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OliveOilMom
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03 Feb 2012, 7:55 am

Yuck. It happens though. For years one of my kids would come home scratching and we would check the others and there were nits. Lice goes through the schools like water through a goose in the spring around here, and in other places too. We used RID and also that prescription stuff and it got rid of them then they would go back to school and catch them again. Treat again next week. Then in two more because somebody else had them. The schools send a kid home who has it and it has to be gone before he comes back, but by the time they catch one case, he's infected others, and so on and so on.

Not only is it worrying to keep putting Lindane on your kids head over and over, it also smells horrible and sometimes it burns their scalp. Plus, it's expensive, especially having to buy it over and over. The school nurse gave me a solution a few years ago that worked like a charm. It was safe, cheap, easy to do, and leaves the hair nice and soft, plus if you have a squirmy one who hates hair washing, it wont hurt him if you can't get it all out the first time, it will only look somewhat greasy.

Mayonaise and a plastic shower cap. You need regular mayonaise, not the light or fat free kind. You can buy hair mayonaise in the ethnic hair care section but it's the same thing, only with fragrance added and more expensive. You also need a plastic loose fitting shower cap. Not a swim cap. I buy the clear plastic caps in the ethnic hair care section. They are also known as Jherri Curl caps, if you remember that far back. And a nit comb.

Put the mayo all over the dry hair. Put lots of it on. Gobs of it. You want it to cover every strand down to the roots. Put the cap on and leave it on overnight. Preferably about 12 hours if your kid can stand it. It feels icky but it's not as bad as Lindane. My DS didn't mind just the mayo and cap but DD hated the way it felt, so I tied a scarf over the cap tightly. That held it on well, and it made it tighter so she couldn't feel the squishiness as much. When the time is up, take the cap off and comb the hair with a regular comb to get the gobs of mayo out. Then nit comb it. It will be much easier and smoother than with RID. The comb goes through so easy. You can also get more nits out.

Then rinse it. You will have to wash the hair several times with shampoo to get it all out, and if you have a child who hate hair washing, just wash it as many times as he can stand, then let it dry and wash more later. Until you get it all out, the hair will be kind of oily, but several shampooings in a day can take care of that.

Here is how it works. It smothers them. It doesn't poison them, the mayo is just too thick for them to breathe through. They can hold their breath from 8 - 10 hours, so it has to be on longer than that. If you nit comb it well, it won't require a second treatment.

Do the bedding, stuffed animals, etc the same as you usually do.

My youngest is 15 and we haven't had lice in a few years, but this is the best treatment I've come across. I thought about posting it here because a friends child has lice and I told her about it. Her child just hates bathing and having her hair washed. I have read that many AS/ASD kids do too, even worse, and I know the concern about leaving Lindane in. This works just as well, not at all dangerous, and much less of a fight to get it done.


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angelgarden
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03 Feb 2012, 8:18 am

Very nice, thanks. I'll remember this. My son CAN'T STAND even a regular hair wash. I can't imagine he would allow anything to stay on his head all night, but maybe if we built it up as something like a special space hat from Star Wars, he'd put up with it. :wink:



OliveOilMom
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03 Feb 2012, 8:42 am

angelgarden wrote:
Very nice, thanks. I'll remember this. My son CAN'T STAND even a regular hair wash. I can't imagine he would allow anything to stay on his head all night, but maybe if we built it up as something like a special space hat from Star Wars, he'd put up with it. :wink:


The thing about the RID type treatments is even though they are shorter, they stink to high heaven. They also really burn a scalp thats been irritated by scratching. They burn bad too, I've had to treat myself every time I treat my kids, and I can't not scratch an itch. Also, if Lindane gets into an open sore from scratching, it can cause Lindane poisoning. That always scared me. It's also very painful to be nit combed after using it because the hair is hard and rough and nit combs are tiny. It's even worse if you have long hair. My girls had never had a hair cut back when they were getting lice. Hair down to their waists almost. Imagine nit combing that. Cutting it wasn't an option unless we just couldn't get it out. I wouldn't have minded although I certainly didn't want to see it cut, but they were adamant about it.

I've heard that you can use tea tree oil for the same thing too, but I don't know how and I also hear it burns.

I know that before there were treatments for lice, you just had to pick and comb the nits and lice out. I can't imagine doing it without a treatment. I've tried it on just washed hair without treating it first and it's much harder to get them out. I can't imagine having to do that all day long.

One thing that I've also heard, lice like clean hair. If the kids hair and scalp are oily, lice won't get in there. It's an option for boys with buzz cuts, but that leaves everybody else out in the cold. Buzz cuts don't really show when they need to be washed. My boys used to have them when they were little. Unfortunately my son didn't have one when he had lice, except once. The last time he had lice, he had shoulder length hair. All my kids have very, very thick hair and are very tenderheaded.

Maybe if you let him pick out something to go over it? Do a dry run first with conditioner and the cap and see if he thinks he can stand it. Then wash it out, let it dry and do the mayo. I had to bribe mine. Games or cash.


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dr01dguy
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03 Feb 2012, 8:42 am

Even better: Google "ivermectin" (Stromectol). It's strictly off-label in the US, but it's probably the best & safest way to kill lice there is. It basically makes your blood poisonous to them, so they die. The only catch is that you have to repeat the treatment for a couple of consecutive weeks, because it won't kill the eggs, so you basically have to kill each batch of hatchlings before they're old enough to reproduce and lay eggs of their own. It's not cheap (good god, it's like $6/tablet FROM INDIA... I think it's around $30-50/tablet from a drugstore in the US, and most health insurance officially won't pay for it since they usually have a clause buried somewhere that denies coverage for unapproved & off-label prescriptions), but it works.

Oh, and for the record, I think there's some company that's doing the FDA tests right now to get it officially approved for lice. The main problem isn't safety, it's the fact that Ivermectin is too old to viably patent, so nobody wants to spend the money to get it officially approved by the FDA. I think a law was passed a couple of years ago (ANDA?) that states that if a drug is already approved for one use and off-patent, you can skip most of the expensive clinical trials and get it provisionally approved as an official use by basically demonstrating that it seems to work and doesn't appear to be more harmful than existing treatments. Compared to putting things like malathion and piperazine on your skin, Ivermectin is pretty tame.

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7899799
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21046698
http://dermatology.cdlib.org/126/review ... khart.html
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0905471


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momsparky
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03 Feb 2012, 8:55 am

I've also had success with mayo: however, if your child can't stand the smell of mayo (DS struggled with it) any cheap white hair conditioner will do (or non-toxic cheap white fatty substance, although I'd be careful with pure fat being difficult to wash out.) The biggest part of it is having something viscous enough to immobilize the lice so they can't run away from the comb, and something white so you can see what you're doing, and then methodically combing out every last louse.

Hopefully, we have outgrown this, but it was really unpleasant when we went through it.



zette
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03 Feb 2012, 9:16 am

Out neighbor's daughter got lice, and here they don't even send the kids home anymore, nor tell the rest of the parents that a child in the class got lice! There are salons in town that specialize in treatment and nit removal. They must be doing a booming business!



OliveOilMom
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03 Feb 2012, 9:45 am

dr01dguy wrote:
Even better: Google "ivermectin" (Stromectol). It's strictly off-label in the US, but it's probably the best & safest way to kill lice there is. It basically makes your blood poisonous to them, so they die. The only catch is that you have to repeat the treatment for a couple of consecutive weeks, because it won't kill the eggs, so you basically have to kill each batch of hatchlings before they're old enough to reproduce and lay eggs of their own. It's not cheap (good god, it's like $6/tablet FROM INDIA... I think it's around $30-50/tablet from a drugstore in the US, and most health insurance officially won't pay for it since they usually have a clause buried somewhere that denies coverage for unapproved & off-label prescriptions), but it works.

Oh, and for the record, I think there's some company that's doing the FDA tests right now to get it officially approved for lice. The main problem isn't safety, it's the fact that Ivermectin is too old to viably patent, so nobody wants to spend the money to get it officially approved by the FDA. I think a law was passed a couple of years ago (ANDA?) that states that if a drug is already approved for one use and off-patent, you can skip most of the expensive clinical trials and get it provisionally approved as an official use by basically demonstrating that it seems to work and doesn't appear to be more harmful than existing treatments. Compared to putting things like malathion and piperazine on your skin, Ivermectin is pretty tame.

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7899799
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21046698
http://dermatology.cdlib.org/126/review ... khart.html
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0905471


The problem with that is, at my kids school they would send the child home and make you treat it that night and then they would check their head the next day before they let them back into class. If they saw anything, they sent them right back home.


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OliveOilMom
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03 Feb 2012, 9:49 am

zette wrote:
Out neighbor's daughter got lice, and here they don't even send the kids home anymore, nor tell the rest of the parents that a child in the class got lice! There are salons in town that specialize in treatment and nit removal. They must be doing a booming business!


Wow! Here they send the kid home immediately. They call the parents to come get them right then. You have to treat it that night too, and they inspect them the next day before letting them back in class. I had three kids in the same school at once, and when one of mine got it, they all had nits, so you have to treat the whole family. My older one was in another school or out of school by then. He still lived with us, so he had to be treated. We had to treat six people in one night, and wash five beds, put the pillows in the hot dryer for an hour, etc. All in one night. There were times I didn't get to bed at all. Then having to do it all again in another week or two because another kid got it.

I don't know if it's because we are in the country, but there are so many more lice cases here than when we lived in the city. In the city, my son got it once between kindergarden and fifth grade. Here, kids in elementary school get it two or three times a year. It goes through the school like wildfire.


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Eureka-C
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03 Feb 2012, 11:27 am

I don't know how effective it is officially, but we found success with dog flea and tick shampoo for dogs with sensitive skin or puppies. We used the over the counter nit treatment first, then the dog shampoo daily, then lots and lots of conditioner. I also combed out the nits with a nit comb nightly for about a month. I often left in the conditioner when I combed. So, maybe it was just the conditioner, or maybe it was just the combing. It was my NT daughter with no sensitivity issues, so as long as she could play the nintendo DS or watch tv, she was okay to sit there for an hour every night. After going through this three time, we made some rules: no sharing combs, brushes, headphones, hats, jackets, barrettes, headbands, hair ponies, no lying on school pillows, cushions, stuffed animals, no dress up hats at school, no lying next to friends with your heads near each other (just don't lay on the school carpet at all). Maybe its just luck, but we have had success with this.