Learn how to get rid of these nasty critters.
Lice -- it's not a subject that parents like to talk about, but when their child gets head lice, its usually straight to the doctor or pharmacist to find out what to do. If you want to learn more about lice and how get rid of them, go to www.Lice.ca.
What are lice?
Lice are wingless, six-legged insects that live on hair and feed off blood in the skin. They are about the size of a sesame seed and their hook-like claws make it difficult to remove them from strands of hair. Head lice are found throughout the world and can affect anyone, regardless of social class. The simple act of going to school can infect your child with lice.
How do lice spread?A few facts about how head lice spread:
- Lice are most commonly seen in children, particularly between the ages of 3 and 11.
- They are more common in girls, perhaps because of their longer hair and the more frequent exchange of combs and other head accessories. Head lice are less commonly seen in those with tight curly hair.
- They are thought to spread through close head-to-head contact.
- While head lice can crawl up to 23 cm per minute, they can only survive for several hours away from the scalp.
There are several treatment options including:
- A louse comb can be used to remove lice and nits. Metal combs are sturdier than plastic ones and many people recommend soaking the combs in rubbing alcohol, water and anti-lice shampoo or a 2% Lysol solution for one hour before using.
- Many safe and effective insecticides (anti-lice treatments) are available, including: permethrin and pyrethrin-piperonyl butoxide (Kwellada-P creme rinse and Nix creme rinse). These two popular insecticides are the same compound, however permethrin is a synthesized version. Both have a similar mechanism of action.
A new treatment for head lice
There are a number of treatments made from pesticides that are available to treat head lice. However, Health Canada recently approved a non-pesticide product called Resultz. Still in clinical trials in the United States and in ongoing studies in Canada, Resultz was approved quickly by Health Canada due to the clinical data supporting its effectiveness and safety. Resultz is applied to dry hair for 10 minutes and then is rinsed away with warm water. A second application is recommended one week later.
The SkinCareGuide Network of dermatology-related websites was founded by a prestigious group of international dermatologists. It provides comprehensive information for patients and physicians about the skin, its care and various skin conditions and treatments. All content is reviewed by an independent board of medical advisers to ensure that the information is accurate, unbiased and up-to-date. This information is not intended to replace a consultation with your own physician.