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Head Lice, more often referred to as ‘Nits!’ are part of every day life and affect most of us at some stage in our lives and more often than not they’ll strike during childhood.
Unfortunately for my daughter she has given refuge to these irritating little so and so’s quite a few times since starting school and now that she’s 9 I can say that I’ve had a fair amount of practise at the nit-combing technique (aren’t you just jealous?) along with a fair few products on the market that ‘claim’ to either deter or better still eliminate either the head lice, the eggs or bingo BOTH!
Now I’ve tried a few ‘preventative’ non-medicated shampoo’s such as those containing Tea Tree but to be honest they achieved nothing apart from a lot of effort (leaving in over night etc.) and in my personal opinion smell disgusting.
Although I haven’t gone out of my way to visit my GP with regard to this matter, I have had a word with her during another visit and was told simply that you shouldn’t use insecticidal/toxic products on the hair too frequently obviously due to their ingredients. Not only that the head lice can reoccur within a very short time period of your using and eliminating them (which is fair enough) so the best way to stay on top of them is to use conditioner after washing and comb through thoroughly once a week. The conditioner is a key part as this makes the hair slippery and the little blighters can’t hold on for dear life, but instead slip away into the teeth of your comb. I normally turn to a proven product such as this one when the number of lice found exceeds that of what they call a mild infection 10-15 lice.
WHAT ARE HEAD LICE? AND HOW DO YOU BECOME INFECTED?
Head Lice (pediculus humanus capitis) are tiny wingless insects that need to live in warm conditions and feed off human blood simply by biting the scalp (nasty little things!). They can’t jump, hop or fly and can only be passed from one victim to another by prolonged head to head contact, thus why school children pass them around like wild-fire due to whispering games or hugs etc. and boy do they love girls long locks!
MYTHS ABOUT HEAD LICE
There are a number of myths about them but they are exactly that - MYTHS! It’s not only children that become infected, anyone can so long as you‘ve got hair! <scratch> They like both clean and dirty hair <eww scratch> Normal shampoo will NOT remove them You can’t catch from nor pass them on to your pets as they seem only to like human blood <severe scratch> You can’t catch them from hats, or bedding etc. <prolonged scratch> School is not the only place you can catch them
Now that I’m scratching nicely I’ll move on to the next part…
WHAT IS THE LIFE CYCLE OF THE HEAD LOUSE?
Basically a louse will attach itself to the bottom to the base of the hair near to the scalp as this is the warmest place and close enough to feed. The female will lay her eggs at night and these are cemented to the base of a hair shaft (anybody scratching yet?). If you’re a regular nit-comber the eggs are extremely hard if not impossible to remove at this stage, despite the fine tooth comb, but once they‘ve hatched they‘re more easily seen. When 7-10 days have passed the eggs will hatch and the new kids on the block are free to run around, feed and cause general havoc. After another 7-10 days these then mature into adulthood and the whole cycle begins again. Oh what a life eh?
DO THEY CAUSE ANY SYMPTOMS?
Other than the normal irritating itch caused by the louse saliva, when they chomp through your scalp to suck on your blood, there are normally no other symptoms, so once treated and the lice eliminated you will only be left with small scabs where they have bitten and your scalp may be a little sore, but left alone to heal the scabs will disappear and the soreness will fade.
HOW DO YOU TREAT THEM?
Firstly you need to identify that the person you are wanting to treat has LIVE lice on their head, this is quite easy to do by combing through the hair separating it in sections. The best place to start is in the nape of the neck as this is a nice warm haven and from personal experience where they tend to hang out the most. Insecticidal products such as Full Marks and Lyclear are amongst the better treatments on the market at present and come highly recommended. There are a number of preparations you can use to treat the infected person such as creams, lotions or the more popular being a shampoo that can take as little as 10 minutes to use, which is all important when treating an impatient child.
I’ve decided to write this as I’ve just run through the treatment palaver yet again with my daughter as prior to the half-term holiday there was a bout of lice going around school and so it would seem my daughter was infected and the eggs have just hatched.
Luckily (in a good way) my daughter knows the early signs of telling the difference between a normal ‘hot and bothered’ itch to that of an intruder running riot and so is able to alert me in the early stages so that we can go in guns blazing with the Full Marks Solution and call an end to their party before it gets out of hand.
MY RECOMMENDED TREATMENT
After using several products such as Tea Tree shampoo’s, oil and various other ‘non’ insecticidal lotions and potions that not only smell disgusting (Tea Tree), are hard to wash out (oils) and are just a complete waste of time, effort and money, I’ve at last found nothing less than the dogs’ wotsits in the elimination of these little pests! And that is…..
FULL MARKS SOLUTION
This is quite a new product as the box I bought only a couple of months back has New! written on it and at only £4.79 from Tesco or £5.50 from Boots for a 100ml bottle that contains enough for 2 treatments, it’s actually quite cheap and well worth using straight off rather than being fooled into herbal or cheaper products as this will prove to be less cost effective and they probably won’t rid of the problem.
The box is as you see it above and is packed on all sides with the following:
~~~~~ Precautions ~~~~~
Contains cyclomethicone and isopropyl myristate. Solution should be used according to the instructions and will eliminate head lice and their eggs. There are no special precautions required when using this product however, as with all such products if you experience any sensitivity then stop using and seek medical advice. Should anybody get the solution in their eyes, simply wash out with clean warm water. This product can stain fabrics and make hard surfaces slippery and so care should be taken when using.
~~~~~ Directions for use ~~~~~
This can only be used on adults and children over 2 years, consult your GP for advice on treating children under this age.
1. Comb through dry hair with normal comb to detangle 2. Shake bottle 3. Apply solution, massage in ensuring entire scalp and all hair is coated 4. Leave in for 10 minutes 5. Using comb provided, thoroughly comb through hair, dividing hair into sections and working from the scalp downwards to the tips of hair 6. Regularly rinse out the comb to remove any lice and eggs 7. Wash out the solution and wash hair as normal 8. Repeat above in 7/14 days as required
For more information on the subject of head lice visit www.headlice.co.uk (by Full Marks) and prepare to scratch!
SSL International plc Venus, 1 Old Park Lane, Trafford Park, Manchester M41 7HA, UK
DO I RECOMMEND FULL MARKS?
Goes without saying, I would recommend this product 100% to anybody in need of relief from head lice. It lives up to it’s name and I definitely give it FULL MARKS! With only a 10 minute treatment time and I’d say another 5 minutes either side for combing, rinsing and double checking, it’s a pain and more or less odour free and pretty quick way of getting rid of these little pests. I’ve also so far found no need to repeat the treatment a week later as suggested, as one treatment has always done the trick, which means you’re fully prepared with the remainder of the solution for another attack!
I too remember the Nit Nurse, and am currently fighting an infesttion on my daughter's head.
supermumtochloe 10.11.2009 18:25
Great review, feel much more informed now.
1st2thebar 30.06.2007 16:38
They were around when I was at school... Had it twice... I just wish teachers were daily disinfected before entering classrooms where their pupils are. I've witnessed lice in beards, crawling on tanktops. Worse still teachers like to get close to children and infest them, unsurprisingly they call it 'one to one' teaching... Dis-infect the blighters (Teachers) Good review