If the treatment for head lice doesn’t seem to be working, does this mean the lice are resistant and I need a different treatment?
The following are several common reasons why treatment for head lice may fail sometimes:
1.Misdiagnosis. The symptoms are not caused by an active head lice infestation.
2.Applying the treatment to hair that has been washed with conditioning shampoo or rinsed with hair conditioner. Conditioners can act as a barrier that keeps the head lice medicine from adhering to the hair shafts; this can reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.
3.Not following carefully the instructions for the treatment that is used. Some examples of this include not applying a second treatment if instructed to do so, or retreating too soon after the first treatment before all the nits are hatched and the newly hatched head lice can be killed. Another reason is retreating too late after new eggs have already been deposited.
4.Resistance of the head lice to the treatment used. The head lice may have become resistant to the treatment. If the treatment used does not kill the head lice, your health care provider and pharmacist can help you be sure the treatment was used correctly and may recommend a completely different product if they think the head lice are resistant to the first treatment.
5.Reinfestation. The person was treated successfully and the lice were eliminated, but then the person becomes infested again by lice spread from another infested person. Sometimes reshampooing the hair too soon (less than 2 days) after correctly applying and removing permethin can reduce or eliminate any residual (continued) killing effect on the lice.
“Sometimes the medicine is worse than the disease. It is unfortunate that well intentioned parents treating their children with toxic or flammable substances have caused deaths and poisonings.”
– Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health
Many parents don’t realize that the popular, brand name lice treatments available at stores not only have ingredients that are closer to bug sprays than shampoos, they actually have higher concentrations of poison than the pest killers available for their yard!
The truth is, while these pesticides may get rid of lice, they are also being absorbed by the skin. As you may well imagine, this can cause a number of negative side effects – from skin irritation, redness and swelling to breathing difficulties or asthmatic episodes – and that’s just from regular, recommended use! If any product were accidentally ingested, poison control should be contacted immediately. These treatments have caused vomiting, seizures, even death.
Why compromise for products using poison ingredients? Our Burbank Botanical blend naturally removes lice in your family’s hair without ANY poisons, pesticides, or risk of negative side effects!
Here’s information on lice pesticide treatments. While the first several shampoos are very safe when used as directed and have virtually no chance of side effects, the last two – Lindane and malathion are more potentially toxic. We suggest you try some of the non- medical treatments before resorting to these two strong prescription shampoos.
•Pyrethrin or pyrethrum (brand names RID, A-200, Clear, Pronto, R & C) – these over-the-counter products are natural extracts from the chrysanthemum plant, and are approved for all ages, even young infants. They effectively kill live lice, but they do not kill the unhatched eggs. Therefore, you must repeat it in 7 to 10 days to kill any new lice that have hatched in the meantime, even if you don’t see any. These new lice can’t lay eggs for 2 to 3 weeks, so no need to keep repeating. Don’t use these if you are allergic to ragweed. Some itching may continue after use due to minor irritation from the shampoo. General instructions for this type of shampoo are to apply it to dry hair thoroughly, wait 10 minutes, then add water to form a lather, massage for a minute, and then rinse thoroughly. You should follow the instructions on the box.
•Egg (nit) remover rinses – because the above products leave the live eggs in the hair, they often come with a rinse product to help rinse out the eggs (nits). Use the rinse as directed after the shampoo.
•Nit removal combs – these often accompany the shampoo. Comb the hair thoroughly after the above shampoo and rinse to help get out any leftover nits.
•Permethrin 1% (brand name NIX) – this over-the-counter rinse is a synthetic pesticide. It is the safest of all the pesticide-type lice shampoos. It is not recommended for infants under 2 months of age. The best thing about this shampoo is that it kills both the live lice and the unhatched eggs. It also keeps working for 2 weeks. Therefore, re-treatment usually is not necessary. Don’t use this if you are allergic to chrysanthemums. This product usually comes with a nit comb and it should be used. This product, however, does not come with a nit remover rinse (even though it kills the egg nits, they may stay stuck to the hair shafts). You can either buy one separately or just rely on the comb. Alternatively, white vinegar can be used to unstick the nits from the hair – just apply some to the hair and leave it on for 30 minutes, then rinse and comb.
Instructions for this shampoo are to first wash with a normal shampoo, towel-dry the hair, then apply Nix thoroughly to the hair and scalp. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. You can repeat this after 7 to 10 days if new lice appear.
•Malathion (brand name Ovide) – this pesticide is available by prescription. It is for kids 6 years and older. You may have heard of this pesticide – it is sprayed from aircraft over cities to control certain agricultural insects including fruit flies. This shampoo lotion was previously used in the U.S., then was taken off the market for a while (although it was still used in other countries), and is now recently approved again by the FDA for use in the U.S. Because of its potential toxicity, we do not routinely recommend using this product unless virtually everything else has been tried. Instructions – apply thoroughly to dry hair. Let it sit overnight for 8 to 12 hours, (do not blow-dry) then rinse off thoroughly. Use a nit comb afterwards. May repeat only once after 7 to 10 days if new lice appear. Precautions – product is flammable, do not use hot curlers or hair driers, and do not smoke while product is on. Rinse off immediately if significant irritation occurs. May irritate the eyes. Wash hands thoroughly. Minimize contact with face and other parts of body.
•Lindane – this is another pesticide available by prescription. It is approved for children of all ages, although should be used with extreme caution in kids under 2 years. It is the most potentially toxic of all the lice shampoos and therefore should only be used when everything else has failed twice. Because of its potential toxicity we do not recommened its use, especially considering the harmless nature of head lice. It does not kill the lice eggs; therefore care should be taken to use a nit comb to remove all nits after use.
Let’s Be P.A.L.S (Pros against lice services) is not endorsing the use of the above products or any pesticide product it is for informational purposes only.
We suggest using the all natural pesticide free Burbank Botanical plan and calling us for lice removal service. We have a plan that will fit your budget.