Its that time of year again, back to school and a return of those pesky little critters!
Head lice and nit diagnoses tend to peak at back to school time – mainly because all those kids are getting their heads together again.
Research(1) has shown that head lice are becoming increasingly resistant to many over the counter treatments and chemicals, not to mention the harsh nature of some of these products and the impact they can have on a child’s health and their skin.
So if you are looking for an effective and all natural solution to those dreaded head lice, Delacet could be the answer. With its unique patented formula of tincture of Larkspur and Acetic Acid, it’s kind to the scalp whilst effectively killing both lice and nits without the need for detection or prolonged combing.
Some of our customers have even reported that Delacet can be used as a preventative, lightly spraying their child’s head each morning before school with a diluted solution to stop the infestation to begin with. See our other tips for prevention at the bottom of this page.
Some useful head lice facts:
- Head lice are usually small 6-legged insects, which can vary in colour from grey to brown. Nits are tiny oval shape light colour specs, which are glued to individual strands of hair
- Nits are usually close to the scalp where it is warm but they can be found anywhere on hair
- To check if an egg is dead, squeeze it between the two thumb finger nails. If you can hear a click, it means that the nit was alive (but not any more!) and the person has to be treated
- Head lice feed on blood sucked from the human scalp
- Head lice are not necessarily tiny creatures – some of them are big enough to be easily spotted crawling on hair. They used to be approximately 1mm long but now some reach 3mm.
- Lice can live up to 4 weeks. You need a male and a female to mate to lay eggs
- An adult louse can lay up to 10 eggs a day
- It takes about 7 days for an egg to hatch
- There are approx. 200 species of human lice and some are getting bigger and tougher due to the overload of chemicals in various treatments. They apparently do not cross-breed
- Lice can live on other parts of the body such as the pubic area or arm pits or even eyebrows
- If you have head lice it is very likely that your scalp will itch. This is due to (1) the irritation caused by the substance injected into the skin by lice when they suck blood and (2) by the movement of insects crawling in hair
- Some people can itch for weeks even though they are not infested any more
- Head lice can survive outside a human body for up to 48 hours and no prolonged contact is necessary to get infested
- You can catch head lice through direct head to head contact or contact with places or objects, which are infested (hats, hair brushes, soft toys, wam clothing, bedding). They can’t jump or fly but they move very fast!
- You cannot catch head lice from animals as they do not get them. They get fleas
It is almost inevitable that at some point, in every child’s life, head lice will be a problem, and thats where products like Delacet come in very handy. However there are some simple, tried and tested ways of limiting the risk of getting head lice in the first place:
- Weekly “dry hair grooming” procedure where you look for eggs (nits) and not head lice
- Keeping long hair tied up in buns, plats, etc
- Avoiding head to head contact with other people
- Not using other people’s hair brushes, hats, woolly jumpers, cuddly toys, bedding, etc
- Treating an infected member of the family immediately the infestation is discovered (sometimes the whole family should be treated to prevent cross-infection). Washing bed sheets, hovering carpets, cleaning hair toiletries, washing clothes, etc would be recommended (general sensible hygiene – but there is no need to spray the house with strong chemicals or fumigate it)
- Lice do not like cold so airing clothes, bedding, soft toys, etc in the garden on a chilly day will help to eliminate them
- Following a healthy lifestyle, which in turn will strengthen the immune system and help to fight off the parasites
- Daily hair washing and “over clean” hair may encourage catching head lice
- In case of the head lice outbreak at your child’s school or nursery, vigorous but gentle daily hair brushing for approx 1 minute will help to remove some insects (best done over a bath or sink straight after arrival from school). A soft but thick bristle or bristle-like brush would be the best for this procedure (hair combs and nit combs are not suitable)
- Eating fresh onion and garlic (if you like it) seems to make the blood “ less attractive” to parasites
- If children are run down or have been unwell this would make them more prone to be colonized by lice. Strengthening their immune system by taking vitamins and minerals should be considered