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New Villain Attacking Our Children - The Blood Sucking Super Lice

Updated: Oct 20

I know what you’re thinking... As if 2020 hasn’t been the year from hell already with covid-19, global riots, looting and human trafficking. Now we have to worry about our kids going to school and getting the newly evolved “super lice”.


Yes, the world is currently a live horror/disaster movie which no one knows when or how it is going to end…

We might not be able to assist much with the global crisis, BUT we can help you and your children fight their new Villain!





How does this lice differ from the regular lice we are used to?

Well, just as head lice treatments have improved and adapted over the years, so too have head lice. More than 50% are now resistant to most long-standing treatment methods and store bought products.


As a result, this lice is harder than ever to kill and parents all around Australia are spending hundreds of dollars for professional head lice treatment.


According to Professor Craig Williams from the University of South Australia, over-the-counter chemical treatments, such as Malathion, Permethrin and Pyrethrin, have lost their potency.




Great. So what now?


Fret not! There are a few options you can try before spending big on a lice treatment service.


First, you need to identify the suckers.


This part can be tricky because the lice actually like to live on the hair itself and only migrate to the scalp to feed. This means that many head lice don’t actually cause an itch and requires careful inspection to find them. Louse (female lice) eggs are laid about a centimeter from the scalp and roughly the size of a pin head and oval in shape.


Head lice vary in colour, from whitish-brown to reddish-brown, and surprisingly only survive on humans. Despite the common misconception that head lice can fly, they are actually wingless insects and do not even have the capacity to jump from head to head. The transmission of head lice can only be made by head to head contact as they can only crawl.


A live egg will actually making a popping noise when squashed by fingernails and hatched eggs look like empty shells. The eggs hatch in 7-10 days, and one louse can lay 150-300 eggs so it doesn’t take long for a few random lice to become a couple of hundred.



STEP 1:

Starting with dry hair gently comb through any conditioner, detangling any knots so you can get a smooth stroke from root to tip. This technique with the conditioner actually stuns the lice and makes it hard for them to grip onto the hair.


STEP 2:

Using a small tooth comb, brush sections of the hair gently from the roots to the ends.


STEP 3:

Wipe the conditioner from the comb onto a paper towel or tissue.


STEP 4:

Look on the tissue and on the comb for lice and eggs.


STEP 5:

Repeat combing at least four or five times for every section of the head and if lice or eggs are found, the hair should be treated.




How do I treat lice at home?


The treatment of head lice involves removing the lice from the head because once extracted they die very quickly, usually within 24 hours. The main treatment options are chemical, herbal and manual, but if none of these are ideal you may need to use a combination of all three or seek a professional service.



IMPORTANT: TESTING LICE RESISTANCE

To save you and your child from the tedious task of the application and waiting time of a full treatment that may not work, it is best to test your chosen treatment on a small infected area to ensure it kills the lice. If the treatment is successful, hatched lice will be lifeless within 20 minutes and you should treat again in seven days using the same product.


However, if the lice are not dead that indicates the lice are resistant to the products active compound and it will be ineffective treating this outbreak.


Treat the hair again as soon as possible using a product that contains a different active compound.


CHEMICAL TREATMENTS Most shampoos and lotions found in chemists and supermarkets are actually chemical based treatments, unless otherwise stated. While this method may sound heavy duty and scary NSW Health Department authorities say they’re okay – as long as you don’t use them more than once a week and don’t use them on kids under two.



HERBAL TREATMENTS These usually contain ingredients such as tea tree and lavender oil, and many parents claim success with them. Just be aware that tea tree oil can cause skin reactions in some people. It’s important to note that these lice are tricky little pests and no treatment kills all of the eggs so any chemical or herbal method must involve two applications around seven days apart. The first treatment kills all living lice and the second round is to kill the lice that have hatched after the first treatment.



CONDITIONER AND COMBING TECHNIQUES Using the conditioner and head lice comb method every second day until there have been no live lice found for ten days. We know – the fun just never stops, does it?




When all else fails? Seek a professional treatment service.


There are plenty of professional lice treatment services helping parents combate their battle with super lice. A few of these are; Lice Clinics Australia, No More Nits and The Halo Clinic, to mobile service providers like No Nits Now and Nit Free hair, just to name a few.


The price for professional services varies from $100 upwards.



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The Edit Team


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