child with lice, treat lice

Q. Friends have called in a panic about treating lice. Their six-year-old daughter brought them home from school.
When I was a girl my parents used kerosene, but I hated it. These folks are reluctant to use insecticide on their little girl, so I hope you can tell us some natural ways to get rid of lice.

A. Kerosene is an old-fashioned home remedy that is far too risky. Don’t use it!
A lice expert confided to us that alcohol is effective for overcoming lice. It is found in HairClean 1-2-3, along with coconut oil, anise oil and ylang ylang oil. Clinical tests have found this product effective even against lice that have developed resistance to standard treatments.
Listerine mouthwash, which also contains alcohol, has been recommended by readers. It can be massaged into the scalp, left on for 15 minutes and then washed out. Listerine also contains essential oils from herbs including eucalyptol, thymol, methyl salicylate and menthol. There are no scientific studies testing Listerine against lice, however.
No matter which lice product your friends use, they will get better results if they remove the nits with a fine tooth comb. Such nit combs range from a few dollars up to vibrating electronic versions for around $50.
Here are some links to ways visitors to this website have dealt with lice without resorting to something as dangerous as kerosene.
• Link 1
• Link 2
• Link 3

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  1. Maggie

    Mayonnaise works really good. Read the article in a pediatrician’ s office. Have tried it in grandkids and it works

  2. sp

    I read about a remedy that had you use an old style bonnet hair dryer set on a medium setting for 15-30 minutes on already dry hair. The concept is to dehydrate the lice and egg casings so that they never hatch. It sounds too simple to be true, but it also sounds logical. It might be possible to use a regular hair dryer to achieve the same results. I wish I had known about the remedy before I spent two hours (and over $100 on treatment shampoos) every night for two weeks combing my then second grade daughter’s hair out with a lice comb to get rid of them. Maybe it will help someone.

  3. Peggy L.

    Cetaphil Lotion left on the hair for 8-12 hrs and combed out with lice comb works well. A doctor first found out about this well known lotion working for lice a few yrs ago. Much better than all the caustic stuff. I have seen this work on pediatric patients and recommended by the clinic staff.
    P. Lacey RN

  4. Angela M. Rosati

    Your writer whose parents used kerosene made me laugh. I’m 83, and my mother used kerosene, too. I, also, hated it because it smelled bad and everyone knew, but said nothing. Good thing my little Italian mother didn’t smoke!

  5. RSH

    The Cetaphil method absolutely works. My granddaughter suffered for over a year with this problem–the lice kept coming back, no matter what my daughter did for treatment. She even hired a beautician with special expertise and they came back. Finally, I read in the People’s Pharmacy about the Nuvo Treatment using Cetaphil. Here is the website that gives complete instructions and advice: Whatever you do, follow the instructions completely–including combing out the Cetaphil as much as possible–this also removes the lice. (I had never seen them before helping with this method–they are really gross.) Put plenty of clean towels on the child’s shoulders and lay them all around the floor. Then afterwards, simply pick up the towels and wash them immediately in very hot water and detergent, along with the bedding of anyone affected by the lice. Be sure and shampoo the hair the next day. Use enough Cetaphil–8 oz for short hair–12 oz for long. Good luck.

  6. CRH

    When treating lice, remember to wash all bedding, everything; delouse everywhere the child has been: the seats in cars, the sofas, carpeting in the house, stuffed animals. The stuffed animals can be placed in tightly closed plastic bags for three months before opening them up. People just take care of the hair, and then wonder why the lice have returned. Everything in the house has to be deloused.

  7. dar

    DE works like a charm for man&beast

  8. Melanie S.

    Years ago, when my children had lice, we ordered some lavender oil from an online source. Apparently this is a treatment used in the UK where they don’t put poison on children’s heads! It did require combing through and removing the nits, but it worked perfectly.

  9. SB

    We used the Listerine and it worked amazingly well! The key, according to our pediatrician, and we totally agree, is getting ALL nits out for the next days and weeks. We combed and combed and combed and retreated with Listerine at the one and two-week marks. Laundry must be kept up with as well. It’s a total nightmare, but the Listerine did the trick with the other steps combined.

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