How to Get Rid of Lice – FAQ’s

Get rid of head lice







Does Lice Shampoo Work?

RID, Nix and other lice shampoos ONLY kill adult lice and adolescent nymphs. These shampoos work by attacking the bug’s central nervous system. Because baby lice or “nymphs” have not yet developed a central nervous system, they cannot be killed by pesticides. New research also shows lice have developed a resistance to common over-the-counter treatments like lice shampoos.

This leads to a common pattern of lice suppression and resurgence when families use lice shampoos and prescription treatments.

What does that mean? Since lice shampoos only kill live bugs and not their eggs, it’s up to parents to comb out every single lice egg. If just one or two are left behind, it will take about 3 weeks for those left behind eggs to hatch, starting a new cycle of lice infestation.

During those weeks, parents think they have the problem under control, not knowing those eggs are developing into live bugs. This is also a common reason lice are spread to other family members and classmates. In other words, the lice aren’t necessarily coming back, they were never completely gone in the first place.

MANY families come to us after using multiple rounds of lice shampoos without success. READ MORE HERE about recurring head lice and what you can do about it.

What are the symptoms of lice?

Common Symptoms of Lice are:

Scalp itching
Sensation of something moving in the hair
Red or pustular sores on the scalp caused by scratching
Swollen lymph nodes in the front and back of the neck

How do I know if I have lice?

Head lice are most commonly found on the scalp, behind the ears and near the neckline at the base of the head. An allergic reaction to the bites causes the itching; only about 50% of people with head lice experience itching. Misdiagnosis of head lice is common, though.

The best way to confirm an active case of head lice is by finding a live nymph or adult louse on the scalp or hair. Adult and nymphal lice are very small, move quickly, and avoid light, so they may be difficult to find. Using a fine toothed louse comb helps in correctly diagnosing head lice.

If you have lice, you will have nits/eggs in your hair. If you have nits, they have been laid by live lice. Nits do not spontaneously appear and are not themselves contagious.

Viable nits are usually located within 1/4 inch of the scalp. The nits are small teardrop-shaped eggs that show up differently in different colored hair. The darker your hair, the lighter the nits will appear. The lighter your hair, the more closely the nits will blend in with your hair. It is more challenging to find the nits on lighter hair colors.

Nits are essentially “glued” into the hair. They will not move without being pulled with some force with your fingernails. Once you get them to budge, they will only move up and down the hair shaft (rather like a bead on a bracelet.) If you pull it all the way off and lay it on a white napkin or tissue, it will have a brownish tint to it.

Dandruff will not be “stuck” in the hair, and will move if you brush it with your finger or blow on it lightly.

I think my child has head lice, now what?

Head lice should be treated immediately. They are not harmful but highly contagious so the sooner your family member is treated, the better, in order to reduce the risk of spreading head lice to others. Pediatric Hair Solutions can accurately confirm a case of head lice by conducting a head check in our office. We also recommend head checks for all family members in the same household.

How does Pediatric Hair Solutions differ from other treatments and services?

Unlike most head lice treatment centers, Pediatric Hair Solutions is medically owned and operated. Sheila Fassler, RN, is the owner and John Fassler, MD, is the Medical Director. Sheila’s nursing and school background along with Dr. Fassler’s medical background combine to provide families with effective, proven and safe methods to get rid of head lice.

Dr. Fassler studied the effectiveness of the Pediatric Hair Solution treatment process and presented his research to the Pediatric Infectious Disease Research Conference. The study was based on more than 280 patients using Pediatric Hair Solution’s three-step treatment process. The study revealed a 100% success rate using a heated air medical device in conjunction with safe, non-toxic treatment solutions.

Are the treatments at Pediatric Hair Solutions covered by insurance?

As a medically owned and operated head lice treatment center, our treatments are covered by most insurance plans.

We also have a 100% reimbursement rate with Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).

For your convenience, we provide you with the appropriate form including diagnostic and procedure codes needed to submit claims for reimbursement.

Your pre-filled CMS 1500 form to file with your insurance provider will be included with your discharge papers. If you prefer, you can call your healthcare insurer prior to your appointment to confirm insurance coverage.

If your claim is denied, you may request a letter of medical necessity written by the Medical Director at Pediatric Hair Solutions, Dr. John Fassler.

Do you treat adults?

Yes! We treat children and adults. It is very common for lice to spread quickly among family members, no matter what the age.

How do you get lice?

Head lice come from other people who have head lice. Head lice are human parasites that have been in existence for tens of thousands of years. Dried up head lice and their eggs have been found on the hair of Egyptian mummies.

Head lice are most commonly spread from direct head-to-head contact (hugging, whispering, sharing a pillow, etc.) Less commonly, they can also be spread by sharing brushes, combs, hats, scarves, hoodies, etc. Lice do not live more than 48 hours off of their host.

Do lice jump?

No! Head lice do not jump or fly. They are good crawlers, however, and will readily move from one host to another.

Can dogs get lice?

No. Head lice cannot live on pets of any kind. Head lice are human parasites and can only live on human heads.

Where does lice come from? Who is at risk of getting head lice?

Everyone is at risk. Anyone having contact with an infected person can get head lice. Rest assured, if you have lice it does NOT mean you are dirty! In fact, they prefer their hosts to be quite clean.

Can lice make you sick?

Head lice are inconvenient but not dangerous. They do not carry any sort of disease.

What do lice eat?

Lice spend their entire life on the human head and feed exclusively on human blood 5-6 times each day by biting the scalp, which is what causes some people to feel itchy.

How big are lice?

Lice range in size from 2mm to 4mm, or about the size of a sesame seed.

Can you see lice?

Yes. Lice are bigger than many people expect! They are not, as some people believe, “microscopic” or “invisible.” They can be seen with the naked eye.

Why can’t we just use the over-the-counter or “home remedy” options to get rid of head lice?

Research published in the Journal of the Entomological Society of America shows lice are becoming resistant to common over-the-counter lice treatments. Researchers examined the genes of lice and found that 99.6% of those tested were genetically resistant to pyrethrin and permethrin, the chemicals found in most over-the-counter lice products such as RID and Nix.

We can corroborate that finding; the vast majority of our clients have tried one or more of the over-the-counter treatments and still found live bugs before calling us.

While home nit-picking is always an option, we don’t recommend some of the other treatments you may find on the internet. Pouring Listerine, alcohol, vinegar, kerosene, or similar liquids on your child’s head is not only ineffective – it is dangerous! Many times even the less extreme home treatments will irritate your scalp or damage your hair.

If you opt to try treating at home, you need to be prepared to set aside a few hours each day (per child) for the next two to three weeks in order to eradicate the problem…keeping in mind that even one missed egg will start the infestation over again. Pediatric Hair Solutions offers a traditional Do it Yourself kit that will give you the products and information you need to complete this process.

How do I treat my home for lice? Can lice live on hard surfaces?

It is important to remember that the infestation is on the head – not in the home! It is necessary to clean your house thoroughly once a lice infestation has been discovered. However, we have found that most parents’ instincts are to do far more than is necessary!

The first thing to remember is head lice can not live off the human host for more than 48 hours. Also, lice do not have “feet” and can not travel well an smooth hard surfaces. Lice can not jump or fly. Nits/eggs need to be in a warm, dark, moist place to incubate. Please do not use a pesticide spray on furniture. Remember, lice are resistant and the use of pesticides can have harmful side effects.

Clean all bed and bath linens that have come in contact with affected individuals. Place clothing, linens, etc in the dryer on high heat for 30-40 minutes. Do the same with clothing and outerwear worn within 48 hours.
Vacuum carseats, carpets, floors, mattresses, and furniture where there has been contactwithin last 48 hours.
All hair brushes and accessories need to be placed in baggies and put in the freezer for 48 hours and then washed thoroughly in hot soapy water. Label these items in the future so they are not shared.
Sports and bike helmets go into freezer for 48 hours.
There are many items that cannot be placed in the dryer, but must also be treated. Isolationis the best method for dealing with these items, including stuffed animals, pillows, or headphones. You should expect these items to be out of commission for at least 48 hours.
This process only needs to be done one time on day of treatment with the medical device.

How can I prevent the spread of head lice?

Avoid head to head contact during play, sleepovers, or other activities at home, school, and elsewhere. Do not share, combs, brushes, or towels used by an infested person. Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, hair ribbons, or barrettes. Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items that an infested person used or wore during the previous two days using a high heat drying cycle. Do not use fumigant sprays or fogs; they are not necessary to control head lice and can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.