There are hundreds of products on the market that claim to get rid of lice. Some of them actually do a fairly good job of eliminating the live lice. But what they don’t tell you on the packaging or in their marketing is that they are very ineffective at killing lice eggs. Unfortunately, if you don’t kill the eggs, you still have lice.
A common complaint from frustrated moms is, “We’ve been dealing with lice for months. They seem to go away for a while but then they come back! What am I doing wrong?” Well, in reality, they are probably doing nothing “wrong.” They are most likely following the manufacturer’s instructions precisely. In most of these situations the lice didn’t “come back” because they never went away in the first place. The products they used might have killed most of the live lice, but after a few days the eggs hatch and they were right back where they started.
Consider this—over the years, lice have become resistant to pesticides such as permethrin, an ingredient in one leading manufacture’s topical treatment that you can buy at most drugstores. As a result, it has become less and less effective. However, an independent clinical trial showed that after 15 days and two treatments with the popular product, 45% of the people tested still had lice.*
There is a popular prescription available which is more effective at killing lice than over-the-counter remedies, but there is evidence that between 24% and 29% of the lice survive the treatment.** Plus, these prescriptions can cost over $300 per application.
So, what can you do to kill the eggs? You really only have two choices:
Combing: People have been “nitpicking” for thousands of years. This method actually just removes lice eggs rather than kills them. It can be a time-consuming and arduous task, and treatment failures are common because removing every last egg can be difficult.
Heated-Air Treatment: There is an FDA-cleared heated-air medical device that dehydrates the lice and eggs. This process is highly effective and has been done safely for over 5 years. The process is performed in a single treatment, which takes 60-90 minutes, and is guaranteed to eliminate the lice and egg problem.