7 Myths About COVID-19 That Might Be Preventing You from Lice Treatment

Seeing the massive impact of the COVID-19 outbreak since the start of 2020, it’s almost shocking how rapidly and significantly the world has had to change, seemingly overnight. Given that the virus is highly contagious, spread through the vapor, and requires social distancing and a lot of precaution. But there’s a lot of misinformation and several misconceptions about the spread and understanding COVID-19 that could hinder different facets of your life. These misconceptions arise as a result of misinterpretations, inadequate knowledge, and a lot of hearsay. It’s imperative that we exercise caution, but even more than that, it’s necessary to practice the right kind of caution and find a way forward with this new normal. Let’s begin by separating myth from fact by addressing some of the wildest beliefs going around:

1.     You’ll get COVID-19 by stepping out of the house

The novel coronavirus is a disease that has transmitted from animals to humans, mutating rapidly and dangerously as the world tries to keep up with it. There is still a lot to understand about the way this virus transmits and affects people, but from the knowledge gathered over the last few months, and even at present, we know that the primary mode of transmission is through vapor. These vapors are released from the nose and mouth, through activities such as coughs, sneezes, laughs, and enter the body through the nose, mouth, and eyes as well. Being exposed to someone who’s carrying the virus—either with or without symptoms—and inhaling these vapors is the primary form of transmission. Leaving the house alone is not going to make you ill. However, precaution is crucial. New York is one of the worst-hit regions in the country, which means residents across the state need to be extra cautious. After several months of lockdowns, shelter-in-place, and self-isolation, non-essential businesses are also resuming operations and reopening their doors to clients. This means all the errands you’d been putting off from fear of the virus, can safely be accomplished while following necessary measures. Businesses like ours that often involve close contact between lice specialists and our valuable clients have implemented the strictest measures to protect both our team members and those who visit our salons. A woman wears a face mask while stepping out for lice treatment. From face masks to regular disinfection and sterilization—a measure we had in place earlier, too—we are not compromising on your safety in any way. If you’d like to make an appointment for our lice removal treatments at our lice removal salon in Lawrence, NY, you can reach out to us to know more about the SOPs we’re practicing.

2.     It’s impossible to get head lice if you’re home

Another common myth about headlice is that transmission is impossible if you’re at home. While it’s true that close human contact or exchange of tools and equipment, such as brushes and combs, is primarily responsible for the spread of headlice, being mostly at home is not enough to protect you. It’s entirely possible that your chances of infestation are significantly lower, now that school is off and the kids—aka the primary carriers—are home, and you’re unlikely to be socializing the way you did before. However, if you’ve been feeling itchy, and have been for a couple of months now, or you traveled in the past few months, or even visited friends and family, you might have contracted them. Social distancing and isolating have only been in place for a few months, following peak lice season and back-to-school time after Christmas and New Years, and seeing as how kids were mostly in school till late February and early March if you or your kid were in contact with other people, your hair could be the perfect breeding ground in the summer heat. Lice don’t go away on their own; they rapidly reproduce and grow through your hair, so if you’re feeling an itch now that the days are warmer, it’s highly likely that you do have a case of infestation. Lack of recent exposure and social interaction work in your favor, but there’s never being too sure. You can drop by the lice salon or call over our experts for regular inspection, and we’ll clear things right up. A person holds a bottle of hand-sanitizer for better hygiene.

3.     Headlice medication is a ‘cure’ for COVID-19

This is another crazy and very dangerous headline that’s making rounds across the internet. As fascinating and godsend as it seems, the news that claims headlice medication killed COVID-19 virus in less than 48 hours is the incomplete picture. The drug that’s being referred to, is a commonly used and prescribed anti-parasitic known as ivermectin and was used in a very controlled lab test that showed the drug’s ability to kill the virus in-vitro—i.e., in a strictly moderated environment. It’s crucial to understand that this medicine has not been tested on human subjects for this purpose, and it’s not one that should be taken as a cure for the virus—or even lice—unnecessarily. While the results of that one study seemed promising, it’s important to understand that medication intended for a specific purpose cannot be swapped without proper medical recommendation, research, and FDA approval. It’s inevitable that with news like this making the rounds, people are likely to invest in this drug without doing the necessary research. But at Lice Troopers, we strongly advocate against the use of harsh chemicals and OTC medication and treatment as an alternative to killing lice, or something as life-threatening as the coronavirus. The impacts of these drugs, including in the case of excessive intake or OD, are far too unstable to believe. The FDA has also issued a warning against taking the results at face value because, at present, no dedicated, effective, and safe cure or treatment for COVID-19 exists. Medication should not be taken without caution, and especially not when alternative treatments exist, such as in the case of lice. Ivermectin, though generally lauded safe, is not free of serious and damaging side-effects. The drug has been studied for its neurological effects, among other issues.

4.     OTC and DIY lice treatments work more effectively

Given that people are afraid and worried about how easily transmittable and highly-contagious the virus is, it comes as no surprise that they will be willing to avoid any form of exposure. DIY activities have been on the rise as people resort to performing all sorts of treatments and experiments from the comfort and safety of their homes, from cutting their own hair to cooking up their favorite meals. A person with head lice continues itching hair after DIY treatment. Unfortunately, DIY lice treatments are not the same as a DIY paint job or face masks. While the others can be performed safely and effectively, following tutorials and instructions online, relying on OTC and DIY lice removal treatments is a risk you’re better off not taking. In the past, we’ve extensively talked about the downsides of both options, in terms of safety, effectiveness, and convenience, but will reiterate these factors once more, seeing as how it’s inevitable that people want to avoid professional treatments during this period. While the risks of both options outweigh these benefits, some of the biggest factors to consider are:
  1. OTC medications and treatments are loaded with chemicals
  2. You can end up with burns, skin and scalp damage, injuries and accidents
  3. There is no guarantee that they’ll work
  4. You could easily miss out on the nits and eggs
  5. They are not as effective or as thorough as professional treatments
  6. They can be harsh and painful to use
  7. They aren’t generally kid-friendly
  8. Odors and fumes can be overwhelming
Relying on medication, chemical-laden shampoos, and serums, slathering mayonnaise, and vaseline in your hair and yanking away for hours is a recipe for disaster. They might work and bring you instant relief, but it is, unfortunately, only a temporary fix. For instance, mayo might suffocate lice but doesn’t kill eggs—so a re-infestation is right around the corner. Combing hair using a fine-toothed comb can leave abrasions and sores across your scalp, and still be ineffective in removing all the eggs and nits nestled at the roots. You and your kids are bound to tire out and still not be 100% lice-free, alongside endangering your health and well-being for this purpose.

5.    COVID-19 is transmitted from touching physical surfaces, like chairs, doors and handles

This is yet another damaging misconception that has left many of us completely isolated and shut-in. It’s crucial to maintain social distance and practice regular sanitization and disinfection around your home, but COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through vapor. You will not get the virus by coming in contact with inanimate surfaces like sitting on the chair at a lice treatment salon or opening the door to one. Much like lice, the virus requires a human host for survival and will die out within 24–48 hours if away from their host. Both are parasitic in nature, and adequate disinfection, suffocation, and cleaning can rid various surfaces of both. If you’re practicing a regular hand-washing schedule, wearing your mask in public places, keeping a 3-6 ft. distance from people around you, and self-isolating if you or someone in your immediate vicinity is showing symptoms, you’re most likely to remain safe. Important supplies used to disinfect surfaces and hands. If you’re concerned about the lice removal tools and equipment used by our team, and how they might be carrying bacteria or the virus, rest assured that Lice Troopers has implemented stricter disinfecting and hygiene standards than before. Even before the outbreak, we made sure to sterilize and clean all our equipment between uses and ensure that our salons are also disinfected and cleaned at regular intervals. To mitigate risk and reduce exposure, our team members also engage in housecalls and perform evaluations, making recommendations alongside services. We will be able to offer you professional and effective solutions, including those regarding disinfecting your home to get rid of lice and vapors or viruses living on surfaces across your home.

6.     People can carry the virus into your homes through their clothes

Not only is there a very real fear about the virus living on inanimate surfaces, but there is also fear—a valid one at that—of people who’ve been exposed to bringing the virus to your home. While neither the virus nor lice can really transfer via clothing, shoes, and other personal belongings (although there’s been debate around that too), if you’re worried about letting people into your home, you’re not alone. In fact, you should laud yourself for holding back on unnecessary social engagements and interactions, albeit some services might be more necessary and urgent than a regular hairstyling appointment. But we hear you and have introduced an alternative, so you don’t need to bear with your lice infestation or compromise on your safety. Instead, you can choose from our new range of lice removal products and at-home kits that effectively target any lice, nits, and kill all remnants in your hair without damaging your scalp or locks the way conventional, chemical-based products do. Lice Troopers’ complete lice treatment home kit that comes with free delivery. Our line is made of pesticide free ingredients, is hypoallergenic and non-toxic, making them safe for children and adults, as well as individuals with sensitive skin. You can purchase individual products that are designed for various purposes, including our shampoo, leather cleaner, carpet and upholstery cleaner, lice repellant, and a lice extraction comb that moves through your hair targetting everything without causing pain or damage. You can also purchase a complete lice-treatment home kit that comes with all these products included, to make the whole process simpler and more convenient. Effective but easy-to-use, our products are in line with our commitment to providing safe, gentle, pesticide free lice treatments, regardless of the circumstances.

7.     Lice treatments are unnecessary until the virus goes away

While it might not seem like the most urgent situation, a lice infestation when left too long can become a nightmare for you or your child. The longer one of you has it, the more vulnerable other household members are to getting it, which also means more of you are at risk of exposure to both lice and the virus if you step out for professional treatment. Itching for prolonged periods of time can also lead to sores and bumps, as well as other rashes and reactions on your skin. These treatments may not be of the highest urgency, but they are necessary, and seeing as how we’re adjusting to the new normal, we’re working on making the experience as safe and as accessible to you as we can. If you’re concerned about the safety of your family, as well as the issues brought out by a lice infestation, you can reach out to our lice salon in Lawrence, NY for more information. Call us today at (516) 693-8711.