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Doctor insights on: Can Baby Oil Kill Head Lice

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Dr. Heidi Fowler Dr. Fowler
Psychiatry
21 years in practice
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine
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Could a flat iron kill head lice along with their eggs?

Could a flat iron kill head lice along with their eggs?

The Lice ; nits: Are right at the scalp. So, you would most likely injure yourself significantly with this approach.

Dr. Heidi Fowler
213 Doctors shared insights

Head Lice (Definition)

Also known as pediculus humanus capitis, these are tiny parasites that feed on the scalp. Head lice is very contagious and the most common method of transmission ...Read more


Dr. James Ferguson Dr. Ferguson
Pediatrics
42 years in practice
University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine
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I want to kill head lice but have no money to buy the stuff?

I want to kill head lice but have no money to buy the stuff?

Try Vinegar: Some believe that several days of washing the hair with a stout vinegar (apple cider vinegar or pickling vinegar) will kill the lice. It does loosen the egg casings on the hair & allow their removal with a fine comb. An older method includes suffocation, where the hair is filled with baby oil & covered with a shower cap for 12-18 hours. Lice can hold their breath for extended periods.

Dr. Michael Tomeo Dr. Tomeo
Dermatology
34 years in practice
Temple University School of Medicine
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How to kill head lice and most importantly the eggs?

Chemical Tx: We use Malathion and permetrin topically and it is important to use a fine comb to remove all the nits.

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Dr. Joseph Eastern Dr. Eastern
Dermatology
40 years in practice
UC San Francisco School of Medicine
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If you put a cat or dog flea collar on a girl's ponytail, is that an effective way to kill head lice?

If you put a cat or dog flea collar on a girl's ponytail, is that an effective way to kill head lice?

No!: Flea collars are designed to kill parasites that infest cats & dogs, not human head lice. Not only would it not work, but there is some evidence that the chemicals in flea collars might be toxic to children, particularly young ones. There are several effective fda-approved treatments for head lice; stick with those.

Dr. Natalie Geary Dr. Geary
Pediatrics
26 years in practice
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
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Is it a good idea to use coconut oil and cider vinegar for head lice?

Is it a good idea to use coconut oil and cider vinegar for head lice?

Lice: There are many " natural" treatments for lice, including olive oil and a tight shower cap. I am not aware of the coconut oil and vinegar remedy but it does not sound dangerous as long as the vinegar does not get in your eyes. Lice is very contagious however, so do not wait to long if this remedy does not work, buy rid.

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Dr. Patricia Harkins Dr. Harkins
Pediatrics - Developmental & Behavioral
27 years in practice
The Dental School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
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I'm suffering from head lice and nits since 12 years. I have tried mediker shampoo and oil but it's of no use. I need a proper remedy to get rid of it?

I'm suffering from head lice and nits since 12 years. I have tried mediker shampoo and oil but it's of no use. I need a proper remedy to get rid of it?

Lice: You can sleep with your hair smothered in mayonnaise - that can suffocate them. You can get a prescription for Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) from your doctor. That kills the bacteria in the lice's gut, and in turn kills them.

Dr. Martin Ganek Dr. Ganek
Pediatrics
46 years in practice
Georgetown University School of Medicine
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Will coconut oil and apple cider vinegar work on head lice?

Will coconut oil and apple cider vinegar work on head lice?

No: These remedies are not effective for lice. Otc treatments like rid or nix (permethrin) are much more likely to be helpful, and if they don't clear the problem see a physician.

Dr. Carla Enriquez Dr. Enriquez
Pediatrics
46 years in practice
Boston University School of Medicine
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How do you use tea tree oil to treat head lice? Do you put it on the scalp, add it to the shampoo?

Not recommended: Tea tree oil (melaleuca) is purported to be useful against fungi and bacteria. But there is no scientific evidence it is helpful for those or head lice. And if oxidized and applied on skin, or ingested, it can be quite dangerous to children.

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Dr. Arthur Lavin Dr. Lavin
Pediatrics
38 years in practice
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
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What's better for head lice and nits: apple cider vinegar vs. Tea tree oil?

Neither: Nits are the eggs of head lice, so you are right to seek a treatment that kills both. Vinegar and oil tend to fail. Pesticides can be toxic. We recommend harmless interventions, like forming a silicon shell on the head with applications such as licemd.

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Dr. Heidi Fowler Dr. Fowler
Psychiatry
21 years in practice
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine
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What do you suggest if my child has head lice please help?

What do you suggest if my child has head lice please help?

Treatment of lice: Requires accurate identification of nits & / or lice. A pediculicide is usually used- OTC like Nix (permethrin) or RID or prescription meds like lindane or malathion. Work carefully through hair & remove individual nits. Purchase a special lice nit comb to aid you. Check for nits & remove as seen over the next 7 to 10 days. If there are nits after 7 to 10 days – a 2nd pediculicide tx may be needed.

Dr. Michael Fisher Dr. Fisher
Dermatology
28 years in practice
Morehouse School of Medicine
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A child in my school has head lice, how do I prevent my child from catching it?

A child in my school has head lice, how do I prevent my child from catching it?

Head lice: Simply put, you can do everything right and your family could still end up with lice. And of course, head lice have nothing to do with hygiene or income level; anyone can get them. The most common route of transmission is head to head contact, such as two kids bending over the same coloring book.

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Dr. Joseph Eastern Dr. Eastern
Dermatology
40 years in practice
UC San Francisco School of Medicine
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How does head lice get transmitted to another child?

How does head lice get transmitted to another child?

Skin-to-skin contact: ...Is the most common method, although it can also be transmitted by using an infested person's comb or brush, or putting one's head on the same pillowcase.

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Dr. G Funari Dr. Funari
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial
41 years in practice
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
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How can I tell if my child has head lice? My child is home-schooled. What should I be looking for when it comes to head lice? .

The: The diagnosis of head lice infestation is best made by finding a live nymph or adult louse on the scalp or hair of a person. See link.

Dr. Ellen Turner Dr. Turner
Dermatology
16 years in practice
Texas Tech University Paul L. Foster School of Medicine
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How long does it take a child to get rid of head lice?

Less than a week.: Now many head lice are resistant to our traditional therapies. Cheap method which works is to apply gold listerine to the scalp x 1 hour and cover with shower cap. Then apply househould vinegar and comb through the entire head using sections of 10-20 hairs to remove all nits or eggs. Leave the vinegar x 1 hour then wash. Repeat in 1 wk. New study showed oral Ivermectin works well. Need an rx!

Dr. Kenneth Cheng Dr. Cheng
Family Medicine
27 years in practice
Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
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How long does it take to get rid of head lice in a child?

One treatment: Generally, one treatment (shampoo, nit comb, hair accessory/brush cleaning and linen/bedding change) should be sufficient to rid one of lice. However, reoccurrence is common due to re-infection from improper cleaning of accessories, brushes or linens.

Dr. Joseph Eastern Dr. Eastern
Dermatology
40 years in practice
UC San Francisco School of Medicine
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When can a child go into a swimming pool after having head lice?

When can a child go into a swimming pool after having head lice?

After treatment: I agree that head lice can't swim, but kids do touch heads in swimming pools; so to be safe, I would do the prescribed treatment, and use a fine comb (such as the one that comes with some head lice medications) to comb out any nits (eggs) that may be attached to hair shafts. Once that has been done, the kid can participate in all activities, including swimming.

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Dr. Joseph Eastern Dr. Eastern
Dermatology
40 years in practice
UC San Francisco School of Medicine
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What should be done at a daycare if head lice is found on a child?

What should be done at a daycare if head lice is found on a child?

Send the infested...: ...Child home immediately, with instructions to parents to have him/her treated asap. Arrange for the rest of the kids to be screened as soon as possible by someone who knows what to look for. Send home all pillows, sleeping pads, etc. To be laundered. Ask all parents to inspect their kids' heads daily for any signs of nits for the next couple of weeks.

Dr. Noel Alonso Dr. Alonso
Pediatrics
19 years in practice
St. George's University School of Medicine
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What could cause a child to get head lice a few months after getting rid of it?

What could cause a child to get head lice a few months after getting rid of it?

Re-exposure...: Of course, some of the commercial and even prescription pediculocides (lice medicines) require 2 separate applications given about a week apart. Just make sure to follow your doctor's directions or the directions on the bottle, and remind your little one to not share caps/hats/bandanas or combs/brushes with other children.

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Dr. Jennifer Haley Dr. Haley
Dermatology
19 years in practice
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine
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My child has head lice, and we've tried just about everything to get rid of them. We keep finding a few more!?

My child has head lice, and we've tried just about everything to get rid of them. We keep finding a few more!?

Weekly treatment: Treatment should be repeated after the first week and most important is to make sure that there is nothing causing reinfection such as brushes, bedding, friends, scarves, etc. There was an article a few years back that showed that applying cetaphil cleanser thickly overnight and letting it dry can kill the lice. It may be something to try 7 days in a row as a safe alternative to all the chemical.

Body Lice (Definition)

Similar to head lice, these tiny parasitic insects live on the clothes and can often be seen at the seams. They feed on the blood of the host, and ...Read more


Dr. Richard Rissmiller
331 Doctors shared insights

Pediculosis (Definition)

Refers to infestation with lice. Pediculosis can include head lice, body ...Read more