Why I don't like lice "shampoos" or "treatments".

In the fight against head lice, so many professionals state that permethrin based products are your first line of defense. They are touted as being necessary treatments when in fact they are not needed at all. Here is why I have a big problem with lice "shampoos":

1. These "treatments"are costly.
My heart always breaks when I hear yet another story of a family that spend hundreds of dollars on "shampoos" and "treatments" only to find that they didn't work. Most "shampoos" require a second treatment in a week. Bring out the credit card - cha-ching! But wait a minute - I charge for my lice checking/removal services - am I hypocritical? No. Because if you have ever contacted me, then you know that I will try to get you to do everything you can do before I will come over. I would rather just give you the information so that you can deal with your head lice by yourself

2. These "treatments" don't deliver on their promises and can even be harmful.
Permethrin is the pediculicide (lice pesticide) that you find in most recommended lice "shampoos". I don't like the idea of putting a pesticide on your scalp, but if it really worked, I would recommend it. And yet, ALL of my business comes from families who have 'shampooed' once, twice, or even more times. My anecdotal evidence should be enough for you to understand that North American head lice have developed a resistance to permethrin. But don't just take my word for it. Click here to read about a study that says that 1% permethrin treatments are no longer as effective as they claim in the fight against head lice. You should also note that in this study of 95 people, one suffered a skin condition and two suffered breathing problems due to the use of permethrin. In my opinion, the over-exposure to pesticides will always be a greater health risk than head lice.

3. "Shampoos" give people a false sense of security, which makes them less diligent.
The creators of these "shampoos" claim that their products will deal with your head lice problem in just minutes (even though these "treatments" also quietly remind you that you do need to remove every louse and nit to prevent re-infestation.) Believing this, many "treated" people take the attention off of the affected head and start investing all their time and energy on to cleaning the house. This is a big mistake. There is no strong evidence to support the idea that cleaning your house will help your head lice problem, but there is evidence to show that unless you get the lice and eggs off of the head, you will not have success. And lice "treatments" just can't do that.

4. You have alternatives.
In the fight against head lice, certain health care professionals would have you believe that you NEED to use a permethrin treatment; as if it is the only effective way of dealing with head lice. But it simply isn't true, and so I find this claim to be very offensive. Now if we were talking about scabies, that's another matter. If I had scabies, I would certainly use a permethrin based lotion as there really are no other ways to deal with it. Scabies cannot be seen with the naked eye and they live under your skin. But head lice can be seen with your eyes and can be removed or dried out through mechanical means. You have options.

So, in the end, please save your money and just take the time to remove the lice.


Anonymous said...

Okay, but what about enzyme-based lice shampoos? Are these things, like Lice R Gone, real or just more nonsense marketing hype?

Anonymous said...

My daughter is infested with eggs she has so much hair its cruly and thick she has eggs every where what do i do with im stressing out plz help