Treatment For Resistant Head Lice

There are many names for lice that do not respond to traditional treatments for head lice.

We’ve heard parents at their wits’ end call us and use phrases like, “those darn bugs” or “those annoying little insects” and many others (most times those alternate names contain words not suited for this blog…) But the one phrase that perhaps is the most common is, “Super Lice.”

As in, “I’ve tried everything at the store and nothing’s working! These must be some kind of Super Lice!” We’ll go ahead and blame the media and internet hype and hyperbole for that one.

Super Lice? Really?

 

The phrase almost conjures up images of little bugs in spandex and capes with big letters embroidered on the front…”SL”! Contrary to popular belief, there really is no such thing as super lice. There are only lice. And yes, some of these lice have developed a resistance to traditional treatments with insecticides and other poisonous chemicals. This does not make them super. It makes them stubborn survivalists and it means that we need to get smarter about how we eradicate the little guys.

How Do Head Lice Become Immune To Some Traditional Treatments

 

As more and more research comes out around the country, it becomes clear that the head lice affecting children now are not the same as the lice that affected their parents. The bugs got tougher. Common over the counter medications and shampoos no longer have the same effect on lice. They don’t always kill them. And they definitely don’t do much about their eggs (or nits).The bigger surprise is why it took so long for everyone to notice. The best researchers and scientists across the country say it only takes three to five years for lice to build an immunity and adapt defenses to a new pesticide- based product. The same way that viruses and bacteria can become immune to antiviral and antibacterial medications, the head lice have evolved (rather quickly) tougher exoskeletons and other defenses to help them survive against the most common pesticides. This often leads parents to try multiple treatments with poisonous chemicals to eradicate the bugs.

Parents’ efforts are usually thorough, but still the bugs persist. It’s not the parents fault or even the fault of the product. People are using outdated weapons against an enemy that’s been around and adapted for survival over millennia.

What Does Work?

As is usually the case, when Mother Nature poses a problem, she provides the solution.

We just have to know where to look. Research into substances that can be found in nature and can destroy lice has intensified in recent years. This research has yielded results showing that there are some common, naturally occurring products we can use to treat and kill lice.

These ingredients include:

  • Various Enzymes & Proteins

  • Neem Oil

  • Tea Tree Oil

  • Sweet Flag

  • Coconut Oil

When properly mixed, these ingredients have been shown to kill lice. And the best part is that because they occur naturally, the lice cannot build up an immunity to them. These are the weapons nature has given us to defend against lice and when we harness them correctly, they give us the upper hand and allow us to beat those little bugs.

Finding Products That Kill Lice Is Only Half The Battle

If your child is around an area where there has been a report of an infestation, it’s important to remember to not share clothing (this includes going to the mall and trying on new outfits), headwear, sporting goods equipment and other items you or your child use every day (hair care products, etc.). Even hugging people can let the lice attach to your hair. There are also some ways we can protect ourselves naturally from an infestation in the first place. For instance, did you know that peppermint is a natural lice repellent? Head lice do not like the scent. When they smell it, they stay away from it. Using a shampoo or conditioner that is lightly scented with peppermint will provide a natural defense for your hair and head against lice. A little prevention can go a long way. Remember, there’s nothing “super” about these lice. And even if there were, it wouldn’t matter. Mother Nature has given us a little Kryptonite.

Head Lice in Palm Beach County Schools

Head lice outbreaks are a very real and uncontrollable epidemic in schools throughout the world and lice in Palm Beach County School District are no exception.    It is impossible to keep the parasites out of harm’s way, but there are some steps parents can take to prevent their child from coming home with the annoying intruders and today there are even some fast and effective treatments to get rid of head lice fast, safe and naturally.

 The number of diagnosed cases of head lice infestations has increased worldwide since the mid-1960s, reaching hundreds of millions annually. Approximately 6 to 12 million people annually receive treatments for lice in the United States alone.  In addition, high numbers are also reported in other countries including, Australia, Denmark, France, Israel, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The first and most important step in head lice prevention is to become informed about lice and how a host becomes infested.  Head lice in humans are known as pediculosis capitas, which are blood-feeding ectoparasitic insects of the order Phthiraptera.

Head lice are predominantly found more often in females than males and most common in children ages 3 through 10.  Lice spread by head to head contact with someone who is already infested.  Some of the most common ways to get lice are:

  • Children playing or sitting together whether on the playground, in the classroom or at home
  • Sharing bedding during sleepovers
  • Sharing clothing, hats, combs, brushes or other hair accessories

Lice feed on a host’s human blood about 1 to 5 times per day by piercing the skin with their tiny needle-like mouthparts, but do not burrow into the skin. From each lice egg (aka:”nit”) one nymph (aka: “baby louse”) will hatch that will grow and develop to an adult louse within 7 to 10 days. This is why it is imperative an infestation of lice is controlled immediately.  If the lice are allowed to continue breeding, the outbreak of lice will become hard to stop.

What are the symptoms of lice?

The most common and obvious symptom of a head lice infestation is an itchy scalp which normally intensifies 3 to 4 weeks after the initial infestation. The bite reaction is very mild and it is hard to see on the scalp.  Excessive scratching of the infested areas can cause sores, which may become infected.

How to prevent head lice

Any child attending school in Palm Beach County is at risk each day of getting head lice regardless of how clean the child’s hair may be.  Health agencies in the U.S. and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service have actually reported that lice prefer clean hair because it is easier to attach eggs and cling to the strands.

There are some good habits you can teach your children to help prevent an infestation, such as not sharing clothing, combs, brushes, hats, hair barrettes or other hair accessories.  Nonetheless, as mentioned above, lice will relocate quite easily.  If your child is merely playing with or sitting next to an infested host at school, he or she is susceptible to getting lice.

The only thing better than getting rid of lice is not getting it at all

ClearLice™ offers a shampoo, conditioner and even a household spray to help repel lice.  The products are natural, safe, chemical free and smell minty fresh.  The company also manufactures and distributes a shampoo treatment for head lice, as well as a conditioner that literally soothes the scalp; a laundry additive for washing clothes in the machine and an environment spray to remove lice from furniture, bedding and other upholstered objects in the home that are unable to be cleaned in the automatic washer.

ClearLice™ guarantees if customers follow directions, they can get rid of lice in just one day.  They also offer a 60 day money back guarantee.  To learn more about head lice and how to treat and prevent an infestation, visit http://www.clearlice.com.