Look Closer: Top 3 OTC Head Lice Treatment Myths

Standard store-bought head lice treatments with pyrethrin haven’t evolved much since they started appearing in the 1970s. Most people think that when a family member gets head lice, you make a dash for the store and grab a bottle or box kit from one of the brand names they’ve been used to seeing their whole lives. This type of plan deserves a second thought. There are some excellent reasons why Lice Happens offers a gentle alternative treatment to the traditional pesticide-based solutions that have been widely available for years.

As someone who has been known to stand in the haircare aisle of the drugstore for longer than I will actually admit to anyone, I know that there’s no “one type fits all” shampoo and conditioner. Of course, the goal of head lice treatment is to meet a much more serious and immediate need than that of typical hair wash. But that doesn’t mean we can expect it to suit everyone and solve everything. Even if over-the-counter (OTC) head lice treatments were clearly labeled for preferences and conditions, we would still worry about the big myths that seem to survive long after every last louse.

Myth 1: OTC Head Lice Treatment is Fine for Anyone

Reactions to strong chemicals are never predictable, especially for young people. Treatments are known to trigger allergies, asthma, headaches and burning skin. Those with a history of sensitivity are especially susceptible to discomfort, but that does not mean people without a history are exempt from risk.

Myth 2: Use OTC Head Lice Treatment for Preventive Care

On at least a couple of occasions, an outbreak of head lice at my child’s school left me wishing for some pre-emptive strike to prevent pediculosis. It was before I understood that the chance of getting head lice at school is minimal and educating kids on best practices really is the best practice. Please, please, do not ever use OTC head lice treatments as preventive care. In addition to unnecessary exposure of potentially harmful chemicals, there’s no residual effect that will stop determined head lice from taking hold of your child’s scalp.

Myth 3: Multiple Treatments Will Do the Trick

Numerous studies have shown that head lice have built a resistance to the standard pesticides found in OTC treatments. Repeated washing with these chemicals will only cause additional discomfort in the person who is already suffering enough due to a head lice infestation. Persistent combing to remove all lice and nits is much more effective as a follow-up measure. Or, if at first you don’t succeed, call in the experts. Professional head lice removal specialists will save you and your family from further stress, and will gladly help you separate head lice fact from fiction.