Now that you realized you or your child has head lice, you might want to consider using head lice home remedies to remove head lice. Naturally, the first step you will want to take is to get a lice shampoo. However, do you know what you are putting on you or your child’s head when using a medicated lice shampoo? Nix, for instance, is touted to be an effective treatment for lice by the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, it contains pesticides, which might cause allergic reactions to some people. As such, people are starting to look for alternative treatment for head lice. Let’s look at how effective these alternative treatments are.
Head lice Removal
How do you determine if you or your child has head lice and what to do when it comes to head lice removal? You might observe that you kid is scratching the scalp more often, or might have seen some weird particles in his hair, so how do you know if they are lice?
Head lice are a type of human parasite that survives on a tiny amount of blood that drawn from the scalp. Children between the age of 3 to 12 are most likely to get head lice, although adults can get it too and girls usually have higher chances to get lice than boys. Identifying head lice might be challenging because they are quite tiny to be seen. Generally, most parasites do not live on the human scalp.
If you detect an insect that looks like a tan color sesame seed crawling on your child’s head, it is most likely a louse. Nits are lice eggs, and they are harder to detect, as it can be dried hair spray residue or dandruff and is not a nit. How do we tell if the particle is not a nit but is something else?
If the white thing on hair falls off quickly from the hair shaft, then most likely it is dandruff. If it is hard to remove and is tan, yellow or brown, then it is most likely a nit. Once the eggs hatched, they will look clear or white.
Head Lice Home Remedies
One of the head lice home remedies is to comb the nits out on wet hair with lice comb or pluck it out manually with a pair of tweezers. Lice are the grown or mature insects while nits are the lice eggs. This would have to be done over 7 to 10 days consecutively to ensure that the lice are entirely removed and can be very time-consuming. You will still need to comb out the nits even after using the lice shampoo.
Other natural head lice home remedies are to apply mayonnaise, olive oil or Vaseline on you or your child’s hair to smother the lice. Once you have applied it on, wear a shower cap over it and leave it overnight and wash it off the next day. Although this method can be messy, some experts believe it works in removing the lice and nits, which could be dead by then due to suffocation and also helps prevent any new nits from sticking onto the hair. After these are done, vinegar can be used to rinse off the greasy residue left on the hair.
You can consult a doctor about a topical medical prescription for treating head lice called Ulesfia, which does not contain any pesticide. You need to apply onto the hair so that the hair and scalp are thoroughly saturated and also pay attention to the area behind the ears and back of the neck. Leave it on for about 10 minutes before washing it off thoroughly. Ulesfia also helps to suffocate the head lice, and it needs to be applied again seven days later.
Herbal home remedies are also another alternative solution to killing head lice, such as using tree oil or other essential oils. They are, however, not regulated by the FDA and are less effective in working to obliterate the lice.
Head lice home remedies are not full proof. The best way is staying aware and taking preventive measures to keep lice out. If you need your kid from further head lice, there are things you can do. Girls should tie their hair up and use hair gel to tame any frizzy or flyaway hairs.
Lice haven’t got wings to fly, but they can jump and are spread from one person to another through direct contact. As such, you should also teach your children not to share hats, combs, hair ties, scarves or any other items that might have contact with the hair and scalp. When in doubt about whether you or your child have lice, it pays to get confirmation by seeking a doctor’s consultation before starting on any head lice home remedies on your own.
Tips of Lice Removal and head lice home remedies
If you find nits or lice in your hair, then you have to remove them immediately. First, you need to use a medicated head lice removal shampoo to wash your hair. When the hair is still damp, separate them into several one-inch sections and start combing them from the scalp to the tip with a fine-toothed lice comb.
You then have to wash and wipe the comb clean with each combing action before moving on to the next hair section. This is to ensure that the lice you comb out will not go back to the hair. This task alone can take several hours and is an important step that cannot be skipped, so do make sure to cover the hair thoroughly. This is because lice shampoo alone will not be able to kill nits thoroughly, as some nits might still get left behind and will go on to be hatched.
Another way on head lice removal is to use a pair of tweezers. You will still need to separate the hair in several small sections before using tweezers to pluck them out. The best way is to run through the hair again after you are done combing and pluck out any nits that are left behind with tweezers.
Once the nits are removed, they will not be able to stick to a tissue paper or napkin easily. The best way to dump these parasites is to stick them on a piece of wide masking tape. After you are done, roll up the masking tape and put it in an airtight plastic bag & dispatched in the garbage bin.
You will also need to vacuum your car upholstery too to ensure complete head lice removal. After the hair is taken care of, you have to work on the beds, carpets, furniture, and clothing. Put those items that can be washed in the washing machine on hot water, such as bed and quilt sheets, clothing and blankets. Things that you cannot clean with a washing machine can go into the dryer for about 20 minutes on a hot cycle, such as soft toys, pillows, etc. This should kill the lice and stop them from coming back.
Things to remember while following Head Lice Home Remedies
Treating head lice should start with the infected person using a special medicated shampoo that targets at removing head lice and also combing hair often to comb out all the lice and nits. Next step will be the huge but essential task of tracking what the infected person has contact with and spring cleaning of all the affected household items. The safest thing to do is spring clean your entire house, as this will give you peace of mind. You might want to engage professional help if you have the budget.
If you’re going to skip the entire spring clean, then the main focus will be to wash all the usual suspect items in a washing machine, such as clothes, bed sheets, couch, and cushion covers, blankets, quilt covers, etc. They must be washed in hot water, as lice cannot survive in temperatures above 125 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 10 minutes.
Things not safe to wash in the washer, such as quilt, cushions and soft toys, can be thrown into the dryer for 20 minutes for the same results. If you do not have a dryer, you can leave them under the hot afternoon sun for 1 hour and then turn them to the other side and leave it for another hour.
Another alternative is to dry clean your things or seal them in an airtight bag for two weeks. Brushes and combs can be cleaned by soaking them in a pot of hot water and heat it on the stove for about 10 minutes at 150 degrees Fahrenheit or on medium flame. If heating your combs and brushes in this manner will damage them, you can choose to immerse them in a phenol solution like Lysol or Dettol and soak them for an hour.
Apart from treating head lice on the head, another critical thing to do is to clean your carpet, car interior, car seats, furniture, furniture upholstery, bed, and mattresses. They should be thoroughly vacuumed and cleaned, especially for the mattress that belongs to the infected person.
To be safe, you can also leave the cushion under the sun for an hour, then flip it to the other side and leave it for another hour. If you more time, you can leave them out in the sun longer as mattresses are thick and this will ensure that no lice have a chance to survive. Engaging pest control specialist or disinfecting your home by using insecticidal sprays on furniture or carpets is not necessary, as not only they can’t eliminate head lice thoroughly, they might even destroy your furniture or carpets.
People who are misinformed will not be treating head lice using the proper methods that will eliminate the root cause and effectively obliterate the problem. It will lead to ongoing and long-term infestation not just on the affected person, but will also cause the people around him or her to get infected.
It pays to get informed and take proper steps to get lice out of your home. The safest way you and your family can follow is to prevent the problem from taking place and to kill any chances of it happening at all. After all, the prevention of head lice is better than getting them.
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