Today the growing resistance of head lice to traditional head lice treatments has caused scientists to look for more efficient remedies. The Benzyl Alcohol Lotion for head lice is one of them.
The Benzyl Alcohol Lotion for lice treatment was the first one of similar alcohol treatments to be approved by the FDA. It is considered safe and is not flammable. The trials showed that a 5 percent Benzyl Alcohol Lotion treatment was at least as effective as a pyrethrin treatment for head lice (such as RID lice killing shampoo). Moreover, head lice do not get resistant to the Benzyl Alcohol Lotion treatment.
Benzyl alcohol for lice does not work by poisoning them but by suffocating them. There are other non toxic remedies you can use to suffocate head lice, such as olive oil or a mayonnaise treatment. However, these remedies usually produce only a temporary suffocation effect and if you don’t let it enough time on the hair or if you don’t eliminate all lice from the hair, many head lice come back to life when the remedy gets washed off the hair.
The Benzyl Alcohol Lotion suffocates head lice more effectively and dehydrates them, too. Besides, it has to be kept on the hair for only about 10 minutes, while oil or mayonnaise need to stay on the head for 3 to 8 hours.
In April 2009, the FDA approved the use of Ulesfia Lotion (Benzyl Alcohol Lotion) for the treatment of head lice on people age 6 months and older. Because safety and effectiveness studies have not been conducted in people over 60 years of age, use this product with caution in this age group. However, you should know that Ulesfia kills adult lice, but not lice eggs or nits, and thus requires two treatments separated by a week.
Benzyl alcohol for lice must be applied to dry hair. The amount of product needed varies according to the hair length: short hair up to 2 inches requires up to ¾ bottle of product; medium length hair (8-16 inches) up to 3 bottles; long hair (22 inches or more) 6 bottles. Once the product is completely applied it is kept on for an additional 10 minutes, and then rinsed off.
It is recommended that a second treatment be done one week after the first. DO NOT use on infants less than 6 months of age. The use of Ulesfia on premature infants could put them at risk for serious side effects. Follow your doctor’s instructions exactly and only use this product on the persons for whom they were prescribed.
Again, only a few head lice treatments are capable of killing head lice eggs, called nits. The Benzyl Alcohol Lotion is not one of these treatments. It cannot help to get rid of nits, this is why a repeated treatment is needed to kill all the newly hatched lice. For this purpose, you can use vinegar or lemon juice, and make sure you comb all nits out with a lice comb.
The main drawback of the Benzyl Alcohol Lotion treatment for head lice is financial: this treatment can be quite expensive. A bottle sells for more than $50 at the time of writing and if you’ve got long hair, you would need several bottles of the product to treat head lice and wet the entire hair. Keep in mind that you would need at least two treatments to get rid of head lice for good.