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The battle to get rid of head lice eggs, or nits, and actual head lice can be as frustrating as determining whether the chicken or the egg came first. Focusing solely on getting rid of head lice eggs can leave the actual lice alive to produce more eggs, whereas focusing only on the lice can leave the eggs undisturbed to produce more lice. Therefore, your goal must be removing lice and eggs from both your head and your surroundings, consequently preventing head lice outbreaks in the future. You can do this by using either an over-the-counter head lice medication or natural head lice remedy. Although it’s not common, some severe head lice cases might require a doctor’s assistance.
Typically, over-the-counter head lice medication includes at least two medicated shampoo treatments and a head lice comb. The first shampoo treatment kills the live lice. After that, you use the head lice comb to remove the remaining head lice eggs. The second treatment, which takes place anywhere from seven to 10 days after the first, is meant to kill the lice that hatch from any head lice eggs you missed with the comb. Depending on the severity of the infestation and how well you’re able to remove the eggs, you might need to repeat this cycle more than once.
There are plenty of OTC head lice treatments on the market. Some are generic, and some are brand name. The kind you choose will depend mostly on availability and your personally preference, though you can research customer reviews and talk to others who have used the products before you make a purchase.
Generally, natural head lice remedies follow the same path as OTC medications. You will use some natural or do-it-yourself substance to kill, or at least smother, the live lice while you remove the head lice eggs with a comb. Such substances might include mayonnaise, certain mouthwashes, olive oil, caster oil, certain essential oils, or petroleum jelly. The idea is to saturate your hair with the substance, leave it on for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, and then use a head lice comb after rinsing. Like medicated treatments, you might need to use natural remedies more than once.
As you’re treating yourself for head lice, be sure to treat your surrounding areas. These areas include your home, car, and possibly even work areas. Pay especially close attention to areas where you spend the most time, such as your bed, your couch, your driver’s seat, and your computer chair. To remove lice and eggs from these areas, you can use a combination of vacuuming, laundering, and applying substances meant to kill the lice. Consider purchasing special sprays or powders designed to kill lice on fabrics and other surfaces, or extend your natural remedy to these areas.
If neither OTC nor natural head lice remedies work for you, you might need to seek a doctor’s assistance. You might have a particularly bad infestation, or you might even have what are known as super lice, which are a larger kind of head lice that seem to have developed resistance to some medications. Your doctor might be able to prescribe a stronger medication to kill the head lice and head lice eggs. He might even recommend a treatment center in your area that specializes or offers services for removing head lice and head lice eggs. Once you see your doctor, the two of you will decide the best course of action based on your situation.