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#1
Old 11-21-2011, 08:30 PM
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I tried the treatment for head lice and my scalp is still crawling (ick!). What do I do?

Just this morning my head started crawling and, being a preschool teacher, I had a strong suspicion it was head lice. Sure enough, I've got lovely little bugs and their eggs in my hair. I did the treatment about an hour and a half ago but my head is still itching. I can't get someone to pick the lice out of my hair until tomorrow but in the meantime they need to be dead so I can go back to work tomorrow. What went wrong and what should I do?
#2
Old 11-21-2011, 08:44 PM
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Haven't had lice since I was in 2nd grade, but I have read on the various lice threads on the Dope that tea tree oil works on lice, and apparently if you goop the hell out of your hair with something oily it can break the bonds that hold the nits to the hair shaft, so maybe get some tea tree oil and a tea tree conditioner, and dose the hell out of your hair, and take the finest comb you can lay hands on and comb your hair out to at least get the dead bugs combed out?

Or shave your head and nuke it from orbit?
#3
Old 11-21-2011, 08:50 PM
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Put mayo in your hair, wrap it in a towel and wait for two hours. Then, comb every strand of your hair with a nit comb. Then wash the mayo out, wash with Rid shampoo, and then do a follow up nit combing.

Burn everything your head touched.
Just kidding! (not really!)
#4
Old 11-21-2011, 09:40 PM
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As someone whose kid got sent home three times in two weeks for lice* and actually called a service once (I lived in NYC, this may not be available in your area), I'm practically an expert.

The medicated drugstore stuff barely works anymore and is toxic as hell. Use it once, if you must, to kill the live beasties. Go to a natural foods store and get a METAL lice comb, the plastic ones suck. Also pick up some eucalyptus, ylang ylang, citronella and tea tree oil plus olive oil, a squeeze bottle, cheap hair conditioner and baking soda. If you have money left over, get Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Leave-In Conditioning Spray (or just some rosemary oil).

1. Mix conditioner and baking soda into a gloopy mess (maybe 2 to 1?). The baking soda acts as an abrasive. Slather it over your head and scalp and comb, comb, comb. Have plenty of paper towels on hand. Wash your hair.

2. Put ~four ounces of olive oil into your squeeze bottle, add maybe ten drops of all your other oils to it. Drench your hair with it and put it up in a neat bun if your hair is long. Put your pillow in a plastic bag and cover it with a towel, because you're sleeping like that for a week.

3. Bring your metal lice comb into the shower in the morning and comb, comb, comb before you shampoo. If your hair is long, wear it in a bun at school. Dab rosemary oil (or that rosemary repel stuff) on your nape, crown and temples. Repeat the oil/bun/rosemary oil thing for a week.

4. Don't forget to throw all bedding and worn clothing into a dryer on high heat for at least 45 minutes -- including your pillows -- vacuum everything (even the sofa if it's cloth and your mattress). Isolate your coat from the kids' coats. If you wear a backpack, vacuum or dryer. Same with a purse. You shed hairs daily, any of them could have a nit. Be relentless.

Good luck. This whole thing is making me itch.

*She wasn't the only one. It was a horror for all involved for a month. I was also infested the first time (my husband shaved his head as a result). The third time, my daughter couldn't return to school w/o a note from her pediatrician and her BFF's mother and I had a pizza party while we treated the girls. I blame the school. After I called them and bitched, they finally had a pest control company spray the room and started making the kids put their winter coats into garbage bags in their cubbies.
#5
Old 11-22-2011, 07:02 AM
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My kids went through a bad time with lice. They loved to spread it to each other.

There are three things with lice.

First is the itch. You may just be hypersensitive to it. That is normal for some people. Like with poison ivy, it itches or hurts more.

The second is killing the adults. Anything oily will smother them. That is why people recommend mayo. While this is effective in killing adults it does nothing for the eggs.

An otc lice remedy works about 99% of the time, killing the eggs.

But don't overlook the fact lice will hop off you. You need to wash everything in the house with hot water. What you can't wash, needs to be put in a plastic bag and sealed for three to four weeks.

You don't itch from the bites, it's like a mosquito bite sort of. Itching is the body's response. Once you're bit, even if you kill them, you'll still itch.

I wish you luck. Remember wash everything you own to keep from getting reinfected.
#6
Old 11-22-2011, 07:45 AM
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A fast, easy, and effective treatment is to douse your scalp in either blue or green Listerine, the kind that has eucalyptus, put on a shower cap, and leave it on for two hours. You'll still have nits to pick, but it kills the lice, and your head is minty fresh for days. There's also Cetaphil cleanser, which you put on and let dry overnight, which also supposedly smothers nits. That's easy to wash out, too.
#7
Old 11-22-2011, 10:59 AM
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Lice aren't nice, but they don't spread disease and they won't hurt you.

Some of the itching is probably psychological, some might be due to the bites.

Mechanical removal is cheap, quick and effective.

Cover your hair in lots of conditioner (any brand of conditioner will do, ones which contain dimethicone are best).

Comb your entire head of hair from root to tip, using a metal lice comb, in small sections, wiping the comb on a tissue with each swipe.

Comb entire head until no more live lice or nits are removed- this may take up to an hour.

Repeat every 4 days for at least 2 weeks (or until you've found no live lice on the last 3 sessions).

Then weekly for a month, then monthly for surveillance.

Do the entire family at the same time- you can re-use the lice comb on the entire family if you wash it in hot soapy water between people.

Wash your hats, bedlinen and towels on hot. Put your hairbrushes in the freezer or dishwasher (depends what they are made of).

Done.

Lice do not jump- they crawl, and not far. They don't live for long away from blood, so don't panic, it isn't like a bedbug infestation.

If you wet comb throughly and regularly you will get rid of them without chemicals and very, very quickly.

I prescribe lice treatments if patients want them, but what I tell them to do is what I have listed above.

It works.
#8
Old 11-22-2011, 01:21 PM
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The most effective way to rid lice is a buzz cut. That way there's no place for the lice to live. Also allows the medicine to reach the scalp.

It was a standard procedure for boys and girls in the 60's and 70's. We had a few kids in my elementary school wearing scarves for a few weeks after treatment. No big deal. Hair grows back in a few months. My military dad gave me buzz cuts all the way through elementary school. A lot of boys strict parents still insisted on short hair.

Now of course everyones vanity precludes such a common sense & practical approach. Parents spend hours and hours hand picking lice off kids long hair. A futile effort IMHO.

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-22-2011 at 01:23 PM.
#9
Old 11-22-2011, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishgirl
Lice aren't nice, but they don't spread disease and they won't hurt you.
I've always wondered about this. If they're essentially harmless why do schools get so all up in arms about them? I remember my daughter getting sent home twice when she was in elementary school for head lice and I wondered the same thing then.

Slight hijack I guess. Best of luck with your treatment.
#10
Old 11-22-2011, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velvetjones View Post
I've always wondered about this. If they're essentially harmless why do schools get so all up in arms about them? I remember my daughter getting sent home twice when she was in elementary school for head lice and I wondered the same thing then.

Slight hijack I guess. Best of luck with your treatment.
I think it's because it can spread like wildfire in a school, and if only one parent doesn't get rid of it properly, it goes around again and again.
#11
Old 11-22-2011, 02:58 PM
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Unless you check every kid, every 4 days, excluding kids from school is pointless.

The 4 days is important, because of the louse life-cycle- 4 days from egg to live louse.
#12
Old 11-22-2011, 07:31 PM
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If it isn't catching, then how did the OP get them? And would the school even let her back in during that two weeks? In my experience, you had to stay home until you were certified lice free.
#13
Old 11-22-2011, 08:10 PM
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Lice is a big health concern. It spreads so quickly when people are in close contact (like schools). I've heard barbers and beauticians are required to report any lice cases they run across too. The whole shop has to be treated before it can reopen.

IIRC the school nurse handled the problem. Kids were sent home until they had paperwork saying they were free of lice and eggs.

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-22-2011 at 08:10 PM.
#14
Old 11-22-2011, 08:25 PM
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Just this thread is making my scalp prickly. My 8yo got them last year and it was awful, even though fairly short-lived as these things go. Luckily they didn't spread to anyone else in the house, but I had freak-out itching for a long time.
#15
Old 11-22-2011, 08:37 PM
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The only thing that kept them off us is Rid and some enzyme nit dissolver. We tried every home remedy that didn't sound too dangerous (rejected the kerosene suggestion right off the bat!) but after two weeks I gave in and used chemicals. For me and my long hair I had to use two bottles of Rid at one time. Four days later I did it again for both of us. The nit dissolver was essential, I think. It made the hair oily enough that the nits and the bugs themselves slid out. OH and definitely get the metal rake style comb. The cheap plastic ones you get with the kits breaks even in my daughter's silky hair.

I also washed all her toys and sheets and towels and blankets and pillow cases and put them away in bags for several months. Longer than necessary I'm sure.

Yes I'm itching all over now.
#16
Old 06-27-2016, 03:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velvetjones View Post
I've always wondered about this. If they're essentially harmless why do schools get so all up in arms about them? I remember my daughter getting sent home twice when she was in elementary school for head lice and I wondered the same thing then.

Slight hijack I guess. Best of luck with your treatment.
If it's not taken care of it can eventually cause anemia or other medical conditions more serious than just a few bugs
#17
Old 06-27-2016, 05:42 AM
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My kid has caught headlice once a year since starting school. I find it pretty easy to get rid of them.

I treat her hair with a product called Full Marks, which is probably not available internationally but can be found in pharmacies here, and I'm sure it's comparable with the other products on the market. I make sure I thoroughly comb her hair with a metal fine tooth comb before I rinse the treatment out. I keep using the fine tooth comb each day and keeping a really close eye on her hair. After seven days I do a second treatment, and then a few more days with the comb, and that's usually the end of it.

According to the health website of the NSW Government:
Research suggests that bed linen, hats, clothing and furniture do not harbour or transmit lice or nits and that there is no benefit in washing them as a treatment option. Nits and lice only live on the human head. They quickly dehydrate and die if removed from the head.
Source: http://health.nsw.gov.au/environ...treatment.aspx
I wash her pillowcase the day I treat her, but I don't wash anything else that I wouldn't normally be washing anyway.

Some of my friends complain about how hard it is to get rid of lice and how they're washing every piece of fabric in their home. They're wasting their energy on the wrong things. If they spent more time going over their kid's hair with a fine tooth comb rather than purging linen, they'd be on top of it inside 10 days.
#18
Old 06-27-2016, 09:34 AM
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I had lice when I was ten. Even today I'd probably cut my hair, even though I love it long. It'll grow back.
#19
Old 06-27-2016, 09:39 AM
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Hopefully spunkymuzicnote's lice have been cured by now (it's been five years, after all).
#20
Old 06-27-2016, 11:18 AM
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The mayo treatment upthread made me think of a possible safer treatment. What if a paste was made of flour or cornstarch and water, then slathered on the head and allowed to thoroughly dry? Wouldn't the adults AND nits become stuck in this crust(and consequently dehydrate) and could be removed as this dried paste is lifted/combed/brushed off the head?

Am also thinking of the homemade insecticidal soaps that are occasionally used on plants. Garlic cloves and real soap, buzzed up with water in a blender, then applied to the head? (garlic preparations ARE able to kill mosquito larvae, so I think it might be worth a shot) Shower cap put in place, then let it "marinate" overnight. Inspect, comb and shampoo the following day.
#21
Old 06-27-2016, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angd1216 View Post
If it's not taken care of it can eventually cause anemia or other medical conditions more serious than just a few bugs
I am not a real doctor. That said, I cannot find any indication of human head lice causing anemia. In fact, the only long term health consequences of a head lice infestation seem to be: potential infection if excessive scratching breaks the skin of the scalp, loss of sleep due to itching and irritability due to loss of sleep.

Look at the math - a typical louse has about 3 blood meals per day, each averaging about 0.0000983 mL of blood. Take the daily blood meal per louse average of 0.0002949 mL of blood multiplied by the typical infestation of ~30 lice equals 0.0088470 mL of blood per day, or about .000002 pint. To account for .01 pint of blood per day, a still miniscule amount, would require in the neighborhood of 18,000 lice. If you have 18,000 lice on your head, go immediately to the zoo. You'll be the most popular primate in the exhibit.

Last edited by Doctor Jackson; 06-27-2016 at 01:34 PM.
#22
Old 06-27-2016, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponch8 View Post
Hopefully spunkymuzicnote's lice have been cured by now (it's been five years, after all).
Now its Zombie Lice? Well, they are close to the brain after all.
#23
Old 06-27-2016, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
've always wondered about this. If they're essentially harmless why do schools get so all up in arms about them? I remember my daughter getting sent home twice when she was in elementary school for head lice and I wondered the same thing then.
I think people are confusing them with body lice, which DOES spread diseases like typhus. And there is the "ick" factor.
#24
Old 06-30-2016, 11:13 PM
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Zombie lice indeed!

When Moon Unit brought home more than memories from summer camp one year (they do head checks but apparently it was rather cursory), we did the OTC stuff (Nix, I think) - which killed a few. But two days later I was doing a thorough comb-through and found a live critter that looked too mature to have just hatched in the past 48 hours, so clearly the OTC stuff wasn't effective enough.

While I did follow the instructions and repeat the treatment after a week, in the meantime every 48 hours I did a very through combthrough after dousing her head in olive oil or similar, letting it sit for a while as she wore a disposable shower cap, then sectioning and combing with a metal lice comb. I used plastic hair clips to hold back areas I was not working on. The oil doesn't kill them but it does slow them down, meaning they can't escape, and it loosens their grip on the hair.

It was a pain - but I don't think I found any more live critters. The comb-throughs probably also helped remove any nits - the oil *may* have loosened their grip on her hair, or maybe it was just the mechanical action of the comb. Her scalp was in great shape after the treatments as well.

And of course I caught them. I had my husband go through my hair and he saw nothing. The very next day I took the metal comb to it and quite literally on the second stroke I found a resident. So he had to help me comb through MY hair periodically. I also did the olive oil treatment. It's a pain because you really do have to shampoo 2-3 times to get it all out afterward; one day I must not have done a thorough enough job and the entire next day at work I could smell it.

Supposedly the "burn everything in sight" approach to housecleaning is overkill. Certainly, wash anything that touches her head (hats etc.) and we did wash her pillowcases every day, but the critters simply don't live all that long when away from their host.
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