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September 30, 2006

Head Lice Treatment - Natural vs. Chemical

Head lice (pediculosis) can occur in even the cleanest of homes. Children often catch them from other children at school, so parents are rarely to blame. So what do you do when your child comes home with lice?

One article (No Need for Shame With Head Lice) presents two opinions on the topic.

Deborah Altschuler, president of the National Pediculosis Association, says:

"You should take every opportunity to avoid using a chemical or pesticide on a child's head," she said. "And if you remove the lice and nits manually as soon as they get there, the challenge is reduced dramatically."

Dr. Jim King of Selmer, Tenn., a spokesman for the American Academy of Family Physicians, says:

King said he sees no problem in using a pesticide-based shampoo like Nix to kill off the lice, so long as it is used correctly. "There are over-the-counter products now," he said. "You don't have to come to the doctor for head lice if you're sure they have it. Just pick up the treatment."

So which is the right treatment for you and your child? There are several popular natural remedies. has a page of user comments that discusses home remedies for lice. Ideas include mayonnaise, olive oil, vaseline, tea tree oil, coconut oil, and baby oil.

Do you have a natural remedy for head lice? Please share it here by posting a comment!

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