Study says wet combing is more effective than "treatments".

Here is a link to an article that reported on a study about wet combing. In this study, wet combing was proven to be more effective than over-the-counter treatments:
Isn't that just what I've been saying, my dears? Adult lice go into survival mode when wet - they "freeze", staying still long enough for you to comb many of them out. (Note that I'm talking about ADULT bugs - baby bugs, or nymphs, are often too tiny, so keep combing regularly until you are sure the problem is gone.) When you wet comb, add a little bit of conditioner to the hair to keep it from drying too quickly. Also, don't forget to remove the eggs as well (the combs, even the excellent combs, won't remove all the nits). One thing I find interesting though - this article mentions a product called "The Bug Buster Kit". Do you know what this kit is? A box of fine-tooth combs. Even a regular comb can take out a quite a few adult bugs when the hair is wet. Why do we have to make combing into a "program" or "product"? Yet another gimmick to buy. But there is no product that will completely get rid of head lice.
But there is a person that can get rid of head lice - YOU. (And if you want some help, just call me.)

Everyone wants the magic pill.

The Edmonton Journal ran an article in today's paper from the Los Angeles Times. This article was about a drug that could be taken in pill form that would get rid of head lice.

This pill is nothing new under the lice-fighting sun. The drug is an anti-parasitic drug called Ivermectin. It has been used for years with livestock, but is not approved for human use in North America. When I saw the Journal's headline, "Pill may be a better parasite killer", I was saddened. How long are we going to look for the magic pill in getting rid of head lice? As with any oral medication, ivermectin can have side effects, some of which are worse than the itching of head lice. The study presented in this article was not just a study on ivermectin alone - it showed that malathion lotion (another topical pesticide) was more effective in killing head lice when paired with ivermectin pills. However, let me highlight a few parts of this article:

In the article, Dr. Olivier Chosidow says that, as with the over-the-counter products, "lice can become resistant to ivermectin". He also is quoted as saying that the medicine can cause problems for some people. The article then lists the side effects experienced by some people in the study.

My favourite quote from the article is from Dr. Barbara Frankowski from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She says, "In the grand scheme of what kids get, head lice is minimal. It get blown out of proportion. For me to want to use something on a patient, it has to be 100% safe. You never want the cure to be worse than the problem you're trying to get rid of." Very true, and the only thing that is both effective and completely safe is picking/combing.


Time is on your side.

Nit-picking is the most effective way to get rid of your head-lice problem. So, why are people so reluctant to do it? You might think that a lot of people are really grossed out by the bugs. But, for most people, that's not the issue. They don't want to get down to the business of nit-picking because they feel "they just don't have the time".

Yes, nitpicking takes time. It can an hour or two, or even longer if you do it all at once. But if you think that there is any treatment that can speed up the process for you, then you are very mistaken. The "shampoos" will not kill all the bugs and will not kill the eggs. You will have to use more time and more money dealing with the problem again in a matter of days. And, as you know if you have ever used the so-called treatments, their instructions state that you still have to pick out all eggs and bugs. So, you see, absolutely no time is saved by using a commercial treatment.

The good news is, you don't have to have a 5 hour marathon nit-picking session that causes your hands to cramp up and your eyes to blur. An adult louse only lays 3-10 eggs in a day - that may seem like a lot, but you can pick faster than that. So, if you can't deal with your family member's head lice problem in one or two longer sittings, here's what I suggest. Pick for as long as you can over a number of days. Even 15 minutes here and 20 minutes there every day will get you ahead of the game. Your priority is to pick out any bugs that you see. Then grab the eggs as you can. A real lice comb will speed things up even more. Be sure to keep things relatively clean , take basic precautions so that other people in the house don't also get head lice, and do regular quick head checks on everybody and you will be fine. If you keep doing this, then there will come a day very soon when you will no longer see any bugs or eggs.

You can call me for more free info. And if you want to have me come over to pick, I will gladly take your money. But it probably isn't necessary. You can always find the time to deal with this. Just do it.

Outbreak, Epidemic, and other nonsense words.

Yesterday someone told me that their son's school had an outbreak of head lice. An outbreak? Wasn't "Outbreak" that movie with Dustin Hoffman where he was dealing with a deadly airborne virus? That word, as well as the word "epidemic" can cause a lot of unnecessary panic. Head lice is a year round concern in schools. But once it we realize it might affect us, it becomes an outbreak. And the head lice treatment companies want you to think of head lice as an epidemic - your panic brings in big profits.

The louse is not a virus. While it often blends in with the colour of the hair, it is visible without a magnifying glass or microscope (if you can read small print, you can see head lice and eggs). It is not an airborne creature - it does not jump from head to head, nor can you get it by just being in the same room as someone with head lice. And pesticidal "shampoos" will not get rid of the problem.

Read more about head lice here. Read more here about how to get rid of head lice. If you have questions about head lice, just call me. You don't have to use my services, just call me. It is time to stop panicking.