Home Remedy for Head Lice
Lice infestation, also known as pediculosis, is not rare in humans. Head lice is especially common and can be passed from person to person. This page explains the condition, its symptoms, and practical home remedies.
Head Lice Picture
Source: Center for Disease Control
What is head lice?
They are tiny parasitic insects that live on the skin covering the top of your head and scalp (also see body lice and pubic lice. Their eggs often look like flakes of dandruff but stay put on your head, rather than flaking off. The lice itself can live up to 30 days on a human, while their eggs can live for more than 2 weeks. They typically infest areas of the body that have a hair covering and cause itchiness and scratching. Lice thrive on human skin, feeding off human blood and laying eggs on hair shafts, just over the skin surface. Lice can be spread by close contact with other people, especially in schools if there is an affected child.
- Intense itching on the scalp usually as an allergic reaction to the saliva and excreta of the lice.
- Small, red bumps on the scalp, and sometimes on the neck and schoulders too.
- Tiny white specks (eggs) on the bottom of each hair strand that can be hard to remove.
How to look for the little critters.
Find a friend! They can be difficult to see so you need to examine the scalp closely - a magnifying glass can be helpful. Make sure to use disposable gloves and look at the affected person's head under a bright light or natural sunlight. Use fingers to part the hair against the scalp in very small sections. Look for both moving lice and eggs (nits). Cover the entire head area thoroughly and look closely around the top of the neck and ears, the most common locations for eggs. If even just one egg is found, it is recommended that you seek treatment right away.
Natural home remedies for lice are commonly used. But for many people, they are effective only in instances of mild head lice. If you have a severe infection, contact your physician. Below are some home remedies to try.
- Tea Tree oil and Olive oil treatments. Add 10 to 15 drops of either oil into your shampoo bottle and use it daily.
- Mayonnaise. Massage your scalp with mayonnaise, let it sit for 2 hours, and then comb out the mayonnaise.
- Vinegar. Wash your hair with vinegar and it will help kill all the eggs in about 2 days.
- Mouthwash. Try using Listerine mouth wash by rubbing it on your head.
- Lemon and Butter. Mix together lemon and butter and use the mixture on your scalp, leave on for about 30 seconds, then rinse.
Be aware that lice can transfer to your clothes, bed linens, etc. So it is extremely important to decontaminate the entire household by washing all your personal items or removing them from the home. While they can often be killed with the proper treatment, lice may come back. And because lice can transfer from one individual to another, it is important to refrain from sharing personal belongings with anyone who has head lice.