“Lice” is a term that strikes fear in the hearts of parents of school-age children everywhere. “What do I do now?” is your first thought. Take heart. Although head and pubic lice are now resistant to common chemicals that have been used to kill them in the past, there are new alternative treatments that will rid your child of this pesky pest.
The most common alternative treatment for lice is to cover the child’s head with a thick oil or cream. Mayonnaise is a preferred option, although olive oil, conditioner, or vegetable oil will work as well. The head should be covered with a shower cap and the oil left overnight. In the morning, the lice will have suffocated and can be removed with a lice comb.
The oil, tea tree oil, is a great treatment. This unique oil comes from a tree that grows in Australia. Few know all the wonderful benefits of oil. Several companies make products that contain tea tree oil. We suggest a hair conditioner that includes a high component of this oil. Just like when you use mayonnaise, leave it on your hair overnight and then comb the lice out in the morning.
Another suggested safe treatment method for treating children’s head lice is nutrition, using brewer’s yeast and garlic. This method provides a pleasant option to improve the skin and scalp, making it inhospitable to lice. This change in diet should be used with physical grooming of lice nits for a complete treatment. The change can be only moderate with diet alone. Some research, in fact, is not conclusive on the effectiveness of the yeast and garlic method alone.
Last but not least, there is the traditional manual treatment. This method requires a lot of persistence and hard work, but the results are excellent and there are no chemicals involved. This method means committing to thoroughly combing the lice and nits from the child’s hair every day for extended periods of time for possibly up to two weeks. It’s a labor-intensive process, but it’s a proven cure for even the toughest cases. Before starting the manual treatment, you may also consider having your child’s hair cut as it will be easier to administer with shorter hair.
With time and patience, you can remove lice from your home and your child’s head with traditional, herbal, oil-based, or manual treatments.