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New Research Shows: OTC Lice Treatments Linked To Behavioral Problems In Young Children.

Head lice treatments could lead to behavioural problems in some young children
That was the suggestion published in report by the University of Rennes, France
Issue surrounds pyrethroids - synthetic chemicals used in common pesticides
Exposure could lead to children developing social problems by the age of six​
According to new research, exposure to certain chemicals used in OTC lice treatments (known as pyrethroids) may be linked to behavioral difficulties in young children.

For the study, a team of French researchers analyzed the urine of 287 women while they were pregnant, and then of their children six years later, to see if there was any link between prenatal and childhood exposures and behavior. They found that a higher level of a certain pyrethroid in the urine of the expectant moms was associated with a heightened risk of their 6-year-olds being anxious and withdrawn. And another pyrethroid found in the children's urine samples was associated with a greater risk of defiant and aggressive behavior.

This was not the first study to raise alarm bells regarding the connection between pyrethroid exposure and behavioral issues. In 2015, researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted between 2000 and 2001, on 687 children between the ages of 8 and 15. When they examined urine samples taken from the children to measure pesticide levels, the scientists discovered that boys in particular had a three times higher risk of being diagnosed with ADHD if their urine samples contained the pyrethroid 3-PBA. Their risk of exhibiting the hyperactive and impulsive behaviors associated with ADHD increased exponentially the higher the levels detected. The study was published in the journal Environmental Health.

Tanya Froehlich, a pediatrician and the study’s author, noted, “Given the growing use of pyrethroid pesticides and the perception that they may represent a safe alternative, our findings may be of considerable public health importance.”

But if pyrethroid-based shampoos are not the answer, are there natural remedies to kill lice that actually work? Absolutely!

To avoid this dangerous exposure for your children the lice treatment the National Pediculosis Association (the nonprofit group behind the website suggests the manual removal of lice eggs with a nit-removal comb. There are also a variety of natural ingredients which are effective in head lice treatment.

We have created our own pediatrician formulated Organic Lice Treatment Product line, to specifically deal with this problem. We are always available to help you with your head lice infestation, without the use of harmful chemicals!

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What are the HIDDEN COSTS of having lice?

Did you know that the average person suffers with head lice for 3-6 months?
During that time they will try an average of 5-7 treatments and spend countless dollars and hours trying to get rid of their infestation. Doctor’s visits, multiple toxic, pesticide treatments, gadgets, combs, beauty salon lice products, internet lice products, homemade remedies, items tossed unnecessarily, more doctor visits and finally prescription strength pesticide treatments. All with no success. And this isn't just kids, adults deal with lice horror stories also

One woman, a Toronto mother of two, shared her lice nightmare on Metro Morning.
"It was about two and a half years ago that lice visited our house. I had had a really, really itchy neck and eyebrows for more than a month."
​She visited her doctor and was referred to a dermatologist, who talked to her about her laundry detergent and a number of possible environmental factors to explain her itchy skin. It was recommended she switch to natural hair-care products. Lice was never considered as a possible source of the problem. You can listen to audio of her story here.

​This is all too common an experience, with weeks and sometimes months passing with misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis, spending money on medications, mission work and time with loved ones. Not to mention the countless loads of laundry, cleaning and the stress! Lice can bring even the strongest person to their knees because it can be seemingly impossible to get rid of.

Following is the real cost of head lice based on market research:
*Doctor Visits for diagnosis and guidance: $250.00
*Rid Complete Kit: $47.98
*Nix Family Kit: $21.99
*Internet Lice Products, Homemade Remedies, Gadgets, Prevention Products: $150.00
*Prescription Lice Treatments: $265.98
*Replacement hair brushes, combs, hair accessories: $100.00
*Missed Work (3 days missed work on average Based on $50,000 salary): $450.00
*Missed School (Private) (3 days missed school on average based on $10,000 Tuition): $167.00
*Missed after-school activities: $100.00
*Additional Water and Electricity charges due to Extra Laundry and cleaning: $200.00
Total costs: $1,752.95

Immeasurable Costs
Countless Hours of Combing; Countless Hours of Cleaning; Missed Birthday Parties; Missed extracurricular activities: Lack of Sleep, Anger, Depression, Anxiety, Stress on Family; Stress on Marriage; Stress on Friendships; Long Term effects of Toxic Lice Treatment

FACT: Head lice are now resistant to the dangerous pesticides often used to treat them.
Harvard School of Public Health states that, “Head lice in the United States are resistant to permethrin and lindane [toxic lice products now banned in California], and higher doses of this insecticide generally are not more effective”.
FACT: The dangerous pesticides often used to treat lice have SERIOUS side-effects for humans!
According to National Pediculosis Association (NPA), “Seizures, behavioral changes, Attention Deficit Disorders, cancer, skin diseases, and even death have been reported to the National Pediculosis Association’s registry by people who have used chemical treatments [such as RID and NIX] to get rid of head lice or scabies… the NPA advises parents to discontinue the use of head lice pesticides…MANUAL REMOVAL IS THE BEST OPTION”.

Did You Know?
If you receive treatment from a licensed and certified head lice removal professional, your Treatment is most likely covered by your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) if you participated in your company plan.
Your treatment may also be covered by Insurance. You will need to call your provider to determine coverage.

Don't Pay The Price Of Having Lice!

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Essential Oils & Head Lice Treatment: What Do The Studies Say?

Dear clients, friends and supporters of the lice-free lifestyle,

Every day, we get questions regarding the use of essential oils in the battle against head lice. For those curious about some of the scientific evidence regarding the use of essential oils in the prevention and treatment of head lice.

This article from the American College of Healthcare Sciences website, sheds some light on the matter. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

Lice: An Ancient Pest
Head lice infestations (also called pediculosis) have been a common problem throughout human history. Scientists have found nits of Pediculus humanus capitis (head lice eggs) in human hair remnants dating all the way back to 9000 BC![1]

Treatment against head lice is mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest medical documents written around 1550 BC. According to its writings, the ancients were advised to take a mouthful of warm date meal and water and then spit it on the skin “in order to drive away the Fleas and Lice which disport themselves…” While an interesting practice, it is somewhat questionable if this method was effective against lice since priests in Ancient Egypt were required to shave their heads to prevent this problem.
Not all preparations were as safe as spitting out a mouthful of date meal. For example, arsenic-containing preparations were used in Ancient China,[2] while the Household Encyclopedia published in Pennsylvania in 1881 suggested topical application of a remedy containing mercury![3] While I enjoy researching ancient remedies, I don’t recommend these methods.

Toxic Chemicals and Lice “Cures”
Today, we see shampoos and creams containing insecticides, such as permethrin, pyrethrins, and DEET, used to treat and prevent head lice. However, these compounds are quite toxic.
As an example, permethrin acts as a neurotoxin. In addition, with recent reports on drug-resistant lice,[4] these chemicals may soon be no more effective than date meal and spit used in Ancient Egypt! It’s time to look at some other natural options for head lice.

Natural Remedy for Head Lice: Essential Oils
Essential oils, synthesized by plants as part of their natural defense mechanism, often possess insecticidal properties. Ancient Greeks noticed that they are also quite effective against head lice. For example, De Materia Medica, written by Pedanius Dioscorides around 50–70 AD, suggests an application of cedarwood essential oil derived either from kedros (cedar) Cedrus libani A. Rich. or from cedrelate Juniperus excelsa M. Bieb, also known as Grecian juniper.
Scientists tested a number of essential oils against head lice (one study included 54 different essential oils) and found many of them effective. Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus (Labill.), marjoram Origanum majorana (L.), pennyroyal Mentha pulegium (L.), and rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis (L.) essential oils were more effective than phenothrin and pyrethrum (active ingredients in over-the-counter lice treatments).[5]

Cautions: It’s important to note that pennyroyal M. pulegium essential oil has a very high content of neurotoxic ketones (pulegone), so I would NOT recommend its use in homemade lice remedies. You should also avoid using eucalyptus E. globulus essential oil with kids six years or younger due to the high 1,8 cineole content (another neurotoxic compound). Be careful with marjoram O. majorana and rosemary R. officinalis essential oils as well because they can also have rather high 1,8 cineole content depending on the chemotype.
Luckily, tea tree Australia Melaleuca alternifolia (Cheel), an essential oil with an exceptional safety profile, was also shown to be extremely effective against head lice[6][7]. A combination of tea tree M. alternifolia and lavender Lavandula angustifolia (Mill.) in a 10:1 ratio was even more effective than commercial treatment and eliminated lice in >97% when applied three times with weekly intervals (once every seven days)![8]

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the Academic Dean of American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

[1] Mumcuoglu, K.Y. and Zias, J. (1991). Pre-pottery Neolithic B head lice from Nahal Hemar Cave and dated 6,900-6,300 B.C.E.. Atikot, 20, 167.
[2] Sarquis, M. (1979). Arsenic and old myths. J. Chem. Educ., 56(12), 815. doi:10.1021/ed056p815
[3] Jones, R., & Crow, J. (2012). The little book of nits (p. 59). London: A. & C. Black.
[4] Mozes, A. (2015). Head Lice Now Resistant to Common Meds in 25 States. WebMD. Retrieved from
[5] Yang, Y., Lee, H., Clark, J., & Ahn, Y. (2004). Insecticidal Activity of Plant Essential Oils Against Pediculus humanus capitis (Anoplura: Pediculidae). Journal Of Medical Entomology, 41(4), 699-704. doi:10.1603/0022-2585-41.4.699
[6] Williamson, E., Priestley, C., & Burgess, I. (2007). An investigation and comparison of the bioactivity of selected essential oils on human lice and house dust mites. Fitoterapia, 78(7-8), 521-525. doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2007.06.001
[7] Canyon, D., & Speare, R. (2007). A comparison of botanical and synthetic substances commonly used to prevent head lice (Pediculus humanus var. capitis) infestation. International Journal Of Dermatology, 46(4), 422-426. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2007.03132.x
[8] Barker, S., & Altman, P. (2010). A randomised, assessor blind, parallel group comparative efficacy trial of three products for the treatment of head lice in children - melaleuca oil and lavender oil, pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide, and a "suffocation" product. BMC Dermatol, 10(1), 6.
[9] Veal, L. (1996). The potential effectiveness of essential oils as a treatment for headlice, Pediculus humanus capitis. Complementary Therapies In Nursing And Midwifery, 2(4), 97-101. doi:10.1016/s1353-6117(96)80083-7

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Head Lice FAQs

The mere thought of these tiny critters crawling around a child’s scalp is enough to generate shudders of disgust. Judging from the drastic measures some parents take to get rid of them — from mayonnaise and vinegar to overdoses of potentially toxic chemicals — you’d think they were the worst scourge on earth.

In the United States, head lice infestation is common among children 3 to 12 years and the adults who care for them.

Yet aside from the "ick" factor and a sometimes itchy scalp caused by an allergic reaction to their saliva, head lice cause no disease. In a clinical report issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the organization noted that head lice cause “a high level of anxiety among parents of school-aged children.”

Myths about head lice abound, and even pediatricians, school nurses, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still offer conflicting, outdated information about diagnosis and treatment. The good news is that head lice are manageable and can be safely treated without pesticides. In fact, pesticides no longer effectively kill lice and their eggs. Here are some other myth-busting facts:

Myth: Head lice jump from head to head.

Fact: Head lice have no hind legs and are not able to jump. Transmission takes place when lice crawl from one warm human scalp to another during direct head-to-head contact.

Myth: Itching is a sign of head lice.

Fact: Most children rarely itch when head lice are present. When feeding on human blood, the lice employ a similar approach to a mosquito, by injecting an anesthetic, an anticoagulant and saliva. After two to three months of lice exposure, some children develop an allergic skin reaction to these substances and experience itching, a rash on the back of the neck, or both.

Myth: School lice policies are uniform and effective.

Fact: School lice policies differ widely, from no policy at all to no-nit policies to requiring pesticide treatments. No-nit policies are difficult to enforce, and do not prevent the spread of lice in children. In fact, the CDC reports that both the American Association of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses advocate the discontinuation of no-nit policies.

Myth: Pesticide-based lice shampoos effectively eradicate head lice.

Fact: A 2003 study revealed that head lice have developed resistance to the most commonly used pesticide in these shampoos, rendering them ineffective. The nits also remain viable after the use of pesticide shampoos, many of which contain neurotoxins.

Myth: Non-toxic treatments, such as combing and olive oil soaks, are ineffective.

Fact: Effective head lice treatment involves the laborious removal of the lice and eggs using a nit comb. Olive oil effectively kills lice and eggs by starving them of oxygen. Unless every last lice egg is removed from the hair, the head lice colony will begin again. Combing the hair with olive oil or conditioner and a good metal nit comb is an effective, pesticide-free way to eradicate a head lice colony.

Myth: Those with head lice are dirty.

Fact: Head lice thrive in clean hair and spotless homes. This erroneous stigma comes from confusing head lice with body lice, which did thrive in squalid conditions. In today’s American homes with indoor plumbing, body lice are nonexistent. Managing lice in families and communities requires accurate information and effective tools. Debunking the stigma of head lice is an important part of the process of keeping pesticides off kids and out of the environment.

Myth: I should use Nix, Rid, or prescription products to kill lice.

Fact: Head Lice have developed resistance to the pesticides in "lice shampoos" like Nix, Rid, Splice, etc so we cannot rely on them anymore. Not only do over-the-counter and prescription-strength chemical treatments contain levels of pesticides harmful to humans, they are not effective at eradicating lice. Many families have already tried those pesticide-based products before they call me, and were horrified to have found out they did not work as advertised.

What’s the difference between lice and nits?
Head lice are the actual insects. Nits, or lice eggs, are the sesame seed sized egg pods that lice lay on the hair shaft. A single female louse lives 30 days and lays 100 nits. It takes a week for a nit to hatch. It takes another week for the newly hatched insect to become an adult that can lay its own eggs.

Can our family dog get lice? No, your family dog cannot get lice. Head Lice only live on human scalps. Head Lice are what is known as an “obligate” parasite. An obligate parasite is specific to one host, and one environment on that host, and cannot avail itself of other hosts. Dogs, cats and other household pets have their own obligate parasites such as fleas, ear mites, heartworm, etc. We humans have 3 species of lice that are specific to humans. Head Lice, Body Lice and Pubic Lice. Each species of human lice is genetically distinct from one another. In other words head lice can not turn into body lice or pubic lice.

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