Non-medicated treatments – here are several harmless, messy, ineffective home treatments that probably will not eliminate lice.
Mayonnaise Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) The idea is that these work by suffocating the lice and their eggs. Read more about Lice Home Remedies and Why They Don’t work. Pesticide-free Shampoo. There are several different ways to treat lice, both medical and non-medical. Over the years most lice have become resistant to the commonly used medicated shampoos, we recommend trying a pesticide-free shampoo treatment. Medicated shampoos – We will discuss these in order of least toxic to most toxic. 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) – The pyrethrins are a pair of natural organic compounds normally derived from Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium that have potent insecticidal activity. Pyrethrins are neurotoxins that attack the nervous systems of all insects. When present in amounts not fatal to insects, they still appear to have an insect repellent effect. Pyrethrins are gradually replacing organophosphates and organochlorides as the pesticide of first choice. They are non persistent, being biodegradable, and break down on exposure to light or oxygen. The chemical structure of pyrethrins inspired the production of a variety of synthetic insecticides called pyrethroids such as bifenthrin, permethrin, and cypermethrin. Permethrin 1% (brand name NIX) – this over the-counter rinse is a synthetic pesticide.
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. 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