Lice Lesson #4: Don't believe everything you read.

Or, a little misinformation goes a long way. Traditional lice treatments (pediculicides) say that they will kill all the nits. Don't believe it - nothing is 100% ovicidal. They say these treatments are safe. Then they give you a list of possible side effects. Like many, I used to think that the risks were worth it if it killed the lice. However, in North America, the lice have adapted to these pesticides and have reduced their effectiveness from 50 - 90%. Those lice that are affected lice may take up to 7 hours to die, which gives them time to lay a couple of more eggs. What really gets me, is that you have to pick all of the eggs whether you use lice "shampoo" or not? These pesticides are costly and don’t save you any time, so why use them?
What You Can Do: Kick it old school, or should I say, pick it old school. Go through every section of hair and remove every adult louse, nymph (baby louse), and nit (egg). And then keep checking every day for any new activity. Forget the "shampoos".


Anonymous said...

This is some helpful advice; wish I would have read it before spending over $100 on the "can't fail" treatments for my family! Aargh! :-( Well, hopefully this helps some others who could save the $$ soaking. My pharmacist advised me that Nix is considered the best treatment on the market. What say you?

Cathy, the Nice Lice Lady. said...

Nix used to be the best, but its claim of being 99% effective is inaccurate because lice/nits have become resistant to it.

The pediculocide in Nix is permethrin, a synthetic version of the natural pediculicide pyrethrin found in chrysanthemums. Of all the traditional treatments, it has the fewest side effects.

However, it is only about 50% effective, and it only takes one living louse to rebuild a whole infestation. No treatment, traditional or alternative, is going to spare you from the task of picking every louse/nit. So, why spend the money on the pesticide in the first place?