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Why OTC Lice Treatments Don’t Work

No one wants to hear that their child has a head lice infestation. This can cause embarrassment, and it also raises the conundrum of how best to handle the situation. Some may seek home remedies for head lice treatment, but most of these have been found to either be ineffective or so arduous in their application as to be no better than alternatives. The main alternative that most parents will choose is to rush out to the store, and grab an over-the-counter(OTC) product that claims to rid you or your child of head lice once and for all.


  • THEY ARE A POTENTIAL RISK TO YOUR CHILDOver-the-counter products for head lice removal contain harsh chemicals, which many people may be sensitive to. The most common ingredient in these products is Permethrin, which is known to be toxic. That one in particular is actually a neurotoxin. Although the amount in a proscribed application of such a treatment is deemed to be safe, there is always the risk of a parent putting too much on their child’s head when doing a treatment. Additionally, these types of products are not the only things that contain these questionable ingredients, so there is the risk of a child getting additional exposure from other products in their environment.
  • THESE PRODUCTS ARE INCREASINGLY INEFFECTIVEParents in this situation may seem desperate and want to try anything they think might work. One major problem is that so many people have used these types of head lice treatment products over the decades that they’ve been available that many lice have become resistant to them. You may, therefore, be exposing your child to unnecessary risk by using chemicals that may not even work to fix this problem.
  • THEY DON’T ADDRESS THE WHOLE PROBLEMEven when these retail head lice products available at the local store actually kill the lice, that is all they kill. They are not effective at killing the eggs, or nits, of the lice. Since they can’t do this, you will be looking at having to repeat any treatments again fairly frequently until all of the eggs have hatched and are vulnerable to these products. To be effective, you need to utilize an approach that deals with the lice and the nits. Only then can you and your child breath a sigh of relief.


Every now and then serious situations come up in life. Perhaps a pipe bursts or the furnace breaks or any of a number of other problems may occur. Whenever this happens, the advice of friends and family is typically to “call a professional.” Professionals in various fields exist for a reason. They are the ones who can solve problems when home remedies and over-the-counter products are either impractical or completely unworkable.

Just as in the above situations, there are professionals when it comes to head lice removal. If you have reservations about trying commonly available products or if you’ve tried them and they haven’t worked, it may be time to have a professional handle it for you, so you and your children can put this unfortunate chapter behind you. You may be pleasantly surprised at how affordable it can be, and at least you know you’ll be getting the problem resolved for your money instead of wasting it on questionable solutions.