Lice have existed since at least 4,000 BC. Chr .; Researchers found nits on the remains of human hair in a cave in the Judean Desert.

One wonders how parents got rid of lice back then.

Today parents are scratching their heads trying to decide which option to choose in order to successfully remove lice from their children’s hair. Some, like the pyrethines (the synthetic version Nix, for example) have been around for years, but that is changing. The FDA has approved Ivermectin 0.05% Lotion or Sklice for the over-the-counter treatment of head lice infestations. Babies who are at least six months old can be treated with ivermectin. It was only available by prescription. The pyrethines made from the chrysanthemum flower only kill the living animals; They don’t touch the eggs.

Other prescription drugs that are still available include ivermectin tablets and the topical lotions benzyl alcohol (Ulesfia); Malathion (Ovide); and Spinosad (Natroba). The benzyl alcohol only kills live lice; Malathion kills live lice and some eggs; Spinosad, made from bacteria in the soil, kills everyone.

If you prefer the natural route, a Mayo Clinic website has some home remedies for treating lice, but they have not been shown to be effective. Wet combing, the use of essential oils, and smothering the lice with mayonnaise or petroleum jelly can all be considered for treating head lice. However, it is always a good idea to contact a doctor before treating your child’s scalp. Essential oils can cause allergic reactions, and petroleum jelly can be difficult to remove from hair.

If you want to avoid messing around with the lice, having someone else do the nit picking may be an option. Some specialized hair salons remove the nits manually or even offer a “tele-coaching” session to help you do this yourself (good news during the pandemic).

Another hot new device for treating lice is a souped-up hair dryer, originally called the LouseBuster (now AirAllé). AirAllé uses warm air to dehydrate lice and eggs and is used by some clinics to remove lice. The AirAllé’s heat is less than that of a hair dryer and the airflow is higher, so a regular hair dryer will not work and burn your child’s scalp.

Take them home

Lice are a tricky problem with no easy solution. There are ways to get rid of lice from your child’s hair. However, be sure to ask your child’s doctor before deciding on one.

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