Q:

How do you treat nits when no actual lice are present?

A:

Quick Answer

The best way of treating nits is to remove them with a fine-tooth nit comb, according to Karen Pallarito on Health.com. She recommends working through the hair by combing each section carefully, checking for any stragglers though a magnifying glass and picking these out between the finger and thumb.

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Full Answer

Up to 12 million children in the United States suffer from head lice each year, Health.com says. Parents are worried about the side effects of using insecticides on their children to destroy the insects and seek natural remedies. Furthermore, many lice have developed resistance to over-the-counter remedies. Blow-drying freshly washed hair with a hairdryer set on a high heat has been found to be effective in removing nits. Another natural remedy is the liberal application of olive oil, which is believed to suffocate the lice and loosen the nits’ grip on the hair shafts, making them easier to remove.

Some products contain natural insecticides, including Rid, A-200 or Pronto, which contain pyrethrum, a natural insecticide from chrysanthemum flowers that attacks the nervous system of lice. Natroba and ivermectin are products that use bacteria found in the soil, Health.com reports. These may cause allergic reactions.

Once nits and lice have been eradicated, it is vital to avoid repeat infection by thoroughly cleaning any items that have been in close, recent contact with the heads of infected family members.

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