Kill Lice Fast! How to Get Rid of Lice Within Minutes
No matter how clean your home, no matter how attendant their teachers, kids get lice. Classrooms, daycares, camp, even sleepovers can be breeding grounds for kids who are playing together – and sharing together - everyday. While the Department of Public Health no longer recommends children remain away from school for lice, a recent study suggests that 1.78 million children lose 2.7 million days a year from school dealing with lice infestations. This means that if you’re like millions of parents who have dealt with lice before - or lives in fear of lice eggs finding their way to their child’s head - you prefer to ensure it’s not your child who’s the cause of a classroom outbreak. It also means that it can be more challenging than some shampoo-in treatments would have you suspect to get rid of lice fast. The good news is that there are treatments that will help you get rid of lice for good.
Depending on how stubborn a child’s lice has become, doctors may suggest any number of over-the-counter or prescription medications. Some of these over-the-counter solutions will promise an end to lice with a product that needs just 15-30 minutes. Studies suggest a far longer time is needed to truly be effective. According to the British National Formulary – Britain’s Department of Health, “a contact time of 8–12 hours or overnight treatment is recommended for lotions and liquids.” Lice can live up to 50 days during which time the female can lay up to 300 eggs. All of which explains why one third of school children under 16 had an average 3.6 head lice infestations over the last year.
Making a quick decision on which treatment to use can be completely confusing. Common over-the-counter and prescription lice treatments often contain chemicals that are both questionable in their efficacy and inherently dangerous if used incorrectly. Accidentally applying too much of these treatments, or leaving them on too long, could have dangerous effects. To make a smart decision, it helps to have a little knowledge upfront of all the options out there.
Medicated shampoos and lotions: There are several brands of over-the-counter and prescription treatments, however most of these brands likely use harsh chemicals to kill lice. These treatments require not only precision usage for safety, but have proven less than effective at getting rid of lice for good. The chemicals used in these treatments can have dangerous side effects and, if used incorrectly, some can even prove fatal. Even in the best cases, parents must often reapply chemical treatments in 7-10 days to kill newly hatched lice from eggs left behind. Chemicals to watch out for in over-the-counter treatments include:
Permethrin: Classified as a likely carcinogen by the EPA, permethrin kills nit bugs by attacking their central nervous system. Though the chemical’s potential side effects might be considered relatively minor to children, in rare cases, causing skin irritation and burning, used too much or too often and these medications have the potential of causing everything from nausea and headaches to seizures.
Lindane: This chemical contains neurotoxins that the EPA recently ruled as "one of the most toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative pesticides ever registered," banning it from pet products and all US agricultural use, yet leaving it still approved for limited use in treatment of head lice on children. Lindane, if absorbed through the skin, can affect the nervous system, liver or kidneys.
Other, less common or toxic chemicals include Carylderm, or Carbaryl, Ovide or Malathion and the pill Stromectal, which can be prescribed when other methods have failed.
Non-toxic chemical treatments: Some over-the-counter topical solutions work to suffocate lice physically, but can be messy, complicated, require repeated treatments and have limited proof as to their efficacy. Solutions using non-toxic chemicals like dimeticone or cyclomethicone coat lice in order to suffocate or disrupt their water balance.
Alternative treatments: Parents have been known to use various alternative, home-made treatments in efforts to keep toxic chemicals from their child’s head. These treatments work similarly to suffocate lice but are limited in their efficacy and are ineffective in particularly resistant strains of lice. Household products used in these treatments can range from vinegar and petroleum jelly, to mayonnaise, or olive oil and call for wet combing these products into your child’s hair for a period of time.
Each of these treatments may require you to go through the messy, smelly process of applying the solution and keeping your children cooped up with shower caps on their heads waiting in hopes of killing the nits and eggs that are embedded in their heads multiple times over the course of days.
RobiComb® Lice Zapping Comb
The RobiComb offer you a 100% safe, proven way to essentially comb-and-kill lice at their root using minute electrical pulses to kill lice on contact. While it zaps, it leaves your child completely protected by the comb’s specially-treated prong-tips. To ensure you get all the nits and eggs out of your child’s hair, you will most likely want to repeat this process of combing every night for two weeks and pick the larger eggs, nits or lice out by hand. This is the only clinically-proven option that enables you to reuse the comb, on other family members, whenever you need it.
No matter which treatment you decide on, the important thing is that you are not alone! There’s no need to panic and make a quick decision that will leave you uneasy or elbows-deep in a messy, smelly situation you aren’t certain will offer a solution.
- LiceGuard Webmaster