Infestations by head lice are very common. An estimated one in ten children will suffer this year an infestation of lice and it is crucial to apply the right treatment for head lice if you want to rid your kids of these parasites.
The infestation by head lice occurs most often among schoolchildren, particularly girls aged 5 to 11 years. It is often epidemic. The likelihood of suffering an infestation by lice is not related to personal hygiene and socioeconomic status. It does not transmit diseases to spread through blood.
Lice are wingless insects sucking. They are difficult to see because they adapt to take on the color of their environment. Head lice are spread by close contact of heads or objects likely to host the lice that have been in contact with an infested scalp and then are shared, such as combs, brushes and hats. The most common places for head lice outbreaks include schools, daycare centers and groups of children playing together.
Once you have determined that your child has head lice (see how to check for lice for more details), it is time to choose between a variety of treatments for head lice, whether commercial or natural. There are several things to take care of in addition to treating the child’s hair itself. You will also need to treat what your children may have come into contact with while they had lice. But the first step is treating their hair. This article focuses on traditional commercial head lice treatments, but there are also a variety of natural head lice treatments that work.
There are several over the counter shampoos that will remove head lice in addition to prescription shampoos, cream rinses or lotions. When choosing a chemical treatment of head lice, you must know that no pediculicidal product is 100% effective. Anyway it is important to follow the manufacturer’s directions on the bottle exactly to ensure that the treatment will work properly. Regardless of the type of recommended treatment, you should use a lice comb on wet hair to remove head lice eggs manually. And patients should also be monitored for reinfestation.
Very recent studies have revealed that in the United States as well as in other countries (Britain, France, Israel) head lice have developed resistance to chemical products. Some genes of these little creatures have mutated to become resistant to the main insecticides used in the common traditional treatments for head lice. Thus head lice treatments, until then very powerful, have become less efficient.
Of course this is a very controversial subject, and most manufacturers of these products and laboratories subsidized by these manufacturers will tell you that this is not true; nevertheless the studies have proved that the resistance of head lice is becoming a reality in many countries.
Despite several applications, the nits remain and although the parents believe they managed to get rid of it, the child has great potential to become contaminated again by going back to school. Parents change bedding every day and eventually end up catching head lice, too.
Resistance to permethrin, the most common treatment in the United Stated and Canada, reached 50% in schools in Los Angeles. According to other data, permethrin and malathion, another treatment of head lice widely used, reach resistance of approximately 64% to 87% in some regions of the United Kingdom. Undoubtedly, the effectiveness of treatments decline and resistance of head lice is today an established fact.
Lice need to be taken seriously because if you do not treat your children properly, the lice will continue to thrive and turn into an infestation rather than just a few nits on someone’s hair. So be diligent when it comes to the treatment of head lice.
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