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Lice Remedy Causes Trouble Again

Q. What a nightmare! I used the Vaseline treatment to get rid of lice. It seems to have worked, but I have tried all of the suggestions to get the petroleum jelly out of my kids’ hair and it is not coming out.
I cannot imagine using baby oil on this greasy goo. I am going to the store for more Dawn. I have used baking soda and cornstarch and they are getting tired of having their hair washed. Help!

A. Coating hair with petroleum jelly overnight is a last-ditch home remedy to kill lice. We first learned about it in 1997 from a desperate mother who had tried all the usual products to eliminate lice first. Her pediatrician passed along this suggestion. That mother reported that applying baby oil liberally helped wash out the Vaseline. Others have found that getting petroleum jelly out of hair is quite a challenging chore.

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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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