How much tea tree oil to prevent lice

Tea Tree Oil Treatment for Lice: Does It Work?

A controversial treatment

Tea tree oil is made from the leaves of the tea tree plant. Aboriginal people in Australia have used it medicinally for centuries. People around the world continue to use tea tree oil as a remedy for many conditions.

Among other uses, some people believe that tea tree oil can kill lice. But not all experts are convinced. More research is needed before scientists can draw conclusions.

According to the Mayo Clinic, more research is needed to learn how effective tea tree oil is for combating lice. In particular, scientists need to conduct more large well-designed trials.

In the meantime, some early studies suggest that tea tree oil may be useful for treating head lice. For example, one study published in Parasitology Research suggests that it can kill lice in the nymph and adult stages of life. Tea tree oil treatments also reduced the number of lice eggs that hatched.

Another study, published in BMC Dermatology, also found promising results. The investigators used three different products to treat children with head lice, including one that contained tea tree oil and lavender oil.

After their last day of treatment, nearly all of the children who were treated with the tea tree and lavender product were free of lice. The same was true for children who were treated with a product designed to suffocate lice. In contrast, only a quarter of kids treated with pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide were lice free. Pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide are common ingredients in anti-lice shampoos.

Another study reported in the International Journal of Dermatology compared botanical and synthetic substances for preventing lice in primary school-age kids. The researchers compared tea tree oil, lavender oil, peppermint, and DEET.

On its own, tea tree oil was the most effective treatment tested. Tea tree oil and peppermint appeared to be most useful for repelling lice. Tea tree oil and lavender were also found to prevent some feeding by lice on treated skin. While the results show some promise, the investigators concluded that none of the treatments were effective enough to endorse.

In addition to preventing and killing lice on skin, some people believe that tea tree oil is useful for removing lice from laundry. But there’s no scientific evidence that this strategy works. More research is needed to learn how tea tree oil may be used to prevent and combat lice outbreaks.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), it’s considered safe for most adults to apply diluted tea tree oil to their skin. But it does pose some risk of side effects.

For example, tea tree oil contains a compound that can irritate your skin. In some people, it may cause an allergic reaction, known as contact dermatitis. Using it repeatedly may also lead to enlarged breast tissue in prepubescent boys. The NCCIH warns that in one study, a young boy developed breast growth after using hair products that contained tea tree oil and lavender oil.

If you decide to use tea tree oil, apply it topically. Never swallow it.

According to the NCCIH, tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed. It can cause drowsiness, disorientation, rash, and loss of muscle control in your arms and legs. At least one person has gone into a coma after drinking tea tree oil.

If you want to use tea tree oil as a lice treatment, you might be wondering how much you should use. The Mayo Clinic reports that no specific dose of tea tree oil has been proven clinically effective.

Some clinical trials have used a dose of 1 to 10 percent tea tree oil in a shampoo or gel formula. The investigators usually apply these mixtures to participants’ skin at least once a day for as long as four weeks. Ask your doctor for more guidance.

Some early studies suggest that tea tree oil may be effective for treating head lice, either alone or when combined with other botanicals, such as lavender oil. But more large-scale studies need to be conducted before experts can recommend tea tree oil as a safe and effective treatment for lice.

If you or someone in your family has lice, discuss different treatment options with your doctor. Talk to them before you try tea tree oil or other alternative remedies. They can help you assess the potential benefits and risks.

Can tea tree oil prevent head lice?

For parents of school-aged children, the mere mention of that four-letter word L-I-C-E can send us into a panic and fast!

We don’t even like to say the word aloud; if we must talk about those pesky little bugs, we whisper in secret as if they were a deadly plague. In reality, though, head lice aren’t deadly or even harmful. However, an infestation becomes a huge inconvenience that costs us a lot of time and energy (and sometimes even embarrassment).

We would all be quite happy to avoid that headache (and head itching!) if possible.

What is tea tree oil?

You may have heard of tea tree oil in recent years with the rise of the essential oils craze. And while I’m generally not in favor of , tea tree oil does appear to be one of the few oils that may have some merit.

Tea tree oil is derived from the tea tree (not to be confused with the common tea plant used for making teas that we drink), and it is sometimes used to treat bacterial or fungal infections of the skin.

Different formulations containing tea tree oil have been used to treat athlete’s foot, acne, fungal infections of the nail, ringworm, lice and scabies. It also has been used as an antiseptic for scrapes, cuts or burns and for a host of various infections throughout the body. More recently, formulations of tea tree oil have been marketed to prevent lice infestations by using the oil on the scalp.

Is it safe and effective for preventing lice?

You might be thinking, “Okay, great. If other people are using tea tree oil for those things then I should, too.”

It is true that tea tree oil is used for those and many other things, but that’s not enough information to make a decision about whether it’s right for your family.

There are two important considerations to address: is it safe and is it effective?

When addressing the safety and effectiveness of something like this, remember that alternative or “natural” remedies aren’t subject to the same regulations as traditional medications.

While the manufacturers of prescription and over-the-counter medications have to prove the safety and effectiveness of their product before selling them to the public, manufacturers of health supplements do not. They simply are required to report any problems that have occurred after they are sold.


For more details on the oversight of these supplements, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website.


What’s more, studies have shown that there is huge variability in the products themselves.

That means, you can’t believe everything you see or hear because it is often false or misleading.

These are some of the reasons doctors and pharmacists are often hesitant to recommend these therapies- because we rely on scientific data to show us that a product is safe and beneficial for the medical condition they claim to treat. Most alternative therapies don’t have reliable data to support the health benefits their sellers claim.

However, in the case of tea tree oil, there is a little bit of scientific data to support its use in some instances.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), tea tree oil has shown some effectiveness in treating athlete’s foot, acne, and fungal infections of the nail. Small studies have also shown that tea tree oil in combination with lavender oil can kill lice eggs and reduce the number of live lice.

Tea tree oil seems to be relatively safe for use on the skin, although it can cause irritation or swelling for some. Remember, though, that it is poisonous if swallowed. There has also been concern that tea tree oil might be related to abnormal breast growth in boys, but there isn’t enough to data to say definitively one way or the other.

What’s a parent to do?

Tea tree oil appears to be able to kill some live lice (at least when used in conjunction with lavender oil), however we know that over-the-counter lice treatments are far more effective at killing live lice and getting rid of the eggs once an infestation has occurred.

Whether tea tree oil can prevent a lice infestation from occurring in the first place is unknown. There is no scientific evidence that shows it is effective at preventing lice infestations.

We simply do not have any proof one way or the other.

It does appear to be relatively safe, though, so there probably is no harm in trying it out if you’re interested in it and your child doesn’t have any side effects or irritation from using it.

When there is an alternative therapy like this that may or may not work (but is safe to use), it often comes down to cost. If you want to try it and you can afford to spend a little money on something that may (or may not) be helpful, go for it.

If you’d rather save your money for something that is more likely to provide benefit for your family, skip it.




Prevention of head lice

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Head lice prevention

It is believed that pediculosis is a disease of people from the lower social strata. Many have already managed to make sure that this is not so. Often, lice are found in representatives of very prosperous families. This problem can affect any person who daily visits a lot of public places and is in contact with other people. Is there a cure for pediculosis? What can be done to protect yourself and your loved ones from infection with lice and nits?

In this article, we will focus on head lice, as this is the most common type of parasite. According to statistics, this type of pediculosis is observed or was observed in every fifth child in the world. Lice in adults is also not uncommon.

How is head lice transmitted?

Lice cannot fly or jump. However, even by simply crawling, they successfully move on to new victims. Here are the most common transmission options for lice:

  • Being near a person with head lice. Lice are fast insects. They literally take a moment to move from one person to another. You can just stand next to a "lousy" stranger (for example, in an elevator, public transport, queue, in contact sports), and new "residents" will appear on your head. Also, these parasites are often transmitted when communicating with familiar people and family members: handshakes, hugs, kisses.
  • Wearing/trying on someone else's clothes, hats, hair accessories. The most "dangerous" in terms of the transmission of head lice are items with hoods, high collars.
  • Using someone else's hygiene items. These include not only brushes and combs, but also towels.
  • "General" furniture, mattresses, pillows. In particular, we are talking about hotels and hotels. Linen is changed there, but everything else is not. At room temperature, lice can live outside the human body for up to 2 days. It is necessary for a patient with pediculosis to use a bed or sofa, and the next hotel guest is at risk. Also, lice infestation can occur in your home: for example, when relatives arrive overnight.

In the first case above (the most common), only lice are transmitted. In all the rest - both lice and nits (eggs of these insects).

According to statistics, about 35% of adolescents, 27% of children and 16% of adults are being treated for head lice. In women and girls, lice are more common - because of the love of long hair.

Myths about the transmission of pediculosis

Pediculosis is an unpleasant disease that many people fear. Because of these fears, myths about pediculosis are born that have nothing to do with reality. We suggest you read the false information on this topic. This is important in order to take the right preventive measures and not "spray in unnecessary directions."

  • Only children have lice. It is not true. Pediculosis is indeed more common in children and adolescents than in adults. There is an explanation for this: children still have weak immunity. Lice, as a rule, "choose" just people with a weakened immune system. In addition, mobile children and adolescents often participate in contact games and activities. But this does not mean at all that adults do not need to be afraid of pediculosis.
  • Lice can be transmitted through water: this often occurs in pools, rivers and other bodies of water. This opinion is far from the truth. Lice can really stay in the water for a long time and not die. Therefore, you can’t get rid of them by simply washing your hair. But cases of infection with pediculosis while bathing are a huge rarity.
  • Lice are carriers of dangerous diseases (eg typhoid). This is not true. Lice themselves do not carry any diseases. However, the risk of getting any infection does increase. Pediculosis is accompanied by severe itching, and patients often scratch their heads to wounds. It is much easier for infections and microbes to enter the body through injured skin.
  • Pediculosis can be contracted from animals. Or, conversely, a person can "pass" lice to a pet. Absolute lie! Absolutely different types of lice parasitize on animals and humans. Insects living in the wool of our smaller brothers are completely uninteresting in people. And vice versa.
  • Being with a patient with pediculosis in the same room, you will definitely “catch” lice. Depends on the distance between you. Pests crawl from person to person when people stand close to each other. If you are at some distance from the infected, nothing terrible will happen.

It is believed that pediculosis usually occurs in people who neglect personal hygiene. In fact, lice like clean hair even more: it is easier to carry out life activities in them.

General prevention of head lice

The risk of "catching" lice concerns almost everyone. However, there are preventive measures to avoid infection with pediculosis.

  • Keep your distance! Try not to have too much contact with other people. At least with those in whose "naughtiness" you are not sure. In an elevator, queue or public transport, keep some distance from others: at least try to avoid hair contact.
  • Carry out regular checks. Check the hair and scalp of your family members (especially children) from time to time. Ask someone to examine you too.
  • Maintain good hygiene. We mentioned that the cleanliness of the hair or its absence does not greatly affect the risk of head lice infection. However, lice are more often "caught" in unsanitary conditions. Do you have guests visiting? And each of them can be a carrier of this unpleasant disease. Change bed linen and clothes in a timely manner, be sure to iron washed items. From time to time treat the furniture with steam (there are special devices) or insecticides.
  • Do not use other people's things, including members of your own family. Combs, towels, hats and other items in contact with the head, everyone should have their own.

Natural remedies

Even if you follow the safety measures, you can get lice. However, it is not so difficult to create an environment on the head unsuitable for lice to live. These insects do not tolerate some odors and do not settle near their sources. So even if the lice "sneak" into the hair, they will not be comfortable there, and they will prefer to retreat.

You can daily lubricate the skin behind the ears and temples with the following products:

  • lavender or hellebore water;
  • essential oils of lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, bergamot, geranium.

Not all essential oils are suitable for very young children. We give the "age limits" for the use of oils:

  • lavender - from 2 weeks of a baby's life;
  • bergamot - from 2 months;
  • eucalyptus - from 2-6 months;
  • tea tree - from 6-12 months;
  • geraniums - from 5-7 years old.

Lavender and hellebore water are ready to use. Of the essential oils in their pure form, only lavender can be used (however, for children, it is better to dilute it in the base). The rest must be mixed with base (vegetable: olive, grape, almond) oil. Proportions also depend on age. Esters are added to 2 tablespoons of base oil as follows:

  • 1 drop for babies up to 2 months;
  • 2-3 drops for children under 5;
  • 3-5 drops for a child from 5 years;
  • 5-7 drops for children over 7 years and adults.

Since very little mixture is needed to lubricate the behind-the-ear areas and temples, the question arises what to do with the rest. Pour the product into a glass bottle or a jar with a lid and leave for the next time. You can store this mixture for several months.

Essential oils are added to the base individually or several at once (not exceeding the recommended dosage). An allergy/intolerance test must be carried out before using the mixture. Dilute the desired number of drops of essential oil in 2 tablespoons of the base. Lubricate the elbow bend with the mixture. If within 12 hours there are no negative reactions (rash, itching, swelling, redness), the essential oil can be used.

Consult your doctor before using essential oils for children or pregnant women! Perhaps, in a particular case, there are contraindications. Bergamot and geranium oils should not be used during pregnancy!

Avoiding stress

There is a myth that is not far from reality: lice start on nervous grounds. There is a grain of truth here. Of course, just from stress, these insects are unlikely to “draw” in your hair out of nowhere. But there are two reasons why it's easier to get head lice when you're stressed.

  • Reduced immunity. And this, as mentioned above, increases the risk of infection with lice.
  • The so-called. "stress hormones": norepinephrine and adrenaline. They have a specific smell, attractive to lice.

Nowadays it is difficult to completely protect yourself from stress and worries. But if possible, try to at least not worry about minor events. Unfortunately, many of us tend to worry about the little things.

Prevention of head lice in children

General measures for the prevention of head lice “work” for children. However, there are additional methods to minimize the risk of infection.

  • Use special anti-lice shampoos. Yes, they can also be used to prevent head lice, but in smaller quantities than for treatment. Wash your child's head with regular shampoo. Then apply no more than 5-7 ml of a special remedy for pediculosis. Lather the shampoo, leave for 15-20 minutes. Then rinse with plenty of running water. For preventive purposes, anti-pediculosis shampoos are used every 2 weeks.
  • Instead of using chemicals, you can comb your hair with a special comb against lice and nits. This is also done once or twice a week.
  • Get your child a hair conditioner. Many mothers believe that children do not need these funds yet, especially if the child has short hair. However, balms make hair more slippery. It will be much more difficult for lice to "cling" to them. Balms are used only for normal shampooing. After treatment with anti-pediculosis agents, they are not used.
  • Choose the right hairstyles. It's better for a boy to have a short haircut. Girls should carefully collect long hair. It is not as easy for lice to penetrate into a braid or a tight tuft as it is into loose hair.
  • "Lecture" to your child. Tell us why lice are dangerous, how they are transmitted, and what you need to do to avoid infection. Explain that you can not use other people's combs, hairpins, headbands, elastic bands, hats, scarves and give someone your own. Exchanging clothes and even toys is also undesirable.

By following these simple measures, you can protect not only your child, but the whole family from lice. After all, if one of the household becomes infected, the probability of transmitting lice to other family members is very high.

Prevention of pediculosis - how to protect a child from lice at school, kindergarten and at home It is very difficult to save a child from this trouble. Pediculosis can spread just like lightning, and the causative agents of the disease - lice can cause a number of other skin diseases. That is why the importance of pediculosis prevention at home, in kindergarten and school cannot be underestimated.

Pediculosis is a disease caused by parasitism on the human body of blood-sucking insects - lice.

There are 3 types of lice: head, clothes and pubic.

Infection of people with head and body lice can occur through close contact with a person with pediculosis - in crowded transport, in crowded places, in pools, as well as when using common items - combs, hats, clothes, bedding, etc. The favorite habitats of head lice are the temporo-occipital part of the head.

When lice suckle, they secrete a specific substance that prevents blood clotting and causes severe itching, which leads to scratching of the skin, which can lead to dermatitis or eczema. Body lice are especially dangerous, as they can be carriers of pathogens of epidemic typhus and relapsing fever, Volyn fever. Pubic lice parasitize the scalp, scrotum, upper thighs (phthyriasis). In advanced cases, lice can spread to the armpits, back, chest, beard, mustache, eyelashes and eyebrows. Infection with pubic pediculosis occurs mainly through sexual contact. A big mistake is the opinion that pediculosis is the result of uncleanliness, the louse loves clean hair and is not afraid of water, swims and runs well (but does not jump). Therefore, you can become infected with pediculosis in the pool, in crowded places where short-term contact is possible. Children can acquire this parasite by borrowing a hat, scarf, hooded jacket, comb, earmuffs.

Main symptoms of pediculosis:
- itching accompanied by scratching;
- roughening of the skin from exposure to saliva during massive lice bites;
- skin pigmentation due to tissue hemorrhages and inflammation caused by exposure to insect saliva;
- tangle, entanglement and gluing of purulent-serous secretions of hair on the head, formed during combing, covering the skin surface with crusts, under which there is a weeping surface.

Planned measures for the prevention of pediculosis include:
- examinations of the population for pediculosis;
- provision of organized groups with replacement bed linen, personal hygiene products, disinfectants and detergents;
- equipping with disinfection equipment and providing disinfection products to medical and preventive organizations, reception centers, social security institutions, pre-trial detention centers, overnight stays, places of temporary stay of migrants, sanitary checkpoints, baths, laundries.

The complex of measures for the prevention of pediculosis includes, in order to improve the sanitary culture of the population, hygienic education and training of citizens, and sanitary and educational work.
The presence of lice on people, underwear, clothes, indicates an unsatisfactory sanitary and hygienic condition in a team, family, etc.
The main condition for the prevention of pediculosis is the observance of the rules of personal hygiene:
- washing the body at least 1 time in 7-10 days with a change of underwear and bed linen;
- regular haircut;
- daily combing of the hair of the head;
- systematic cleaning of the top dress;
- washing of bedding;
- regular cleaning of residential premises;
- Periodic examination of hair and clothing of children attending childcare facilities;
- mutual examinations of family members after their long absence.
If lice are found at any stage of development, disinsection is carried out, simultaneously destroying lice on the human body, his underwear, clothes, hats, other things (bed linen, pillows, etc. ), if necessary, on furnishings. Processing of people and their belongings with clothes and mixed pediculosis is carried out by disinfection institutions.

Drug prevention of lice in children

Today you can choose any remedy for the prevention of lice, because there are a lot of various sprays, shampoos and lotions for lice. The most popular products include:

· Hygiea is an effective remedy for lice, the use of which is not recommended for children under two years of age;

Nittifof - cream for the prevention and treatment of head lice;

Pedilin is another lice drug available in the form of a gel or emulsion;

· Pair plus - spray that can be used to disinfect clothes and bed linen.

After using any head lice prevention shampoo or one of the above, be sure to thoroughly comb your child's hair using a magnifying glass and a fine-toothed comb, and then a fine-toothed comb.

Prevention of lice at home

So, prevention of lice at home is especially important for those children who already go to school or attend pre-school educational institutions.

Learn more