Home remedies for head lice have a kind of folksy appeal—using mayonnaise, olive oil, tea tree oil—seem at first blush to be benign at worst. There are also recommendations you can find for kerosene or gasoline these are just a few examples of dangerous home lice remedies!
Don’t Get Burned
The reality is that none of these are as harmless as they might appear. Children have been badly burned and disfigured when hair soaked in gasoline or kerosene catches fire, according to the myth busters at Snopes.com.
Sure, it can seem nostalgic to use the same approach that one’s great-grandmother used. “Yet whatever the motivation, using gasoline to kill head lice is not a good idea,” according to Snopes.com. This practice is an example of one of the worst dangerous home lice remedies , and over the years many people have been severely burned and scarred for life thanks to it.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics puts it more bluntly: “Highly flammable substances, such as gasoline or kerosene, or products intended for animal use, are never appropriate in treatment of head lice in humans.”
Natural Can Mean Dangerous
Using mayonnaise or oils—usually in an attempt to suffocate lice—can also be unsafe and end in tragedy. This is because most of these recommendations involve wrapping a child’s head in plastic overnight so that the substance doesn’t rub off during sleep. In 2015, a Massachusetts toddler was killed when plastic covering her mayonnaise-doused head slipped and covered her mouth.
Tea tree oil can also be toxic. According to Poison.org, tea tree oil “is poisonous if swallowed and should not be used in or around the mouth at all.” Covering a child’s head in the oil, especially a young child with long hair, can be risky. “A child who swallowed a small amount given to him by mistake went into a coma (from which he recovered).”
Then there is this story. “An elderly male swallowed a teaspoon of tea tree oil to treat an unknown illness,” Poison.org reports. “He called Poison Control about 2 hours later complaining of dizziness and vomiting. His speech was slurred. He was referred to the nearest emergency room by Poison Control.”
These are just a few examples of dangerous home lice remedies.
The good news is that perfectly safe, non-toxic, non-life-threatening lice treatment options are available. Among those is the AirAllé® medical device. The AirAllé® device has revolutionized lice treatment by using nothing more than warm air to dehydrate and kill lice in as little as an hour. It has been cleared by the FDA and clinically proven to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of eggs (nits).
Lice treatment using the AirAllé® medical device is available exclusively at Lice Clinics of America urgent care centers. While this solution sounds simple, it took decades to perfect the product to ensure success. The air must be at a precise temperature and applied at precise locations on the head in order to be successful. The air temperature is controlled by a microprocessor, and the procedure is performed by certified technicians.
There are now more than 150 Lice Clinics of America treatment centers in the United States, and a hundred or so more in 20 other countries. New clinics are opening on a weekly basis as people discover a fast, safe, effective lice treatment that minimizes the frustration and disruption commonly associated with treating head lice.
There is simply no reason to expose children to questionable treatments with unproven, often dangerous home remedies—especially when an FDA-cleared medical solution is readily available in most areas of the country.
To learn more about Lice Clinics of America or to find a clinic, visit www.liceclinicsofamerica.com.