Head Lice Home Remedies – Do They Really Work?
Head lice infestations are an all too common occurrence, particularly in the case of children for the easiest way to transfer lice between individuals is by actual contact. The conventional medicinal treatments for head lice are chemically manufactured, and it is no surprise that many people choose to seek alternative remedies to the problem, preferably those that do not involve dousing the child’s head in chemicals.
The first thing to do when considering head lice home remedies is to make sure the symptoms that patient is showing are indeed those that indicate the presence of lice. Very often dandruff is mistaken for nits – the eggs of the lice – and an easy method of discerning whether the creatures are indeed the problem is to comb the child’s hair over a white sheet of paper. Examining any dark spots that fall onto the paper, and comparing them with head lice pictures that you can find on the internet, will enable you to make a correct diagnosis.
One piece of advice given to those looking for head lice treatment methods is to use a specially constructed lice comb, available at any good pharmacist: this is a small comb that is intended for removing lice by simple combing, and while the method is often successful it is time consuming and needs to be repeated on a regular basis.
There are several substances that many claim help to kill the lice, generally by suffocation and keeping them from moving, and such home remedies range from covering the head in vinegar or mayonnaise, to herbal remedies and other products, all of which can be successful but are not scientifically proven. If, however, any method is preferable to a chemical treatment then these methods are worth a try, if sometimes very messy indeed.
One of the reasons why head lice have become very common in recent years is that they are prone to adapting, and they can live in adverse conditions very easily. It is a mistake to believe, however, that head lice exist primarily in those with poor hygiene, a belief that is disproven by the sheer number of cases. When in the nit stage – that is existing as tiny eggs – they are at the most difficult point to remove as they are fixed to the hair with a very successful adhesive, and this is why many practitioners recommend the combing routine as the best solution.
If head lice symptoms are seen then acting quickly is always advisable, as the eggs hatch in just a few days, and begin to breed as adults very quickly indeed.
About the Head Louse
The proliferation of head lice infestations, particularly spreading among young children in schools, shows no signs of abating, and a great part of that is down to the way these irritating creatures live their lives.
Put simply, head lice live on our scalp and feed off our blood – it is this that causes the irritation and itching that are prime head lice symptoms – and lay eggs which, in just a matter of days become adult lice and begin the process again, but it is the way they move around that gives us the clue as to why they spread in the situation they do.
A head louse has no wings and does not jump, so therefore the only way it can move from person to person is by walking from hair to hair; this means close contact must happen, and children are prime candidates for such.
It pays to be able to recognize head lice, and the nits – or eggs – that they lay, and this is why it is advisable to look at some of the head lice pictures that are commonplace on the internet. Many of these websites can also offer advice on prevention and treatment, and give more details on the head lice and its life cycle.
Head lice prevention is perhaps the best place to start: if you are aware there is a head lice infestation in your child’s – or your – close circle then you need to do all you can to keep contact with the infected to a minimum. Furthermore, a regular inspection routine is essential in order to keep an eye out for the creatures, and regular washing of the hair, perhaps with one of the herbal or natural shampoos that are supplied as home remedies for head lice, is also advisable. Do not be fooled into thinking, however, that head lice will stay away from clean hair as they are not confined to the unwashed, despite common belief.
Using one of the specially made head lice combs – designed to remove the nits and therefore reduce the population explosion – is a recommended course of action and will also help identify if lice are present: combing over a white sheet of paper will highlight any fallen creatures or nits.
Head lice are creatures that appear only too often, and the methods used to treat them are many and varied – some use vinegar for head lice treatment, others olive oil – and if you prefer home remedies then there is much in the way of advice, but it is also worthwhile looking at those lice pictures and familiarizing yourself with their appearance.
Using Vinegar for Head Lice Treatment
The treatment of head lice, and the remedies that are often suggested, is a hotly contested area: on the one hand we have the readily available medicinal shampoos, complete with insecticides that are designed to kill the head lice at source, and on the other we have a wealth of homemade remedies for head lice of varying styles and methods, many of which are based on ancient herbal treatments and use natural and harmless ingredients.
The methods of using vinegar for head lice treatment fall into the latter category, and if you are thinking it may seem a little odd to put vinegar on the hair, it is far from as bizarre as coating the head with mayonnaise as one alternative method suggests!
Nor, in the eyes of many, is using vinegar as disconcerting as using insecticide shampoos: these contain often dangerous chemicals, and the manner in which head lice have evolved means the creatures appear to have become immune to many such treatments. Vinegar, however, is something that is used for many different purposes, but how is it a home remedy for head lice?
One of the problems with head lice is that the nits – tiny eggs – are attached to the hair follicles by very strong ‘glue’; this makes them extremely difficult to remove. A specially designed head lice comb may remove some, but not all, meaning that further regular combing must be carried out in order to catch the hatching young before they become breeding adults.
What Does Vinegar does on Head Lice?
What vinegar does is loosen this strong attachment to the hair, as the acetic acid acts on the adhesive and renders it useless; this means that when a nit comb is run through the hair – carefully and repeatedly – there is a much greater likelihood of the nits being dislodged and removed, and therefore less chance of new nits hatching and reaching maturity.
Vinegar is not to be used on its own, however, but like many head lice home remedies it works best in conjunction with other methods; head lice treatment needs to include thorough and regular washing of the hair, followed by combing with the head lice comb, after which the vinegar should be applied and the hair rinsed, and the combing process begun again. It is essential that the routine is adhered to if success is to be achieved.
The head louse is an annoying rather than a threatening creature, and its presence does not necessarily indicate an unwashed head, but the use of vinegar can be a very successful method of removing both the adult head lice and their eggs. How to treat head lice? Treat head lice now!
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