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How to Fight Lice with Cetaphil Cleanser

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser can be used to fight lice with suffocation. It must be allowed to dry on the hair overnight, and then can be washed out.

Nobody likes lice. Unlike other unpopular biting bugs such as fleas and mosquitoes, lice don’t carry dangerous diseases. But they have become resistant to many of the compounds that were once effective for eradicating them. As a result, in some parts of the country parents find that lice shampoos or conditioners don’t work very well. That’s why we are enthusiastic about a simple way to fight lice by suffocating them.

Can You Fight Lice with Skin Cleanser?

Q. After using an OTC lice treatment, I still saw live bugs in my daughter’s hair. Ugh! I went looking for other options.

I found Dr. Pearlman’s article on a way to suffocate lice. He has a website with complete instructions on the “Nuvo Method.” This tells exactly how to use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. Timing is important, and three treatments at one-week intervals are required. The site can be accessed at nuvoforheadlice.com.

I wish I had found this method right away. I have shared it with numerous friends!

The Story Behind Cetaphil to Fight Lice:

A. Dermatologist Dale Pearlman conducted two open trials on this approach (not randomized, placebo-controlled or double-blind). He published the results demonstrating a 96 percent cure rate in Pediatrics (Sep. 2004).

He recommends soaking the hair with Cetaphil and then using a blow dryer to “shrink-wrap” the lice. The dried cleanser is left on the hair and scalp for at least eight hours. There are several Cetaphil brand products, and it is important to use the Gentle Skin Cleanser for this application.

Other Ways to Fight Lice:

Many over-the-counter lice products have lost their effectiveness. Researchers have noted that lice have developed resistance to ingredients such as permethrin (Clinical Microbiology and Infection, April 2012).

We have also heard from many readers that soaking the hair in amber Listerine can kill live lice. This treatment requires nit combing to be effective, however. Like the Cetaphil approach, it requires regular retreatment until all lice are eliminated.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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