How to kill lice: which pediculicide is more effective?

How to kill lice

How to kill lice. So, how it sounds. Today we don’t hang around with little girls and we’re going to go in and kill. It is time to take out the heavy artillery and explain what are the best remedies for removing lice. That which they elegantly call pediculicides and that in the Boticaria García blog we are going to simply call gunpowder.

School will start in a week (the luckiest babies already enjoy their return to kindergarten today) and we will face the terror of the classrooms again. It is more than likely that before the end of the month some parents already receive in the snack bag the usual note that there are lice in the classroom.

What to do if we get the famous note that there are lice in the class?


If we get the dreaded note, the first thing is to remember this good news that I give you today: lice do not bite , so there is no need to scream. The second, once the cry is muffled in the throat, get down to work in two steps:

  1. Scrutinize the hair of our children(hereinafter, presumed infected ) following the instructions given in the post on how to detect lice . You won’t need much more than a nit. Of course, it is good. The Assy nit  is not the cheapest (price about € 18) but it is a great investment in the house of the alleged infected. Nits, like diamonds, are forever. The difference with the rest of the nits is that, as an instrument of torture, their spikes are micro-ribbed. That is, if it is passed correctly, not one escapes. In the section Advertised on TV the convenience of using nits with UV light is discussed. (They do not appear to provide a significant advantage in practice.)
  2. If the alleged infected is free of charge, apply the best lice repellenta couple of times a week to maintain their status as an innocent child for years without end. Also, we should continue to pass the nit regularly for a season because poshies are more likely to keep hanging around the classroom.


What do we do if we find lice or nits in our detective work?


In theory, it is not recommended to use pediculicides until you find a live louse. However, if we find only nits, the probability of a louse swarming and having escaped is high. In this case, in case the flies, although it would not be advisable to use permethrin, it could be convenient to use silicones.

How to kill lice


In case of finding lice or nits, it is time to take out the powder. And be careful, because there are many types of caliber.


– Permethrin. The usual gunpowder, which sometimes fails.

It is a pesticide whose safety is widely proven So proven that the World Health Organization (WHO) considers permethrin as the pediculicide of choice in the treatment of lice. Sometimes it is combined with piperonyl butoxide to enhance its action. It is the compound that some of the most popular carry, such as the OTC (€ 10) or the Goibi kit (€ 14-15). Prices are approximate, but in any case permethrin pediculicides are usually the cheapest.

The problem with permethrin is that its indiscriminate use in presumably infected children , without having confirmed the existence of lice, has generated the appearance of resistance (something similar to what happens with antibiotics). This means that lice, which are very smart, have learned to defend themselves against permethrin, and sometimes their application may not be effective.

Permethrin can be used in pregnant women, women during lactation and in children older than two years (although in the technical data sheet of permethrin its use is recommended for over two months, in the existing products on the market the recommendation is from two years).


– Dimethicone and cyclomethicone. Fashion gunpowder.

It is a more modern remedy for killing lice and nits. These are incredibly cruel high-density silicones that paralyze the louse, suffocate it, cause an intestinal collapse and dehydrate it. They act through a physical torture procedure and therefore it is very difficult to generate resistance in lice. The compounds that carry dimethicone and cyclomethicone are some like Full-Marks or Neositrin. Isdin anti-lice contains Neem tree seed extract, a natural compound that has the same effect as silicones. The price of all of them is around € 20 or even higher.

These compounds are especially recommended in asthmatic subjects and in subjects with sensitive or atopic skin, for which pesticides with permethrin could be aggressive. Also in those children in whom the application of permethrins has not been successful, due to resistance.

They can be used in pregnant women, women during lactation and in children older than one year.


– Benzyl alcohol. The super powder.

It is the newest novelty and is marketed together with mineral oil. The FDA authorized its use in 2009 although in Spain there has been no pediculicide that included it in its composition until last year (Goibi Lotion Nature, from Cinfa laboratories). Benzyl alcohol works by leaving the louse’s blowhole open and encouraging mineral oil to enter. To understand it better, act as if you were keeping the louse’s nose open and an oil was introduced into the holes until suffocating it. To those who think that it is something gore and ruthless, I remind you that dead louse is good louse. Don’t come to me with prissy.

The advantage of benzyl alcohol is that it can also be used from the year according to the Goibi Nature package leaflet (from six months according to the FDA).

In this video you can see how to apply the treatment in «Nancys» (rather in «poor Nancys»), I would say …


Tea tree oil: blank bullets. 


I do not know what tea tree oil has, perhaps it is the name so cute (certainly not the price) that mothers would like to recommend it. There is currently no scientific evidence to support tea tree oil as a preventative against lice, much less as an effective active in killing lice. I will repeat it: tea tree oil is not used to kill lice .

Despite being a natural compound, it must be remembered that tea tree oil should not be used in children under 3 years of age. Natural does not mean harmless.

To each reader of this post who claims that their children do not have lice thanks to tea tree oil, I can give the name of another mother who goes to the pharmacy with children plagued by lice who did use tea tree. There are also children who do not use a tea tree and never have lice. The theory of amimefunctionalism, once again, is what it has.


Another type of powder: fireworks.


There is another type of gunpowder (vinegar, apple cider vinegar, Quassia amara) that although it does not strictly kill the lice, it can help to remove nits and lice from the hair. They are very popular because, in addition, they leave the hair beautiful and shiny.

Although they are a complement (and any help is welcome in this thankless task) it is important to insist that their use replaces pediculicides or the intense work that we must do with the nit. Until we dislocate our wrist.

In the case of hair hardest hit by repeated application of this type of treatment, conditioners such as OTC, which contain panthenol and vitamin E in addition to acetic acid, can be an aid to nourish and hydrate hair.


How to kill lice based on age


Under one year old : nit that raised you. Although the technical data sheets of permethrin and benzyl alcohol indicate its use in children under one year (over two months and six months respectively), we must take into account the package leaflets of each product when using it.


10 tips to apply pediculicide treatment


  1. Read the instructions. Although it seems to be a truism, the misuse of these products is the main reason that they do not work and that the treatment must be repeated.
  2. Ask at the pharmacy for the application time. Some act for ten minutes, others for half an hour and others require all night. It is advisable to ask the pharmacy about the different durations so as not to take surprises at home when we fulfill point 1 and read the instructions.
  3. Buy a shower cap. Some kits include it but most don’t. They are hats like the ones they put in hotels. If you have one at home it can be used. If you don’t have it, the next time you go to a hotel don’t feel bad if you take one. It is for a good cause, sometimes they are difficult to find.
  4. Pass the nit. Go dividing the hair into zones and remove the ones already checked with a rubber band or bobby pins.
  5. Pass the nit. Go dividing the hair into zones and remove the ones already checked with a rubber band or bobby pins.
  6. Pass the nit. Go dividing the hair into zones and remove the ones already checked with a rubber band or bobby pins.
  7. Pass the nit. Go dividing the hair into zones and remove the ones already checked with a rubber band or bobby pins.
  8. Pass the nit. Go dividing the hair into zones and remove the ones already checked with a rubber band or bobby pins.

No, it’s not a mistake. Point 4 is crucial and should be repeated as many times as possible. Manual removal of nits and lice is the most important point. The nit is best passed on wet hair as the louse moves more slowly.

  1. Apply the product(eye, most are applied to dry hair). Wait the necessary time (point 2) with the cap on (point 3).
  2. Re-pass the nit as many times as necessary. After that, go through it a few more times.
  3. Rinse the hair according to the instructions(it can be with water or using the shampoo that comes in the kit).
  4. Never use a dryer.
  5. Repeat the process after 7-10 days. During this time continue passing the nit, if possible daily.
  6. Do not take the child to school until the treatment has been applied. Once done, there is no reason to keep children at home. That is, if we apply the treatment in the afternoon as soon as we realize, which is theirs, there is no need for children to miss class.


 The Apothecary’s Advice


According to a recent study and due to the emergence of resistance, the use of silicones could have effectively outperformed the classic permethrin. On the other hand, the appearance on the Spanish market of benzyl alcohol is a new and effective alternative to lice.

If you are blessed with a batch of lice in your home, a priori any of the options mentioned could be useful, although your pharmacist can help you assess each case individually.

If you haven’t received the terrible guests yet and you’re not too worried about knowing how to kill lice , don’t relax. Cross your fingers and do not hesitate to start the course well including among the items of the children’s bathroom the best lice repellent.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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