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Dr. Joseph Mercola

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Combs, Not Lotions, May Be Best for Head Lice

Removal of head lice with the use of a fine-tooth comb is a safer method of controlling the problem than the use of insecticide lotions.

Head lice remains a health problem for schoolchildren around the world. In most Western nations, parents attempt to kill the lice and their eggs ('nits') through the use of insecticide lotions or shampoos. The average infected child carries less than 8 to 10 lice on his or her scalp on any given day.

A simple wet combing of the hair -- performed by parents once every 3 days with the use of a fine-tooth 'nit' comb -- may be just as effective as insecticide use in removing head lice in children.

British Medical Journal May 22,1999;318:1422

COMMENT: I just love these inexpensive, simple, non-toxic alternatives to toxic chemicals. If you know anyone who has lice, I would encourage you to tell them of this alternative to the toxic chemicals that are commonly used to kill the lice.

Kwell lotion is one of the older ones and it contains a potent neurotoxin that should be avoided. Newer chemicals, like Nix, are less toxic, but still capable of causing harm and lice are becoming increasingly resistant to all these chemicals. But it is impossible to become resistant to a mechanical solution like a comb.


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Disclaimer - Newsletters are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola. They are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and they are not intended as medical advice. They are intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Mercola and his community. Dr. Mercola encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.


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