It happens to the best of us. Parents work tirelessly to keep a clean and healthy home, only to discover that parasites have come home with their child; a particular type of vermin that is contagious.
What You Need to Know about Head Lice
Pediculus humanus capitis – or the common head louse – is not considered a direct hazard to your health, but it is definitely a menace. Lice often cause itching and scratching, which can result in dandruff, head sores, and more rarely, skin infections.
Since the tiny creatures move quite easily from person to person, they are considered highly contagious. It is often young children who spread the parasites, because they study and play in such close contact with their friends at school and then carry the lice home to their parents and families. This is also why most schools maintain a strong “no lice” policy and check small heads for lice and eggs on a regular basis.
How to Treat and Eradicate Head Lice
Many products exist to treat head lice, but you’ll want to choose carefully. Most over-the-counter treatments contain pyrethrins, toxic chemicals derived from chrysanthemum flowers. Although this pesticide is often touted as “natural”, it is not any less toxic because of its natural origins. In children, overexposure has been to known to cause respiratory problems, skin rashes, blisters, and neurological setbacks. It is also a known carcinogen.
There are, however, alternative solutions! Although they are few, some manufacturers do implement gentler methods to eradicate the pests. Rich’s Best Kept Secret Shampoo, for example, contains non-toxic ingredients that remove parasites without irritating the scalp or hair. The active ingredients include:
- Lye and glycerin: This age-old recipe for soap leaves the scalp and hair clean while killing lice and their eggs.
- Citronella: Extracted from certain species of Asian grasses, citronella is a fragrant oil that repels lice.
This particular shampoo also contains coconut oil, olive oil, and omega fatty acids to soothe and moisturize the scalp. Rich’s Best Kept Secret Shampoo will need to be left on the hair and scalp for 5 minutes, after which the dead lice and nits may be combed out. It may be used daily until the pest problem is resolved.