Because Questions need Answers !!!

Is there a prescription to give to the children and/or adults that get head lice that when the lice bite they die instantly. I have spent a numerous amount of money on everything on the market, including bedding sprays and bombing the house and vehicles and still my 2 daughters and I get head lice. My 2 daughters go to 2 dirrerent schools but they sleep together and sometimes with me. I am at my last straw with this since school started. Can you please let me know if there is some prescription on the market for this? I have also used, which I can no longer find, a treatment you put in the wash when you wash the bedding and clothing.

There are several prescriptions available – however they are all reserved for worst case scenarios. Keep in mind these products are, for the most part, pesticides and not smething we want to apply to our children when there are safer options available. Kwell is so dangerous to the environment that it has actually been banned in the state of CA! is this realy what we want to apply to our children’s heads? There are also oral antibiotics available and possibly this is what you have in mind. However it too is reserved for cases needing additional medical attention. Generally they are prescribed because the individual has open wounds on their scalp and the fear of infection is a real issue. The prescriptions not only promote healing to the infected areas, but also kill the bugs in the process. In the 7 years we have served the community. I can only think of two cases where we referred out to a doctor for medical attention.

I have been fighting lice since January! My boyfriend, dog, and I have used Kwell, over-the-counter products, and even taken Ivermectin 3 times, as well as washing sheets and pillows daily, vacuuming daily, boiling combs and brushes daily. They will not go away, and my head is a network of huge scabs and bumps. I can’t take it anymore! I’ve already been to our biggest university hospital. What else can I do?

I’m not sure what the university has done for you or who has been removing your nits- but most likely that is where the problem lies. I’m assuming that if young children where involved you would have mentioned them. Do you know for a fact that the boyfriend actually has them as well? As far as the dog- it’s just not the case!!!

The fact that you have been fighting since January is not uncommon. We have seen cases where the problem has persisted for several years- (not that you want to hear that) mostly because they are not getting them all. Additionally they continue to have contact with known cases. Do you have any idea where you came in contact in the first place?? Most likely not- but if so you must avoid that source.

Once you have had lice you are a marked head. We like to use the analogy of a dog peeing on a fire hydrant- every dog that passes by will do the same- the scent is there and they can’t resist it. The same basic theory applies to your head and lice. You need to change the environment, you need to make sure that you are getting absolutely all the eggs out. And you need to keep your guard up for at least three weeks. Washing and combing every day. Be sure and use a good lice removing comb- our technicians are currently using the terminator comb- it cost 10.00 and is worth every penny. Unlike the
Lice Meister (which is also very good) it has spiral teeth, which not only help snag the eggs, but help damage them in the process as well.

Additionally there is less pulling of the hair with this design. When washing the hair we prefer a good mint
based shampoo. Mint is not only offensive to the lice but also goes a step further in that it helps kill the bugs. Just don’t try and replace this with a good initial treatment. The mint is also soothing to the scalp.

You can not treat yourself- you must have someone with a good eye and lots of patience going through the hair. It is not only the nits that you are looking for but the nymphs and adult bugs as well. You must work with paper thin sections or you will not get it all. When doing so, pay extra attention to the scalp. The nymphs look like a speck of dirt and live directly on the scalp- left behind they will grow into adult laying bugs and the cycle starts all over again. (pick up a pencil, sharpen it good, look at the tip and now you know what a newly hatched nymph looks like!) Furthermore the adult bugs blend into the hair itself. They wedge between the shafts of hair and are easily overlooked. This is not a job that can be done quickly.

We figure a minimum of two hours and we know what we are looking for. Assuming that you have any amount of hair- expect the process to take 3 to 5 hours by an untrained individual. You need to concentrate less on the house and more on the head- bugs can not live off the head!

Finally- switch to a safe non toxic product- olive oil would be inexpensive and messy but might prove to be useful to you- if you do go that route keep in mind that it must be done every 3 to 4 days (without fail) for a period of three weeks. If you’re not willing to follow through- don’t waist your time. Currently we are using Not Nice To Lice in the office- we have had very good results with it and it is safe enough to use everyday. (not that I am suggesting that!) Hair Clean 123 is also good- however if you have open wounds as you indicate- The alcohol base would prove to be painful.

The most dangerous part of having head lice is the secondary infections that come about as a result of it- don’t let your case escalate to that level. If the university or Doctors office feels that is a possibility, they might call down to Terri Meinking at the University of Miami- she would be happy to offer them somesuggestions as to possible antibiotics they might try.

I do hope this information proves to be helpful- don’t let your guard down and don’t try to do it alone. There is an end if you are willing to be patient. Let us know if we can be of any further help.

My seven year old daughter has lice. We used the product nix 4 days ago. I comb her hair with the small comb that came with product several times a day. She still has the nits in her hair. How can we get rid of them effectively? I have also washed the bedding, re-washed all clothes they have been wearing, vacuumed the floor , but I still have a fear I have not gotten rid of them. My 7 year still says her hair itches. I also have a 6 year old daughter with very long hair that I have a fear will get the lice. How do I prevent? When is my daughter no longer contagious? HELP!!!

Unfortunately the products don’t remove the eggs. On top of that many of them are failing to kill all the live lice, making it an overwhelming situation. The combs that come with the products are basically useless. The best comb that we have found is the Lice Meister from The National Pediculosis Association. They have longer teeth with rounded edges making it easier to use on your child. You can call the NPA at 781-449-NITS. They can tell you who in your area carries them or will send one out to you. They run 14.95 plus shipping. While they do an excellent job in assisting with the removal they can’t do it all. You must still go through her hair strand by stand and pick out any nits you find. One product that we have found useful in removing stubborn nits is the Clear Lice Egg Remover. It helps loosen the glue used to cement them in place.

Wal-Mart carries this product or you can call them directly at 800-783-1919. Again we don’t like their comb but the product is useful. Also you can buy the rinse separate from the shampoo. If you must retreat, and if she is still itching chances are she still has live lice, then use a different product. Clear Shampoo is good or Hair Clean 123 is a great product. Lice have developed a resistance to the products most commonly used. While it’s important to vacuum areas that your daughter might have come in contact with keep in mind that a live lice can’t live away from it’s human host for more than 24 hours.

A newly hatch nymph needs blood within it’s first 2 hours. The biggest key is getting rid of all the eggs. Even after you have gone through her hair continue to do so for as long as you continue to find any. That way you are catching them all before they hatch. A bright light is very important.

As for your 6 year old. Don’t let them sleep in the same bed. Don’t use the same hair items on them. (Comb, hair ties, etc.) Keep both girls hair pulled back. I would always do this at school and at home till the problem is solved. It’s important to examine all heads in the household or you could be handing it back and forth. As long as you continue to find eggs you have a problem. This has to be a daily routine and please get a better comb. Section the hair off as you work with it. You have to get all layers to accomplish this. Even a good metal comb from a pet store with close teeth is better than the ones in the packages. I’m told the manufactures are working to improve on them. I don’t know where you are located but if all else fails, hire someone in that will do the nit removal for you. Let us know how you make out. Be prepared to be at it for 2 or 3 weeks. You might also request that her class be checked she most likely got it there. This will help avoid re-infestation. Good Luck and thanks for the query.

I’m not sure if my 5 year-old daughter has lice. She has a history of seborrhea on her scalp, which I’ve typically treated with an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo. In addition to her usual dry and flaky scalp, I’ve notice some brown oval shaped clumps about 1/8″ from her scalp. I have yet to see any live bugs, however. Do these things sound like nits? I’ve tried to locate a picture of an infected scalp for comparison, but have yet to find one. I’d also be interested in knowing if you offer your nit-picking services in the Cincinnati area, if in fact she has these little critters! Thanks!

Sounds like you could have a lice problem on your hands. The oval shape clumps, are they easily removed or are they difficult to slide down the hair? Remember Lice glue their nits to the hair. The fact that you don’t see anything live is not uncommon. An adult lice is no bigger than a gain of rice and can move 9 inches in a minutes time. Many cases go unnoticed until someone spots the eggs. Does your child have a greater itching problem than normal? This could be another sign. I’m going to try and attach photo’s if you have trouble opening them and have access to a fax machine I could send it that way.

Also since you are AOL that might work too. Let me know, Pictures do help. As far as someone in your area unfortunately as of this time we have not located someone near you. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, so if you learn of someone offering this service please let us know. We are trying to build the best list possible. Our technicians have from time to time flown into areas where the lice are a severe problem. Sometimes school systems feel helpless and we go into the town and screen students in the schools as well as nit removals while in the area.

Unfortunately unless there is a large enough problem it’s difficult to cover the expenses. We certainly are willing if this becomes necessary. It’s very important if you do determine that lice exist that you change bed sheets and vacuum area. Another important factor is to examine all other heads in the household. If your daughter has them she got them from someone else. You should let her playmates know, if this is in fact a problem. Another suggestion as far as determining if it’s nits or not is to pull a couple of strands of hair and tape them to a paper. Include this with a self addressed stamped envelope and send to: Department Of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Laboratory of Public Health, 655 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Mass, 02115-6021. As long as you provide a return envelope they will examine the hair and send you a reply in a few days. It’s a good way to confirm. I hate offering the lice, if they exist, time to multiply so keep an eye on the head. It’s important not to treat unless necessary. Good Luck and let use know. Thanks for the query.

My child has had head lice for quit some time. We have tried over-the-counter products and also prescription medications and still cannot control this annoying problem. We need more information. Can you help?

Unfortunately it is becoming more and more evident that lice have developed a resistance to the products intended to kill them. Repeated use only further complicates the situation. In addition to that is the risk of the over exposure of such products to your child. The most important element here is to get all nits out. Easier said than done! If you have taken the time to go through your child’s hair you need to continue checking daily until nothing is left. By doing so you are catching them before they have a chance to re-infest. One nit left behind can create a hole new problem.

The American Head Lice Information Center swears by Olive oil treatments. The oil slows down the live lice and assist you in the removal of nits. It’s not any less time consuming and definitely messier but is another alternative. They have a cute and informative video available on the proper use of the olive oil. It’s called Head Lice to Dead Lice and can be found in most public libraries. If not you can purchase from them by calling 781-647-5338. If you have a chronic problem, as it sounds like you do, then you have to do something. There is an end to this but not without effort on your part. Make sure to continually keep clean sheets on bed, especially during this trying period. I don’t know where you are located but if the nit picking is to overwhelming you might consider seeing if someone in your area is available to help. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

I have heard from a friend that you can use mayonnaise to help get rid of lice even after you use a shampoo. Is it true?

The theory behind that is that you will smother the lice. While that could hold some merit the lice would have to be submersed in the mess and even then it would take a couple of hours. Some go as far as leaving on overnight and applying a shower cap while the child sleeps. No doubt this will make an impression on the lice. The problem is that it will kill the live lice and not the nits. This is true with most home remedies. Olive Oil is also an accepted home treatment. The key with that is that you must comb it through the hair. The oil or whatever means you try will slow the lice down and by combing through you will comb them out. The oil might loosen a few nits but what the American Head Lice Information Center insist on is repeat treatments over a 3 week period. For more information on their program call 781-647-5338.

They offer a cute and informative video that you can purchase directly from them or check out at your local library. It is called “Head Lice to Dead Lice”. It deals with removing lice through olive oil treatments.

Whatever method you try the removal of the nits is the key issue. It’s a pain staking task but necessary to stop the chronic problem. If I had to choose between Mayonnaise or olive oil I think I’d go with the oil. Personally though I would much rather give up a few hours and pick them out one by one. If you don’t have the time or the patience see if someone in your area offers that service. We are working towards supplying that information so please let us know if you come across such a company. Hope this helps.

Thanks for the query.

What causes lice and what is the best way to insure it is out of your house for good?

Unfortunately no one knows for sure where lice come from. It used to be believed that it was due to poor hygiene. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The only benefit to lice there is they live unnoticed longer. As far as getting rid if them for good, (or at least until the next new case) make sure they are in fact gone. You need to check every member of the household, change bed linens and clean in hot water and dryer. Contact school and friends. Remember your child got it from someone. You don’t want them to be re-exposed! Please understand that lice do not live in your home, they live on people.

While they can become separated from their human host they must have blood to survive therefore an adult louse will live only 24 hours and newly hatched nymphs only about 2 hours. Cleaning is important but more importantly is to make sure that all nits have been removed. We recommend examining the hair one to two times a day for two weeks after a case of lice. This will insure that if any nits are left behind you will catch them. After you are sure that the problem is solved it’s always wise to do routine exams one to two times a week. This way if the individual is re-exposed you will catch it before it becomes a problem. Hope this helps. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us and please let us know more details as to the problem at your end.

Is there a danger of spreading lice by children using headphones in school? If so, how does one protect the kids when headphones must be shared. Also, how would we go about cleaning the headphones

Any shared situation offers an opportunity to spread head lice. We suggest whenever possible to have the children supply or purchase their own head phones. The cost is minimal around 5 to 6 dollars a piece and well worth the piece of mind. If this is not possible than a good precaution is to have them each bring in a baseball cap and wear it whenever they are using shared headphones. As far as cleaning that is best accomplished by wiping down with rubbing alcohol. Hope that helps.

Thanks for the query.

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