Frequently asked questions about head lice

Head lice treatment from NITMIX

Are Head Lice Still
Driving You Crazy?

Frequently Asked Questions

Here at NITMIX we have been answering questions about getting rid of head lice for years. Our FAQ section may help get rid of your childrens head lice problem. If not then please feel free to contact us.

Why did my child get head lice?

Head lice are very hearty and have been around since pre-historic times. They are constantly looking for ideal places to lay their eggs and thrive. They are very resistant to attack and do not give up their homes easily. Most children will eventually come into contact with head lice and it has nothing to do with personal hygiene.

Is there a way to simply wash head lice away?

No. If that were the case then head lice would just disappear as soon as an infected person took a shower. Head lice have very sharp claws that dig into the scalp and hold on tight. All that happens after you wash your hair is that you have clean hair that’s infected with head lice rather than dirty hair that’s infected.

Why do head lice seem to appear overnight?

Head lice are very active and they will move from head to head very quickly. The moment they infest a new head, each female will lay 6 to 8 eggs every day. These eggs hatch 7 to 10 days after, and the newly hatched lice will themselves begin to lay eggs by the time they are just 7 days old! By the time you notice the first head louse you already have hundreds in your hair.

Will everyone know that my child is being treated for head lice with NITMIX?

Not unless you or your child tells them. Because NITMIX is made from 100% pure essential oils, it leaves a faint and pleasant odor that people will think is simply that of shampoo or conditioner.

Is NITMIX considered to be a medicine?

No, NITMIX is not classified as a medicine. Our company, Nitmix Ltd, is registered with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a «Class 1 Medical Device». Our Registration Number is 9062353.

In order to help you understand the difference, here is an excerpt from the FDA web site that shows what products they consider to be a medicine.

Portions revised or new- As Amended by the FDA Modernization Act of 1997

SEC. 1. Short title.
This chapter may be cited as the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

SEC. 201. [321] For the purposes of this chapter —

(g)(1) The term »drug» means
(A) articles recognized in the official United States Pharmacopoeia, official Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, or official National Formulary, or any supplement to any of them; and
(B) articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or other animals; and
(C) articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals; and
(D) articles intended for use as a component of any article specified in clause (A), (B), or (C). A food or dietary supplement for which a claim, subject to sections 403(r)(1)(B) and 403(r)(3) of this title or sections 403(r)(1)(B) and 403(r)(5)(D) of this title, is made in accordance with the requirements of section 403(r) of this title is not a drug solely because the label or the labeling contains such a claim. A food, dietary ingredient, or dietary supplement for which a truthful and not misleading statement is made in accordance with section 403(r)(6) of this title is not a drug under clause (C) solely because the label or the labeling contains such a statement.

Pay particular attention to part “(C) articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals….”

This section deals with drugs are intended to impact the patient or any organism infesting them, in order to produce some benefit.

Most of the common head lice treatments are covered by this definition because they are formulated to attack and destroy head lice, and/or their eggs, in an attempt to end the infestation to an end. These are called «pediculocides» because they attack and kill the “Pediculus Humanus Capitis.» The FDA does not care HOW the lice are killed. They only care that some physical change occurs because of the use of the product.

NITMIX works differently. It is covered by this section of the FDA regulation:

(h) The term »device» (except when used in paragraph (n) of this section and in sections 301(i), 403(f), 502(c), and 602(c)) means an instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar or related article, including any component, part, or accessory, which is —
(1) recognized in the official National Formulary, or the United States Pharmacopeia, or any supplement to them,
(2) intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, in man or other animals, or
(3) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals, and which does not achieve its primary intended purposes through chemical action within or on the body of man or other animals and which is not dependent upon being metabolized for the achievement of its primary intended purposes.

This is where our product fits in. Look at Section (2), where it refers to «the action of a device may be diagnosis» (we use the term «detection»), “mitigation, treatment or prevention.» Then look at Section (3) where it says “affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals.” These are important points for us.

NITMIX is more than simply some product. It is a procedure that is designed to provide relief to sufferers of head lice by causing the lice to leave the infected area and discouraging them from returning.

This is accomplished by a special «wet combing» process that is, perhaps, one of the oldest methods of providing relief from any number of hair or skin afflictions.

Even current leading-edge research agrees that this is a highly effective method. (1).

When lice end up being coated in what amounts to a viscous fluid, they are denied free movement and can not move out of the way during the combing process. All of the lice, even the very tiny newly-hatched ones, are caught in between the teeth of the comb. And because the hair is also lightly coated, the lice do not «stick» to the hair.

This «wet combing» results in a «lice harvest» that is effective in removing the population. The larger lice, egg layers, are removed first. This cuts off the supply of new eggs almost instantly. A few days later, when the process is repeated, the smaller lice have had a chance to grow large enough to be trapped and swept away by the comb. This is the time when they newly-hatched «nymphs» are also removed.

You simply repeat the process until no more lice are found in the comb. Since the lice are removed alive, they should be flushed down the drain or the toilet for safe and secure disposal.

We believe that this wet combing process is a better alternative to killing the lice using chemicals such as a pediculocide or ovidulocide.

Because head lice have no built-in ability to perform long-range «reconnaissance» they can not «scout out» new heads to infest. They are creatures of opportunity and simply move from head to head when those heads (or infested hair) come into contact with each other.

Once they arrive in their new home, they must quickly determine whether or not they are in an environment that will support their colony. It is believed that lice are able to either taste or smell something in our chemistry that tells them they have arrived at «home sweet home.

There is no middle ground for the lice. They have either arrived at a destination where they can survive or they have not. Is there a way to «fool» the head lice into thinking that the new home they found is not going to welcome them? We think so. And here’s how we do it.

There is an important distinction between a «medicine» and a «device.» Since our product is not a medicine, it doesn’t «remove» the human scent, and it doesn’t do anything to interfere with a louse’s sense of smell. Instead, it creates a new scent that confuses head lice and causes them to think that there’s no sense in hanging out in their new home. So, they move on in search of greener pastures.

A medicine would attempt to separate the «delicious» portions of the skin’s chemistry and change it in some way. Or, it might try to medicate the head lice in order to impact the sensory mechanisms in some way. Think of the difference between a medicine and a device in the same way that deodorant and perfume differ.

Perfumes cover up the body’s natural scent and replace it with the perfume’s scent. Deodorant, on the other hand, interacts with the chemistry of bacteria on the skin. It’s the bacteria that produce the unpleasant odor.

Simply continue to use NITMIX after the infestation is gone to keep lice from sticking around. A regular routine of wet combing will remove any new visitors before they have a chance to build a new community and raise their families.

So, whether you use it for removal or prevention, or both, NITMIX functions as a device to turn combing into a primary way of managing head lice.

1. De Maeseneer J, Blokland I, Willems S, Vander Stichele R, Meersschaut F. Wet combing versus traditional scalp inspection to detect head lice in schoolchildren: observational study. London : BMJ Volume 321, Pg 1187-1188, 11 November 2000.

How do head lice and nits differ?

Head lice are the insects that crawl around on your head. Nits are actually clusters of tiny white sacs that contain eggs. Nits generally cluster close to the skin but they can also appear on individual hair strands. If you try to remove the nits, you probably will pull hairs out because they are firmly attached. You need not worry about nits that you see further down on hair strands. These hatched a while back and they’ll just grow out.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just kill them all at once?

It would be easier, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen that way. Some chemical treatments do work right away, but they don’t work for everyone. A particularly resistant strain of lice might not be affected by the treatment, and some heads are overly sensitive and cannot tolerate harsh chemical treatments. And even if the treatment is successful, the next day when your child returns to school with a lice-free head, other lice are still present waiting to invade. You’re familiar with that cycle, aren’t you?

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How is NITMIX different than other treatments?

NITMIX is different in two major ways:

First, it removes the pests that already exist.

You can comb and pick out the lice you can see, but don’t be fooled. You’re not getting them all because they move fast. NITMIX Wet Combing Aid is a glue-like mixture that slows them down. All you do is rub NITMIX into the roots and then watch as lice struggle to get loose. Before they do, you’ll be able to comb them out. NITMIX won’t kill the lice however, so be sure you wash them down the drain. Repeating the treatment as the remaining lice grow bigger every 2-3 days ensures that you remove ALL of them.

Second, NITMIX helps break the lice cycle.

With other treatments, you’re constantly removing lice but at the same time new lice are moving in. This cycle of treating hair with harsh chemicals and combing is tiring and ineffective. When using NITMIX, it’s important to allow a trace to remain on the affected head as doing so helps discourage new lice from taking up residence on a head that’s being treated. If you don’t take this second step, you might find yourself once again stuck in the never-ending lice cycle.

How frequently can NITMIX be used?

When used as a treatment method Apply NITMIX Wet combing Aid every 2 or 3 days for 14 days. The lice that aren’t yet very big will probably escape your eye on the first treatment. But those that escape will grow and as they do, they’ll become more visible. Reapplying frequently during the treatment period allows you to get them ALL before they’re allowed to mature to the egg-laying stage.

When used as a preventative methodFor best results, always keep a trace of pure NITMIX product on your child’s head. Doing so isn’t that hard, especially if it’s routinely applied after washing and conditioning the child’s hair. NITMIX can also be mixed in a spray bottle with water and sprayed daily onto hair. Into a half litre of water mix 20 drops and it’s ready. Put the bottle next to the car keys or near the front door so you never forget to spray your child’s head!

What about using other oils such as Eucalyptus and Tea Tree?

Our studies show that Tea Tree, while it does have many valuable uses, is not an effective head lice treatment. And unfortunately, both of these oils can be irritating to the skin because they are fairly aggressive. Seek the expert advice of a therapist whenever you’re in doubt.

Why should I use NITMIX Wet Combing Aid rather than a conditioner?

Once you discover a case of head lice, it’s a good idea to use what you have available, even a conditioner, because the sooner you start dealing with lice, the better. But the problem with conditioners is that depending on their ingredients, conditioners sometimes cause pure NITMIX essential oil components to become less effective. Also, during treatment, conditioners can become sticky.

Since the carrier oil most often used in essential oils is Almond oil, such oil won’t negatively impact the benefits you derive from using NITMIX. While you await your order of NITMIX, go ahead and start using almond, sunflower or soya oil or conditioner right away. Note that we do not advise using corn, olive or other types of heavy oils as these cannot easily be washed from hair. However, such oils won’t cause any harm.

What quantity of NITMIX Wet Combing Aid should I have?

One 100ml bottle for every affected child is usually enough. However, a second bottle may be necessary if the child’s hair is long or if it’s thick.

Can you help me understand what head lice are?

Head lice actually are tiny insects that survive only on human blood and only live on the heads of humans. Evidence of head lice on humans has been traced back several thousand years. They’ve actually been uncovered in the remains of ancient Egyptian burial sites.

How do head lice get on my child’s head?

Head lice migrate from the heads of others who are infected with lice. So they can actually come from anyone with whom your child has close contact such as your child’s friends and classmates. Head lice can be passed innocently anytime your child is in close proximity to someone with lice such as when hugging, or when looking at the same computer monitor or even when reading from the same book.

Are some groups at higher risk of getting head lice than others?

No. Head lice is spread by close contact meaning that anyone regardless of race, age, gender, social status, or personal hygiene habits who does not completely isolate him or herself from others can get head lice.

How did my child’s head become infected with head lice?

Your child’s hair came into contact with another person’s strand of hair, creating somewhat of a bridge for lice. Contrary to what many believe, lice walk; they don’t jump. All they have to do is walk down a strand of hair and then when another strand comes along, they grab that one and they keep on walking.

How will I recognize head lice?

Head lice are similar in size to a sesame seed; those seeds atop hamburger buns. Newly hatched head lice are similar in size to grains of sand. Their colour ranges from dark brown to a lighter-colored brown. When head lice are full of blood, as they are after eating, they’re darker brown. As the blood digests, the colour continues to lighten.

How will I know when my child’s head has lice?

Because most children are always coming into close contact with other children, you should understand that the possibility of head lice is always present. That means your child can become infected at any time, and most likely will at one point or another. It’s nearly impossible to ever declare your child’s head “lice free.”

Are there any symptoms or any signs of an infestation of head lice?

Yes, there are several. An itchy, scratchy head is the most common sign of a head lice infestation. Other signs/symptoms include: visible tiny, sesame seed-shaped insects moving about the head; visible rash behind ears, around back of neck and at or above the hairline; whitish-coloured sacs attached to shafts of hair and located very close to the skin that cannot be pulled off hairs; the appearance on pillows, hair combs or at the roots of very small black specs which may either be lice feces or newly hatched lice.

Can an infestation of head lice be diagnosed?

Diagnosis of head lice is simple: Look close to the scalp and if you see head lice moving about, an infestation is confirmed. Should additional proof be needed, you can submit samples to laboratories. However this step is rarely necessary so save your money. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, apply NITMIX Wet Combing Aid to scalp and comb live lice away with a fine-toothed comb.

Are there other ways to detect head lice?

An Israeli-backed study suggests that use of a louse comb to check for lice is faster and 4 times more effective than detecting lice visually. The study claims that when relying only on visual examination, some people misidentify infestations that occurred in the past as active infestations. Such visual inspections also can underestimate the degree of severity of an active infestation.

Another study, this one conducted in Belgium and reported in the British Medical Journal outlines the potential problems associated with false head lice results. For example, those who aren’t infested frequently undergo unnecessary treatment and vice versa. Those children whose heads really are infested aren’t getting the treatments they need to eradicate head lice quickly.

The study further reports that 10% of the cases deemed negative were actually wrong and 30% of thee cases deemed positive likewise were wrong. In other words, one out of very ten children who actually have head lice don’t realize they have it, and one out of every three children receive head lice treatments when such treatments aren’t necessary.

How do people usually treat head lice?

Four active ingredients are commonly used: lindane, pyrethrums, malathion and permethrins.

The organo-phospate Lindane is one ingredient that’s also found in nerve gas, treatments for timber, and sheep dip. However, because it is a potential cancer-causing ingredient, and may cause damage to nerves and because it may cause water pollution, California has banned its used.

Chrysanthemums give us Pyrethrums, but still this ingredient is cause for alarm. Although naturally-occurring, it nonetheless is a quite powerful poison.

Those familiar with the organo-phosphate Malathion know in a less pure form, it is something that’s used to kill mosquitoes and medflies. When treating lice, a drug grade (USP) is produced.

Malathion is another organo-phosphate produced to a drug grade (USP) which, in its less pure form, is used widely to kill medflies and mosquitoes. Note however that it’s only available with a prescription and it’ is extremely inflammable.

The synthetic form of pyrethrin is Permethrin, which many use for controlling insects in the house or in the garden, on animals and also in agriculture. Next time you use a commercial product for killing ants, roaches, wasps, hornets, and other types of flying insects, whether it’s a spray, or fogger, or fumigator, take a look at the active ingredients. Even though less concentrated, do you really want to apply such a harsh product to your child?

Depending on whom you believe, these products are safe and effective or they’re unsafe and harmful. Lacking significant studies, it’s difficult for parents to separate fact from fiction. Unfortunately money isn’t being spent on such studies. But some parents who use these ingredients aren’t satisfied with the results they’re getting, and that is probably what counts the most.

Which head lice treatment do you recommend for my situation?

The answer is that you should use the product you’re comfortable with and that produces the results you seek. Only you as the parent can determine whether you want to use a chemical solution or a manual method for removing and killing lice.

The best that you as a parent can do is to read up on the products you’re considering using, both the information made available by the manufacturers and the information that questions a product’s safety and then decide for yourself.

Just never blow an infestation of head lice out of proportion. It’s common, it’s treatable, and so far no one has died from head lice! So don’t risk harming your child just to get rid of some head lice.

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How come the quantity of lice varies from head to head?

Unfortunately there is no good answer to the question of why some infestations are relatively minor while others are major.

Even within the same family, one child’s head might attract lice while the other child’s head remains lice free. Some factors that distinguish the different situation include your child’s playmates, and the degree of closeness a child exhibits with others. No one has so far been able to explain why some children get more lice than others.

One belief is that there is something about the chemistry of a child’s skin that attracts lice. When used as a preventative measure, NITMIX will mask this scent which may reduce the likelihood of becoming infected or of becoming infected less frequently.

What type of environment do lice prefer?

Food and warmth are what lice seek which is why they tend to remain near the skin. The areas behind both ears and at the back of the neck are desirable locations. Together, the blood vessels beneath skin and the hair strands provide warmth for lice. That’s why when lifting the hair you’re usually able to see a pinkish blush on the skin’s surface and also tiny white-colored eggs on the hairs. Be sure to thoroughly check through hair because lice are very mobile.

Is it true that lice fly and jump?

No. This isn’t true. Lice only walk. Their legs are hooked and stubby making it impossible for them to fly or jump. Anytime you happen to see something jumping on or flying near a child’s head, it’s most likely an insect or perhaps even a flea, but it is definitely not head lice.

Can head lice burrow down beneath the skin?

No, head lice are not physically able to burrow into skin. Head lice only cling to hair shafts or remain on the skin’s surface.

Why does the colour of head lice change?

A head louse’s outer layer or ex-skeleton is made up of a very thin, bone-like material that when viewed in light, is the colour of light brown. As lice feed on blood, however, the appearance of this outer layer darkens. As the blood begins to digest, the colour begins to lighten up again. That’s why their colouring changes so often. The color is really a matter of how much blood is not yet digested.

What are the life stages of a louse?

Each time a head louse enters a different stage, it leaves its shell. What remains is light-brown colored dead skin that resembles a dead louse. As you comb through hair using NITMIX Wet Combing Aid, these shells will fall out and make it appear as though the infestation is much worse than it is. They’ll also fall out of the hair naturally and they’ll land on pillows which is one reason why people think this is how lice are spread.

Which do head lice prefer – hair that’s dirty or clean?

Head lice don’t have a preference over clean or dirty hair. Their main concerns are food, shelter and keeping warm. When it comes to head lice, the only difference between clean and dirty hair is that when hair is dirty, it’ll have more egg casings, shed skins and other debris which makes the infestation seem worse than it really is.

Does dyed or bleached hair deter head lice?

So far there is no evidence that treated hair affects head lice in any way, including preventing infestations.

How long can a head louse live once it’s dislodged from your body?

Once dislodged, a louse can survive only around two days because it won’t have a source of moisture or food. A louse will survive less than this in colder climates and if it hadn’t eaten prior to its being dislodged. Head lice understand that separation from the environment they need for survival means death so they do what they can to remain firmly attached to the head. That’s why it’s unlikely you’ll find head lice on furniture, clothing or surfaces other than the head.

Can sharing hats and clothing spread head lice?

Transmission this way can happen, although it is rare. Remember from above, separation from a head almost always means death for head lice. Rarely will they make such a mistake which is why head lice rarely will attach themselves to anything other than another head of hair. Of course, not sharing clothing, hairbrushes, and hairbrushes is a good habit to get into. However such a habit won’t head lice transmission.

Is it likely I’ll find head lice on my furniture?

Again, rarely will you find head lice on furniture. They prefer to remain on hair and heads. If it makes you feel better, go ahead and vacuum your furniture, but really, when it comes to head lice, it’s not necessary.

Is it necessary to cleanse my home?

Once again, when it comes to head lice, no amount of house cleaning will make any difference. Head lice rarely leave the head. In fact in 1999, two Australian scientists studied the effectiveness of sweeping floors. Together, Speare and Buettener swept 100 classroom floors. These were the floors they knew were being used by children who were infected with head lice. When they studied the material they had swept up, they found not one head louse!

Interestingly, the children were taken offsite where their heads were inspected, and over 7.000 lice were found and removed from these heads. And even though 7,000+ head lice were found on the children’s heads, not a single louse was discovered on any of the floors.

Is it necessary to wash and then spray an infested person’s bedding?

This too was studied by Speake, Thomas and Cahill in 2003. Their research showed that there was a 1 in 1,000 chance of a living louse appearing on a pillow after one night’s sleep. Put differently, a person would have to spend every night in the same bed for almost three full years before a louse would appear on a pillow. And it just doesn’t make any sense at all to apply sprays to bedding.

Can I use a household spray for killing lice?

Do not do this! If you do you’ll only increase your risks of exposing yourself and your home to potentially toxic substances. If someone tells you to do this, don’t believe it and don’t waste your money. Remember lice are on heads, not inside homes!

Is it a good idea to hire a company specializing in pest control to come and spray the house?

This is a bad idea and reputable pest control operations will tell you that doing so won’t accomplish a thing. If the company takes your money instead, guess what? You’ll just have wasted your money. So states Steven Blum who is the Director of the National Pest Control Association. Such information can also be found in the (7th Ed) Pest Control Operators Handbook. The handbook states, «Not a job for us.»

Will head lice ever migrate onto my pets?

No. Head lice prefer human heads and there are other strains of lice and fleas that affect pets. Now some lice that live on pets will bite humans and if you find your pet has fleas/lice, it’s important to treat your pet accordingly. A dog or cat’s fleas go through more development stages than head lice do and these can live in your carpets and your bedding.

If you discover bites on your ankles that are big and lumpy, then you’ve likely got fleas living in the carpets.

Can I swim if I have head lice?

Yes. There is absolutely no way to transmit head lice via a swimming pool or spa’s water, so have fun!

Do I need to shave off my child’s hair?

Shaving a child’s head is one way to get rid of head lice, but the emotional consequences of doing so are great. Your children likely will feel embarrassed and quite possibly will be teased by other children afterwards. We here at NITMIX don’t feel it’s necessary to take such an extreme measure just to eliminate head lice.

Is it better to cut my child’s hair?

Since head lice prefer to stay close to the scalp where it’s warm and where the food supply is, shorter hair isn’t going to make the job of getting rid of head lice any easier. Cutting hair especially isn’t recommended if your child will resent you for this later on. Combing long or curly hair will be much easier and quicker after it’s been oiled. Dredlocks are more challenging because this type of hair is difficult, if not impossible, to comb.

Is it better to wear hair down or up?

Hair that is long and that’s allowed to flow loosely increases the chances of it coming into contact with another person’s hair. This then increases the chances of transmitting head lice. Therefore, it makes more sense to keep hair tied back. With small children, head to head contact happens more towards the front of the head. That’s because children, when sharing secrets or books will often put heads down. In such a scenario, the hairstyle won’t matter.

Is it true that head lice are starting to become resistant to pesticides?

It is possible that head lice are becoming resistant to certain treatments for head lice, but to date, nothing has been proven. To prove such claims, a large, carefully controlled study would need to be undertaken. Such a study would be costly and difficult to conduct. Usually such a study would only be conducted as a way of proving the viability of a new treatment before such new treatment would be made available to the public. Few people would be willing to pay lots of money to prove a treatment no longer works. Even those serving the interests of Public Health would find it difficult to secure funding especially when they’re dealing with so many other issues that are equally or more important.

This question might one day have a better answer, but right now it seems the best advice is to cease using head lice treatments that claim to kill.

Is there a way to prevent head lice?

Yes, if you are willing to keep your children isolated. Another option would be to search daily for signs of head lice and if found, remove them promptly before they’re able to lay their eggs. Neither option makes much sense and the latter especially, although it would be effective, would be incredibly time consuming.

Another option is to find a way to “disguise” your child’s natural body scent and that could help “fool” head lice into thinking they’re not on a suitable host. They’d leave before laying eggs or feeding. If using NITMIX as such a disguise, it won’t repel or treat.

Remember, head lice seek out children for their environments – good food, safe shelter, and warmth. Absent any of these factors, head lice will not stay. But since shaving hair or keeping children cold aren’t viable options, the only factor left to change is the food.

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The scents we carry as humans say, “food” and that’s why head lice are drawn to humans. Disguise that scent and head lice no longer perceive humans as suitable hosts. NITMIX can accomplish this. When applied, it covers hair with a new scent that disguises the human scent. It won’t medicate your child or the head lice, but it will help you maintain healthy hair that is free of head lice.

If I treat myself, will it prevent me from getting a head lice infestation?

Treating yourself for head lice when you (or your children) don’t have lice isn’t a good idea. Treat only when the presence of head lice has been confirmed. A wet combing aid will help determine whether you have a problem that needs treatment. Few treatments designed to kill head lice are effective at preventing an infestation. That’s because after application, you’re directed to completely wash the treatment from the hair. Anytime you leave traces of the treatment product on your or your child’s hair, you’re increasing the risks of long-term exposure to potentially dangerous substances.

If hair lice are discovered, should my child be kept at home?

This question has no easy answer and the answer can depend on where you live. Children living in America are usually kept home when lice or nits are discovered. Doing so creates many problems, especially for single parents, including stress, chaos and even financial trouble. Parents who work may have to miss work to stay home with the child. Desperate American parents contact us the most looking for help.

Cases of head lice are just as common in other countries including the UK , Europe, New Zealand and Australia . It’s common practice for parents in these countries to look for and treat lice as necessary after receiving a letter from a child’s school. It’s stressful when readily available treatments are ineffective, but there aren’t any noticeable social or financial pressures in these other countries. Parents simply treat their children using their treatment of choice and the children return to school.

We at NITMIX believe the issue of head lice is better handled in non-US countries. Regardless of commonly held beliefs or policies the fact remains that head lice are a part of growing up and it’s a condition that poses no harm to children. It seems that it’s more harmful to use harsh removal measures or to lose money staying home with a child who has head lice.

Back during 2002, a clinical report was produced by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The report centered on the way head lice is handled in school. It concluded by suggesting that it’s time to end the “No Nits” policy that is so popular among schools because in the scope of things, head lice does not pose a significant threat to the health and welfare of children. Something that did not make parents comfortable was the report’s recommendations for using treatment methods containing pesticides. Fortunately, a section of the report was devoted to other types of treatments including manual removal.

Soon thereafter the National Pediculosis Association (NPA) launched an attack on the recommendations made in the report. The attack focused on use of pesticide-based treatments, the suggestion that the “No Nits” policy be ended and ending the policy of inspecting children for lice during school. Of course, the conflicting reports only confused parents.

It is our opinion that the NPA overreacted as the AAP report was rational and fair in it’s opinion that it’s time to stop the hysteria surrounding head lice, especially when considering that head lice are harmless. That part was worded well. All parents had left to do was abandon once and for all the use of harsh poisons for treatment and instead look for safer treatments. In combination, this would have been beneficial to all.

By continuing to support a ban on head lice, the NPA in effect drives parents towards using pesticides because the view is that head lice aren’t harmless. Was that the goal? We believe parents should take time to read both articles and then make their own opinions. The articles can be found under the “Press” section of both the NPA and the AAP web sites. Enjoy!

Parents believe strongly and perhaps irrationally that their children’s exposure to head lice should be of utmost importance. But does this make sense when we don’t react the same way by excluding those with warts, noses that run, or other “normal” problems of childhood? Just as we teach our children to tolerate those who are different and those who have disabilities, we should also teach them to tolerate head lice. The school should not be the place where intolerance and irrational beliefs are allowed to guide policy. Otherwise, we’re in for trouble. And really, head lice present no harm.

There is another point worth making. There was a time when smallpox killed and together the world acted to eradicate smallpox. But head lice are in a different category. No one has yet to prove that head lice transmit diseases and so far, this has not been the case in western schools. No one should expect that the world collectively will work to put an end to head lice as happened with smallpox. Therefore, there’s no need to protest head lice or to start campaigning against it. It’s better to learn to deal with head lice by brushing them off when they arrive because life will go on!

Why does my child still scratch?

When foreign invaders are discovered, most living beings have developed ways to effectively fight the invaders. Living beings also are alerted that something isn’t right via built-in warning systems. If you’ve ever had a bee sting or a bug bite, you know your body initiates a reaction that warns and at the same time starts to heal. Itchiness, swelling and redness all are involved in the reaction.

It may take many head lice bites for us to begin to feel the itchiness, and some people never experience any itchiness. Even after you have successfully eliminated head lice, some of the bites are still in the healing process. That’s why some people keep itching long after head lice are gone. Something else that may cause prolonged itchiness is when your scratching causes another skin irritation or perhaps an infection. If this is happening, medicated shampoo can help the tiny wounds heal faster. If the itching lasts for a prolonged period, antihistamine sprays, creams or tablets may be needed so talk with your Pharmacist. Antihistamines help by sending signals to the body telling it that it’s time to turn off those warning signals.

How can I recognize head lice eggs?

If you see small, bud-like attachments on strands of hair but not the scalp, you’re looking at head lice eggs. The attachments can be white, cream or grey in color. The body heat that escapes via the head creates a warm environment which head lice prefer. In warmer, more humid climates however, eggs generally are laid a bit further away from a child’s scalp. Eggs that are far away from the scalp usually are dead, old, empty or cold.

Live eggs, dead eggs and empty eggs vary slightly in appearance but to the naked eye, such differences are not readily noticeable.

You can however, distinguish the eggs of head lice from other types of debris you find on the head. Most notably, dandruff, cradle cap, and dandruff will all slide along shafts of hair whereas eggs will not budge from their position.

How long will a head louse remain alive?

A head louse lives on average 30-days after it hatches from the egg. Eggs take around 7-days to mature and then hatch. Newly hatched head lice are fully mature in just 7-10 days. Therefore, most are active in your hair for about 21-days.

Will every louse lay eggs?

No because some of the lice are male and some female lice will be unfertilized meaning they won’t lay any eggs. When parents find large adult lice, they always think they’re in for a battle. But when nothing further happens, they realize that what they found was a male louse or a female louse that’s unfertilized.

Large-sized adult lice don’t just appear by magic. Therefore if such a louse is suddenly discovered, there’s a good chance you or your child were in close proximity to an infected head and the louse just recently grabbed onto a strand of your hair. A full-blown infestation will consist of both small and large head lice. When tiny lice are present they are too small and too weak to travel. Therefore, it’s likely that it recently hatched on the head on which it was discovered.

Which type of louse comb is best to use?

Any very fine comb will be effective at catching and detaching lice of all sizes and their eggs. The problem with such fine combs is that it sometimes will be difficult to use them effortlessly. They’ll instead tug, pull or snag hair.

To remedy this situation, a very fine louse comb should be lubricated. That way, the hair can slide through the teeth more easily. A product such as NITMIX Wet Combing Aid is a perfect lubricant that works on all hair types.

You can make your comb work better and harder if you turn it at an angle while pulling through hair. That way hair strands can bend and zigzag as they move through the comb’s teeth. The combination of angling the comb and lubricating the hair will help create sharp turns. This makes it even easier to catch all the egg cases and it also helps force them off of the strands of hair.

Is NITMIX associated with WORLDPAY?

No, the two companies are separate. WORLDPAY is the company that handles your credit card payment details. Don’t worry; WORLDPAY has been offering cutting edge e-commerce solutions since 1993 and it maintains secure computer systems. If you prefer to learn more about WORLDPAY, please go to Once you do, you’ll see towards the bottom left section of your computer screen the transition to WORLDPAY’s server and you’ll also see a «Lock» symbol.

Once you place an order and it’s authorized by your credit card issuer, we at NITMIX see only your order details. We’ll never be able to see your financial details.

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