How to Treat Lice

The most effective treatment is the old-fashioned method of combing hair with a special lice comb (extra-fine teeth and generally made of metal), and painstakingly removing nits and lice manually. (Now you know where the term “nit-picking” comes from!) This is the least harmful method. Section hair into a grid pattern with hair clips, then comb through each section in at least four different directions. Wipe the comb clean with a wet wipe after each section to prevent spreading nits, then dispose of wet wipes in a sealed plastic bag.

There are also businesses that specialize in lice removal; they can be pricey, but usually offer a guarantee.

Home remedy treatments like smothering hair with olive oil, mayonnaise or Vaseline, as well as over-the-counter and prescription drugs in the form of shampoos, cream, and lotions (such as Rid or Nix) are other options to consider, though results can vary. Depending on your child’s age and skin sensitivity, consult your pediatrician or family doctor for advice.

Once the lice are killed, you will have to patiently and diligently remove nits with the lice comb every few days for about four weeks to cover the entire life cycle of any lice. You should probably also treat yourself to a new pair of shoes after this. It doesn’t help prevent lice, but you deserve it.