Ew, lice

Last week on the post talking about getting your confidence back after something knocks you down, Tine posted that she just found lice in her child's hair.

I do not cry very often. But a few things have made me cry during my parenting career, and one of them is lice. I think I may have cried every day for a week the last time we got lice.

At any rate, Jamie from Light and Momentary told me she's found The Treatment for lice, which consists of Cetaphil. Yes, it seems too easy, but people, Jamie has five (5) children and a PhD, so I'm ready to take her word for it. Here's the post she wrote with instructions for the Cetaphil lice treatment: Lose Your Head Lice Without Losing Your Mind.

I asked her if it was true that you really only do the treatment once a week, and expressed skepticism. She assured me that I was reading correctly.

Here are the original instructions for the Nuovo Cetaphil lice treatment, and the article in Pediatrics about it.

If it really works, it might combat what felt like the biggest problem last time we had lice, which was that it felt like the kids were passing them back and forth between my place and their dad's place. Last time we had lice we were still in NYC and I did more of a modified version of this treatment, but the beginning step was getting both my boys' hair buzzed all the way down. (For my own hair, I just used a blow dryer on my head twice a day so hot it hurt enough that I knew I'd killed any lice or nits. I can't really recommend it for common sense and scalp health, but it did keep me lice-free.)

This Cetaphil once-a-week thing sounds fantastic. I, however, hope not to have the occasion to try it. Who's got lice and can try it and report back in?

32 thoughts on “Ew, lice”

  1. I’m not sure how common lice is here where I live, being a third world country you might expect to have lice everywhere but it isn’t the case.I’ve got lice twice and one was back when I worked with homeless children and I got rid of them using herklin, it is a well known lice shampoo around here, just used it twice and comb your hair with the special comb that came with the shampoo…
    Doing a little search I found it contains phenothrin and I don’t know if it’s FDA approved but it’s been around for ages here and works really well…

  2. Lice was the bane of our existence in the spring term. Both girls had it – and I’m not sure who had it first, if it came from daycare or the elementary school. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. We used the OTC lice shampoo 3 or 4 times then called the ped and went to the malathion (e.g. bug truck) shampoo and used it on both girls. We took the day off school and had a really stinky spa day to do the combing. That, and some follow up combing got it all. We have a bottle of cetaphil on the counter in case it comes back.I’m keeping an eye on the youngest because the back of her head is itchy, but I haven’t seen anything suspicious. I think it’s just dry.
    The older daughter has super thick and long hair – I ended up shaving the back bottom of her hair, under her ponytail in the prime lice neighborhood. Slightly new wave, but made it a lot cooler for soccer camp, too. Also, gave the younger one a Dorothy Hammill bob. It does make it harder to comb through the undergrowth at the napes of their neck, but I think, less habitable too.
    Good luck with it.

  3. We live in the South and there is a lice outbreak at least once a year. I have put toxic chemicals aside and use olive oil with this comb: http://www.amazon.com/Terminator-Professional-Stainless-Treatment-Removes/dp/B000HIBPV8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345643566&sr=8-1&keywords=nit+freecomb. If I want to get fancy I throw in some lavender or tea tree oil. I repeat three times over the next couple of weeks. It works great. The Cetaphil method is intriguing though.

  4. Both my kids have had lice–my daughter winds up with it on a regular basis. Luckily we live out of the US, so it’s treated like a nuisance rather than a disease vector.The toxic shampoos give me the heebie-jeebies, so I don’t use them. When there’s a breakout, I cover hair with a load of cheap white conditioner and comb out with an Assy 2000 (the European brand name of the comb Kelly linked to) every other day.
    I was very good about using a tea tree oil spray for prevention when my daughter was in Kg, but now that she’s a lot more independent in the getting ready for school routine we usually forget!
    Good advice in the post and comments from other Israelis here: http://www.amotherinisrael.com/le/

  5. We had our first experience with lice last summer and used the Cetaphil method. (I was pregnant at the time and did not want to be messing with all those chemicals in the lice shampoos.) It worked wonderfully on both my boys and me!! I almost couldn’t believe it. We repeated it twice to be sure we got them all. The worst part was that my eldest hates the hair dryer. We washed sheets and blankets, too, and that was it.I was so impressed, I stocked up on the Cetaphil double-pack that Costco sells.

  6. We’re in the middle of this treatment right now for my daughter, and it WORKS. It’s not a big deal, it’s invisible, it’s non-toxic, and it WORKS. Time consuming for kids with long hair, but for short hair…a breeze.

  7. I have long, thick hair and have used the Cetaphil treatment. It was AMAZING. Very little effort, no picking. Even though it takes multiple treatments, I noticed an improvement in the itching immediately.

  8. All I need is to hear that four lettered word starting with L and it makes me start to itch. I am in complete denial that this goes around our school every year. There is an expensive salon near us that advertises at the school and will deal with the heads if you want to pay for it. Don’t know if anyone will do the house for you.I will bookmark this post and hopefully never need to return to it.
    Now I will go scratch my head.

  9. We’ve used the Cetaphil tx twice and it worked great. So much less stress than other methods and necessary for our family’s super sensitive skin. Only issue is the no nit picking aspect of the original method can be a problem for getting kids back in school. Schools don’t understand the eggs are smothered but still adherent for a while. Luckily, our daycare approved of the method so we could go back immediately.

  10. When I lived in a rural village in Bolivia, I got lice several times and had no access to a pharmacy. The cure that worked for me was to wash every day for ten full minutes with regular shampoo – that drowns them – for ten days in a row – til all the eggs have hatched. You still have to comb out the hatched nits.

    1. Lice do not drown…you would have to soak your head in water for more than 8 hours for that to happen. The combing is probably what worked.

  11. This is great! I lived in horror of lice.* Eldest had them a few years back, and it ended up being fairly easily taken care of. And a friend of mine pointed out that they really are just a nuisance, unlike, say, bedbugs. I don’t know what she based that on, but I’m choosing to go with it.*I also lived in complete horror of anything going up the nose or down into the ear, and I still can’t believe how lucky I am that never happened. Yet.

  12. We were there this summer in day camp.I used the LiceMeister comb, and did the first pass using the conditioner method. Apparently, putting conditioner in the hair “stuns” the lice & allows you to comb many, many of them out.
    Then we did the Cetaphil & we’ve been good to go for three weeks now.

  13. THANK YOU, Moxie. As soon as I read this post, I put a Target trip on my to-do list. Just got home from there with 2 16-oz. bottles of Cetaphil and 4 pocket combs. (Actually the Target brand of Cetaphil, which costs 1/2 as much and lists the exact same ingredients in the exact same order.)We plan to do the treatment tomorrow morning. I am SO GLAD I can do something effective without the nit-combing. My daughter’s hair is very long, coarse, thick, and curly. (Think Roseanne Roseannadanna, but about 3x longer.) The round of nit-combing we did last week was an agonizing 3-hour scream-a-thon. We were all dreading going through that again.
    I’ll report back tomorrow afternoon to tell how it went.

  14. Thanks for this. We have never had to deal with lice yet and I hope never will. One reason might be that lice prefer clean hair and scalp and we only wash our boys hair once weekly, if even that. They don’t seem to need more than that. They get their hair wet at bathtime but not shampooed.I am guessing that the reason this treatment works is that it does the same thing as not having the kids’ hair squeaky clean. The lice don’t like the moistness of the Cetaphil.

  15. Cetaphil is what the teachers at our preschool use on their heads, and our daycare suffers from every-other-month breakouts. It got so expensive for them that the school solicited donations of Cetaphil last year!Also second the recommendation for investing in a super-duper lice comb. We have not had an outbreak travel home yet, but it’s what is used at preschool.

  16. Thanks for the Cetaphil tip. We had rounds and rounds of lice just about a year ago and the one thing that really, really worked was the comb Kelly linked to. You really need an awesome comb, no matter if you hire professionals, do it yourself, whatever. The comb is a must.

  17. OK, here’s my post-Cetaphil treatment report:My daughter (6yo) is the one who actually had visible lice. 1 wk. ago we treated her with the pyrethrin/whatchamacallit (poison) shampoo + nit-combing. Daughter has hair like — well, let’s call her Rapunzel Roseannadanna. The nit-combing was a hellacious 3-hour screamathon, so I was searching for another method to try for a followup treatment.
    The Cetaphil method was still a PITA for her. It took over an hour, with lots of hair-pulling (which she hates) to get her scalp and hair drenched with the Cetaphil, and then to comb out the excess. I couldn’t get all the excess, so the hair-drying took about 40 minutes nonstop…and I’m still not sure I got her hair 100% dry.
    So. For daughter, this process was slightly better, because it wasn’t stinky or toxic, and I didn’t have to use a nit comb, and it didn’t take 3 hrs. But it was still long (almost 2 hrs.) and from her perspective, just as painful.
    I’ve also been treating my son (9yo) as a precaution, because they spend so much time together. Son has short, thick, coarse, and curly hair. This method was a breeze for him. WAY better than the chemical shampoo + nit-combing. We were done in 15-20 min.
    So overall, I’d say that the Cetaphil method is a cinch for short hair of any texture. For long, coarse, thick, and curly hair…apparently any lice treatment short of head-shaving is going to be agony.
    And now we wait to see how well it worked. Fingers and toes all crossed! 🙂

  18. Thank you so much for this. Thanks to a poor kid in my son’s class last year, we had it twice – the poor kid had it ALL YEAR (per the nurse, who I’m certain shouldn’t have shared that bit of info.).We tried to laugh – our Christmas card read “Fe-lice Navidad” and pictured all of us wearing shower caps — but good lord, it was overwhelming. Time 2, depressing.
    Time 3 had best not happen, but should it, I will head straight for the Cetaphil. Thank you!

  19. Because I can’t figure out how to edit the comment above – it reads like I’m making a comment about the kid’s socioeconomic status. Not a clue who it was. I meant “poor kid” as in “poor thing who suffered with lice all year.”

  20. NITPICKERS are worth their weight in gold.We paid a service a few hundred bucks to come in and pick through my boys’ hair and I’d pay double next time. They left us with instructions to do olive oil treatments every so-many days (based on the life cycle of the eggs/bugs found) and when went for a follow-up a few weeks late, the kids were lice-free. And, in retrospect, I’m guessing that cetaphil could probably be used interchangably with olive oil.
    No chemicals, no washing everything in the house, just calm action.
    I realize not everyone can afford a nitpicker and I’m grateful that I could. My friend’s nitpicker offered a step-by-step plan and step one was “Relax and do not wash anything”…I love advice like that.

  21. For what it’s worth, when the lovely de-lousing lady visited our house last year she strongly recommended rubbing 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil into the kiddo’s hair every morning as a preventative. So far so good!

  22. Just FYI: We had heard about the tea tree prevention trick. So for 2 years, we’ve been using Nature’s Gate tea tree shampoo and conditioner. Daughter got lice anyway.I’m not saying the tea tree didn’t work — it may well have kept us from catching lice during other outbreaks. It just didn’t work *this* time.

  23. Im using the cetaphil method three times every week… Its working wonders nits and lice are easily pulled out and the itch has calmed i was about to shave my head til i found this this treatment online I’ve battled head lice for two years yuck and ive tried every home remedy and prescription drug there is cetaphil is really working hope to be completely lice free soon

  24. I think there have no problem when lice feed on human blood, but problem is that a perpetual itching which is the main causes of scalp inflammation or infection. This kind of lice problem are appear on children head or the drossy long hair of girls. We should take proper hair care to protect our head against from lice.

  25. My daughter got lice from her cousin about 4 years ago (heads close together at my husband’s 50th birthday party.) My sister in law called to inform me that her daughter had lice. I found a few lice, quickly did the chemicals (RID) and nit removal. I thought I had it covered but it all came back with a vengeance about a week later. So this is what I did on recommendation from my sister-in-law: I washed the hair with fairytales and used some foam to get everything out – tons of bugs were combed out. Then I did the Cetaphil treatment with blow dryer for a number of weeks – I think the recommendation was once a week for three weeks, but I did it 5 or 6 times over a month (I wasn’t taking any chances this time.) I love that this chemical free treatment worked and daughter was lice free!!! It works!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *