Over-the-Counter Treatments for Head Lice: How Effective Are They?

Summer’s over and your kids have headed back to their school. Are you bracing yourself for a lice infestation in your house soon?

While your neighbors and friends will recommend stocking up on insecticides that contain permethrin and pyrethrin to kill lice, we’re here to tell you the truth…

New research has shown that over the past few decades, a genetic mutation in lice has enabled them to develop a significant resistance to these chemicals found in several over-the-counter treatments.

Let’s explore why.

What are over-the-counter treatments?

Shampoos and insecticides are some over-the-counter treatments that are used to kill head lice. They are used over the course of a few weeks to eliminate lice from the host’s head completely.

Two common active ingredients are usedin insecticides and shampoos—permethrin and pyrethrin target the lice by paralyzing the lice and eventually killing them.

Are these treatments effective?

Recent studies suggest that the spread and prevalence of head lice have increased due to the KDR-type mutation that lice have developed.

The last year has seen a 4 percent increase in head lice prescriptions alone. As such, excessive use of over-the-counter treatments has rendered these treatments null and useless as lice have developed immunity.

This has caused the resistance to spread in 138 different cities in approximately 48 states of America. Not only has the resistance spread, but the excessive use has also enabled head lice to thrivein the presence of these chemicals.

The resistance has instilled fear within the scientific community about the effectiveness of other over-the-counter treatments such as dimethicone, which is still being used by many to treat lice. Likely, overuse use of dimethicone will also compromise its effectiveness soon.

What can be done?

Since using home remedies such as oils, mayonnaise, and petroleum jelly are void in the face of a lice infestation, the only effective course of treatment remains the use of pesticide free and manual nit and lice removing techniques.

Scientists are advocating for the use of heating and drying agents that are used to dehydrate the lice so they can be easily picked out. While some individuals may want to replicate the effect of a drying agent with a hot hair dryer or by putting kerosene in the hair, these techniques pose a serious fire and health hazard.

If you’re looking for a lice removal treatment which is pesticide free, efficacious and safe, head over to the Lice Troopers salon in New York. Our highly trained experts are committed to providing you a non-toxic, eco-friendly treatment that will take care of the head lice problem for you. Contact us at 800-403-5423 today!