pesticides which are designed as neurotoxins and are potentially carcinogenic. They are totally inappropriate for use when you consider that your skin will absorb 60% of whatever you put on it.
Why on earth would you want to put pesticide on your skin when there are safer natural alternatives?
To learn more on this safe, non-toxic treatment, please contact LiceLifters of Chadds Ford at 610-558-1434 or JYoung@licelifters.com. Visit www.licelifters.com for more information.