There are many well-known treatments for lice that can be bought over-the-counter, but do you really know what’s in them? There are a lot of chemicals in lice removal products. If you think about it, these products were created to kill bugs, which means they’re going to contain some pretty nasty chemicals. There are better and safer ways to get rid of lice!
The popular brand Nix has the active ingredient Permethrin, which is used as an insecticide and is a neurotoxin. It’s a chemical that affects the nervous system, and can harm or kill animals like dogs and cats. Nix says you can only leave the product on for 10 minutes, and then when it likely doesn’t work, you can’t even reapply for another 7 days. Also, Nix only kills live lice and does nothing for the eggs, which means you’ll still have to do something else to remove the eggs from the hair. Why use something that could potentially harm your child, and doesn’t work?
Another popular brand is Rid, which also has Permethrin in it, and has Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) in the shampoo. While PBO isn’t a pesticide, it does enhance the strength of the Permethrin. PBO is also classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.
Headlice.org has a complete list of popular lice treatments and the chemicals they contain. Before you purchase a product like this for your children, you should do some research on the chemicals you’ll be using.
The best approach is wash the hair, apply conditioner, and then go through the hair with a well-constructed metal lice comb, wiping on a white paper towel in between passes. It can be time consuming (which is why you can call us to come help!) but it’s the most effective way to get rid of the lice, and especially the eggs.
Not sure if your child has lice? Check out the signs and symptoms, or give us a call for help.