Firstly, remember that having lice is common and normal. We all get them at one some point in life. If your child has lice, worry not. Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to get rid of lice without resorting to harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals. Although these at-home remedies are effective when done correctly, we recommend consulting a pediatric specialist for expert advice.
That being said, here are the best home remedies for lice. Keep reading.
What are Head Lice?
The tiny insects that feed on blood from a human’s scalp are head lice. Typically, these insects spread through direct transfer from one individual’s hair to the hair of another person. Although head lice typically affect children, adults can also have them.
Although many believe that having head lice is a sign of living in an unclean environment or poor personal hygiene, these are common misconceptions. In reality, everyone can get head lice. Also, contrary to popular belief, head lice do not carry viral or bacterial diseases.
Prescription and nonprescription medications can help individuals dealing with head lice. Whenever using special treatments, make sure to follow the provided instructions carefully.
That said, some people may want to avoid the use of medications. Fortunately, there are a few effective ways of lice removal.
Before learning how to get rid of lice at home, talk to a professional for guidance. We recommend seeking out our help at Worldwide Pediatrics. Take care of your family’s health today and speak to experts.
How to Get Rid of Head Lice?
Someone in your family has head lice, and you are looking for the best solutions for these pesky insects. Sometimes, all you need to do for lice removal is to comb out the nymphs, nits, or adult lice from your loved one’s hair with a lice comb. Although there are some effective prescription and nonprescription medications you could consider, you could also attempt the following home remedies.
Also, catching the problem early on is key. If the child just came back from an overnight stay with their friends, and one of them has lice, there is no reason to panic. You can get rid of the lice quickly by dealing with the issue early. All parents need to do is comb out the child’s hair in the morning and evening for around three weeks.
Some parents or caretakers may also want to consider pairing combing with home remedies. Almost all home remedies for lice involve some method of suffocating insects. We always recommend trying home remedies to see whether they work for you. Talk to your child’s doctor for expert advice and guidance whenever in doubt.
So, how to get rid of lice at home? Below, we have compiled the most effective and safest methods of proper lice removal. Read on.
Remove the Lice with a Comb
Often, parents or caretakers may confuse dandruff with lice and vice versa. One of the best ways to get rid of these tiny insects for good is to use a special lice comb. Wet-combing is one of the most effective and traditional ways of removing lice from a child’s hair. According to the experts, wet-combing helps make the insects more visible. By using a special lice comb, you will spot the insects and remove them properly.
Moreover, a lice comb is typically cheap. So, you will also save money on expensive treatments that cost more and contain potentially harmful chemicals.
To perform wet-combing, start by spraying your child’s hair with a special conditioner. Next, use special lice comb to remove individual insects. Sometimes, you may also need a magnifying glass to see the lice. On the downside, using a lice comb can be time-consuming. If you are impatient, you may want to consider another natural lice treatment.
Try Suffocating the Lice
An effective natural lice treatment is using almond oil or olive oil to suffocate the insects. However, remember that treatments that involve “smothering” lice only stun the insects and make them easier to catch on your comb. That said, it is an effective and cheap way to help your child.
If required, re-apply the oil. We do not suggest using mayonnaise or vaseline, as these can create an unnecessary mess and may be challenging to wash out. Some individuals may also recommend coating the lice comb instead of the hair. You may also want to experiment with different methods and see what works best.
Begin by separating your child’s hair into tiny sections. As you perform the lice removal, move the hair sections out of the way with a hair clip. Once you have finished combing out the child’s hair, wash it with traditional shampoo. Rinse and repeat, and finally, dry the child’s hair.
Whenever doing this natural lice treatment, wash the used towels thoroughly. We also recommend cleaning the comb by soaking it in a bleach solution mixed with Lysol. Alternatively, you can boil the lice comb in water for 10 minutes or soak it in vinegar for around 30 minutes.
Repeat this procedure each day for seven days. After this, check the child’s hair every night to ensure the lice removal was successful.
Use Essential Oils for a Natural Lice Treatment
One of the most popular home remedies for lice is using essential oils such as:
- Neem oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Lavender oil
- Tea tree oil
- Clove oil
- Cinnamon leaf oil
- Aniseed oil
- Nutmeg oil
- Peppermint oil
- Red thyme oil
Start with this natural lice treatment by mixing two ounces of olive oil with around 15 to 20 drops of essential oil of your choice. The essential oil you use will depend on your personal preferences. Leave the oil in your child’s hair and scalp overnight. For the best results, make sure to let this natural lice treatment take effect for a minimum of 12 hours. After this, comb it out, shampoo, rinse, and repeat if required.
Clean Around Your Home
Another fool-proof way to ensure your child stays free of lice is to wash or clean anything that could have been in close contact with the individual who has lice. For instance, you will want to clean or wash pillowcases, combs, brushes, and hats. Also, place your child’s non-washable items such as stuffed animals into a plastic bag. We suggest cleaning the lice-infested item in 130°F (54°C) water, placing it into a hot dryer for around 15 minutes, putting it into an air-tight plastic bag, and allowing it to stay there for two weeks. This process will effectively kill any nits and lice.
On top of that, try to vacuum furniture and floors where the insects may have fallen.
Things to Avoid for Lice Removal
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when it comes to removing lice, you should avoid doing the following things:
- Do not use a traditional conditioner because it can act as a barrier to lice medication.
- Do not use extra doses of prescribed medication without expert guidance.
- Do not get any medication in the eyes.
- Do not fumigate the living area or the house, as this can be toxic to pets and humans.
Above all, talk to an expert for instructions. If you are uncertain what to do and how to deal with lice, reach out to us at Worldwide Pediatrics. We are here to help your family.