Head lice, an annoying, itchy problem, that has increased across the globe and is found mainly on the scalps of children but easily and quickly passed to adults. Signs and symptoms of head lice are sometimes not clearly seen because the most common is a red, itchy scalp which looks and feels a lot like dandruff. With a closer look and determining head lice, you will find nits, which are white oval shaped specks that attach themselves to the side of hairs. Nits, are small and are lice eggs. If not removed lice will return as the eggs hatch. In some cases you can actually see live lice moving around on the scalp. This is what usually brings on the scratching and digging at the scalp.

Head lice is most common in school age children. There are several steps a parent can take to aid in head lice prevention. For girls, keeping long hair up in a pony tail or bun will help lice from latching on to the hair and moving to the scalp where they will then lay eggs. Boys should keep their hair short and groomed for this reason. In the winter have your children put their coats and jackets inside their book bags rather then hanging them next to another child’s on the classroom hook. Lice move freely and one lice on a jacket can cause an entire infestation later. Tea Tree Oil is also a lice prevention remedy and cure that is found in a lot of shampoo’s and conditioners at local stores. Prevention of head lice is the key.

Home remedies for head lice have been around for years. With the increase risks of using chemicals and their effects on children, many parents are utilizing these century old treatments to cure head lice. Olive Oil is an effective at home remedy in treating and curing head lice. Olive Oil is considered a smothering agent and literally smothers lice and their eggs. Olive Oil has been lab tested and has been found effective in killing lice and their eggs. Since olive oil has very few, if any, allergic properties associated with it, this all natural treatment and remedy is broadly used. Olive oil should be left on the hair and scalp for a full 24 hours to be completely effective. After removing the olive oil from the hair be sure to take a fine tooth comb and remove any excess nits found in the hair and scalp.

Mayonnaise is also an effective natural cure for head lice because it also smothers lice and the eggs. You should be especially careful when using mayonnaise because its properties, if not refrigerated, can sour and go bad. Be sure your child cannot get this sour mayonnaise into their mouth. Cover the entire head with a shower cap and leave on for at least 24 hours. Be sure to use a fine tooth comb as well to remove the nits from the hair completely.

With a base of five teaspoons of Pure Olive Oil, add five drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil, five drops of Rosemary Essential Oil, five drops of Lavender Essential Oil, five drops of Peppermint Essential Oil, and five drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil. Add a small amount of regular shampoo to the mixture, and put this all over the hair – all the way to the edges. Leave this on for an hour under a towel or tight-fitting shower cap to prevent drips and getting into the eyes. Rinse the hair, then rewash again with the same properties. After rinsing the shampoo, drown the hair with Vinegar. Leave it set for about 2-3 minutes. The vinegar will loosen any remaining eggs from the hair and go down the drain.

Some entomologists believe that you do not have to clean your home or classroom because lice die quickly once they are off the human scalp and hair. It is believed that within 36-48 hours lice begin to die because they need a human blood source to survive. Any left over eggs that have fallen off the scalp will die within 45 minutes because they do not have a human blood source. In any event, lice is lice and eggs are eggs. To avoid a re-infestation within this time frame, some take extra measures to ensure lice won’t invade again. Since lice and their eggs are not easily removed some not dare to take the chance. Preventing head lice re-infestation is crucial.

Cleaning up around your home, school or classroom should start with simple vacuuming. This will quickly and effectively remove any lice living or dead and their eggs. Lice and their eggs cannot survive in water so anything that is washable should be washed including book bags. Another sure fire method is to bag up items from a bedroom or classroom and tie it off. Leave it sit for 48 hours and remove. Any lice or eggs that had been attached will have fallen off and died because they lost their human blood supply. A quicker remedy for preventing head lice after an infestation is heat. Lice hate heat. You can put your clothes, stuffed animals, hats, linens and other applicable items in your dryer. This will kill lice and their eggs and prevent lice from returning.

As with most things, preventing head lice is the key. Taking reasonable steps to stop head lice before it occurs will ultimately save a lot of headaches later. As with any treatment always consult a physician prior to trying a new remedy. Always check for drug interactions and frequently check for allergic reactions to any home remedy used. In most cases home remedies carry less chance of having an allergic reaction then conventional medications found in your local store. Be sure to ask your Doctor or Pediatrician if any of these remedies are safe for children under the age of 5 and discuss any pre-existing alignments your child may have including asthma.

Learn more about head lice from PubMed Health>>

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