How to use tea tree oil for lice prevention
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.
Tea Tree Oil for Lice → How to get rid of Nits & Lice with Tea Tree Oil
Last updated: 7/1/2022
Head lice are tiny insects which only live on human scalps, they are a common problem which usually affect young school-age children.
In this article we will have a look at how to identify, treat and prevent head lice as well as how to use Tea Tree Oil as an effective tool for promoting overall scalp health.
/ How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Lice
Anne, Varde Pharmacy
Anne has a MSc in Pharmacy from the University of Southern Denmark and has worked as a pharmacist at the Varde pharmacy for several years. Here she advises both costumers and doctors about the correct use of medical products. Here you can see Annes profile »,
Identifying Head Lice
Head lice are very small insects which appear white or a grey-brown colour and live on the scalp. Although harmless, lice can cause discomfort, irritation and frustration if not dealt with early.
The condition is considered contagious as you can become infected with head lice if the insects crawl onto your scalp. You can get head lice through the following ways;
- Touching your head to someone else’s head whose scalp is infested
- By sharing personal hair grooming items such as a comb with someone who has head lice
- By sharing a fabric item after someone who is infected, such as upholstered furniture, bedding and hats.
Typically, children who are in preschool or primary school will have a higher risk of getting head lice as they tend to play close together.
This increased risk also extends to their family members and to those who work in schools or facilities with young children.
It can be difficult to identify when you or a child has lice, as the only reliable way to diagnose an infestation is when you find a living and moving head louse.
Nits, which are the eggs of lice, can easily be mistaken for dandruff – the only difference is that nits cannot be removed by brushing them out or shaking them.
Symptoms of head lice generally includes extreme itchiness on the scalp, the sensation that something is crawling on your scalp and in some cases sores and scabs developing on the scalp as a result of itching.
Head lice need to feed on human blood on an average about every five hours, and their bites, saliva and droppings can make the scalp feel itchy.
Don’t buy Chemical lice treatments
You’ll find lots of chemical lice treatments, some will work well and others your head lice will be resistant to.
The problem is, you could be risking your health. Chemical lice treatments are made from potent chemicals, they’re not designed to be used regularly and even with short term use, may give you side effects.
If you’re reading this to help treat a child who has head lice, you have even more reason to avoid chemical lice treatments.
Helpfully there is an effective, resistant proof, scalp protecting solution: Conditioner and a nit comb.
It’s safe, cheap and the simplest of head lice treatments to use. Slather your hair and scalp in conditioner and comb away. Repeat 4 times over 2 weeks. Job done.
For best effects choose our Tea Tree Oil Conditioner with an off the shelf nit comb.
This solution works on two levels. The conditioner makes your hair very easy to comb and the antibacterial action of Tea Tree Oil helps keep your scalp clean. This is not just hearsay: this is proven by science – keep reading to learn all. Two weeks is all it takes to be naturally free from head lice.
Australian Bodycare Head Lice Treatment Kit
3 products for fast control of lice
Why use Tea Tree Oil
There have been several scientific research studies which have discovered that the natural plant extract of Tea Tree Oil holds numerous beneficial properties.
Tea Tree Oil is extracted from the Australian native Melaleuca alternifolia plant by a process of steam distillation. This essential oil has been used for centuries for its antiseptic benefits and is recommended for several hair and skin conditions.
In fact, Tea Tree Oil is the active ingredient in many cosmetic and skincare products found today in commercial markets, as many people prefer it as a natural alternative to the harsh chemicals which are found in medicines and other skincare products.
Case in point, our Tea Tree Oil Conditioner which is extremely effective in combination with a nit comb.
Made from Australian sourced essential oil, the top-quality Tea Tree Oil we use is a clear solution with a camphor-like scent. The product itself is mild, dermatologically tested (ideal for sensitive scalps) and safe for children and adults.
Tea Tree Oil is a popular ingredient for lots of scalp conditions; however, you will be one step ahead using it as a treatment for lice.
Tea Tree Oil is highly useful in treating symptoms of irritation such as redness, flakiness and sore skin.
Tea Tree Oil has been used in Australia as a natural medicine for decades. This natural antidote has heritage.
However, it’s only with recent antibiotic resistance that scientists have begun to take note and there are now published studies proving Tea Tree Oils benefits, want to learn more? Take a peek here and here.
How to Get Rid of Head Lice
There are several ways to treat and get rid of head lice. Some treatments can be bought from pharmacies, your local supermarket or online and most of the time you won’t need to see your doctor about it.
Treatment is only required once an active lice infestation has been diagnosed – this is demonstrated by the presence of head lice which are alive and moving, or eggs which are attached close to the scalp and are yet to hatch.
Itching or evidence of an older infestation (empty cases of old eggs) are not reasons for starting a treatment.
There are three main ways to treat and remove head lice;
1. A Physical Insecticide
These come in the forms of gels, lotion and sprays which can include dimeticone, isopropyl myristate and cyclomethicone solution or isopropyl alcohol aerosol.
Currently each of these treatments is easily available on the NHS. Insecticides work by coating the head lice and suffocating them, this is an effective form of treatment as head lice are unable to develop resistance to this method.
Doctors and pharmacists are usually able to recommend products which can be both available to buy over the counter or on a prescription, depending on which treatments have already been attempted.
Although medicated treatments will kill the lice, it can take a few days for the itching to stop altogether.
2. A Chemical Insecticide
This comes in the form of an aqueous liquid and includes malathion.
Chemical insecticides work by poisoning head lice with chemicals; however, resistance has been reported therefore chemical insecticides may not always be effective.
3. Wet Combing
This is the most effective treatment of head lice known to date. Start by washing your hair and applying a generous amount of conditioner containing Tea Tree Oil.
Comb your wet hair through with a regular wide toothed comb to straighten and detangle. Once your hair is tangle-free, use a fine-tooth comb and drag it through your hair starting at your roots and touching your scalp.
Make sure that you check the comb for lice each time you comb and remove lice and nits from the comb by rinsing it.
Wetting the hair is important as it can immobilise a live louse and makes it easier for you to drag the comb through your hair. Aim to work through the hair in sections and repeat twice to ensure no area has been missed and that no more lice are being found.
Wet combing should be done every couple of days for at least two weeks to check for live head lice and to completely clean the head from infestation.
Using Tea Tree Oil conditioners and shampoos is recommended when wet combing to soothe the scalp from the irritation and itching caused by the head lice. See the following section for more information on how Tea Tree Oil can be beneficial in treating head lice infestations.
If lice do not appear to clear after these treatments, it may be that the treatment instructions were not followed correctly, or a new infestation has been picked up immediately after the initial treatment.
In the case of chemical insecticides, the lice may have become resistant to the treatment.
Finally, it should be considered that the original diagnosis of a head lice infestation was incorrect and there is another cause behind any itching, irritation, or white specks visible on the scalp.
Effects of Tea Tree Oil on Head Lice
The excessive scratching an individual does when affected by head lice can damage the scalp and cause further irritation. Some people may find that their excessive scratching leads to bacterial infections which can cause red and tender skin.
Using shampoos and conditioners which contain Tea Tree Oil, or a few drops of the essential oil added to carrier oils such as coconut oil can be helpful in soothing the scalp.
Symptoms of irritation such as dryness, flaky skin, redness and itchiness can be significantly reduced when Tea Tree Oil is applied on a regular basis.
Lice are known to reproduce and mature quickly which is why it is difficult to get rid of them all with one single treatment.
Based on this we recommend our Scalp Serum. An effective, nourishing treatment for dry, irritated, dandruff affected scalps. Used with a nit comb, the dual acting Tea Tree Oil antiseptic ensures lice prone scalps are clean and protected.
As excessive scratching can damage the skin, bacteria can colonise the affected area leading to bacterial infections.
Some people find that using Tea Tree Oil either diluted in carrier oils or in their usual shampoo and conditioner helps in clearing up minor infections and irritations faster.
How to Prevent Head Lice
The following points are recommended to avoid head lice infestations;
- Make a habit of wet combing hair once every few weeks after washing your hair. Make sure to use a fine toothed comb so that you can catch any possible nits or lice.
Any louse which is alive and moving is a definite indicator of a head lice infestation and should ideally be dealt with immediately.
This is so you can avoid the frustration and irritation associated with the condition as well as any damage to the scalp which is caused by excessive scratching.
- Check the whole family if you do find a louse. The sooner the infestation is dealt with, the lesser the chances of it developing in severity and can be quickly eradicated from the home.
- Notify the school if your child has head lice. This is to allow the school to issue a notice to other parents and staff to check and deal with their children accordingly if they also have head lice, this allows for head lice to be quickly eliminated and reduce the chances of re-infestation.
There is no need to stop your child from attending school as long as you correctly and regularly follow wet combing and treatment instructions.
- Tie your hair up if it is long in ponytails or braids, as this could possibly make it difficult or even prevent lice from crawling from head to head
- Use a Tea Tree Oil shampoo, or add drops of Tea Tree Oil to your regular shampoo to care for your hair and scalp.
A healthier scalp and well-nourished hair could possibly play a role in protecting your scalp from head lice, soothe any irritation and also improve the overall health of your hair.
There are some simple ways in which you can prevent re-infestation of head lice and to get rid of any existing head lice and eggs in the home;
- Wash any bedding and clothing which was recently used or worn by anyone in the home who has head lice, specifically at a high temperature (around 60°C) .
- Either dry clean items that cannot be washed, such as plush toys, otherwise place them out of reach for 2 days or in the freezer for 1 day.
- Vacuum your carpets and upholstered furniture in both your home and car.
- Soak hair items such as combs, brushes and hair accessories in a medicated shampoo for one hour. An alternative option is to wash them in very hot water.
Australian Bodycare Head Lice Treatment Kit
3 products for fast control of lice
Head Lice – Frequently Asked Questions
What do Head Lice look like
Lice are small insects which appear a grey or white-brown colour. They are tiny in size, almost the size of a sesame seed.
How do You Get Head Lice?
Lice can be caught when you have head-to-head contact with someone who already has a head lice infestation. They can also be passed on if you share combs and brushes, headgear or bedding with someone who has an infestation.
How do You Check for Head Lice?
The most reliable, easiest and inexpensive method to check for head lice is to pass a fine tooth comb through your hair when it is wet and check for any living lice or nits on the comb.
How can You Prevent Lice?
You can prevent head lice by using products containing Tea Tree Oil, by avoiding close contact with someone who has head lice and avoiding sharing personal use items and bedding.
What do Lice Eggs Look like?
Lice eggs, also known as nits, resemble small white flecks. Sometimes nits can be mistaken for dandruff; however the only difference is that lice eggs are firmly stuck to the hair shaft close to the scalp whereas dandruff will shake out of the hair.
Where do Lice Come from?
Lice hatch from eggs; the eggs take seven to ten days to hatch. Lice travel by crawling from host to host and cannot jump or fly.
How Long Can Lice Live?
On a human scalp, a head louse can survive for approximately thirty days. However they cannot survive for longer than one day when they are not on a human host.
What Colour are Head Lice?
Lice Can appear white, grey or a brown colour.
How Far Can Head Lice Jump?
Lice are unable to jump or fly, they simply crawl from person to person using their claws to aid them in grabbing onto hair.
Australian Bodycare Head Lice Treatment Kit
3 products for fast control of lice
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How to choose a variant
A complete guide
Which alternative should I choose?
All our products contain Tea Tree Oil, an active antibacterial ingredient which has been cultivated and used in Australia for centuries.
Many of our products are also available in a quite unique combination of 100% natural Tea Tree Oil + Mint or Tea Tree Oil + Lemon Myrtle.
Why should I choose Tea Tree Oil + Mint?
Mint has always been a popular ingredient in skin care, and its use can be traced right back to ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire.
Its special cooling and soothing properties make mint an ideal ingredient in our problem-solving skin care too.
Among other things, mint is rich in vitamins A and C, which are important for a healthy skin and scalp.
It is also mint that gives these product varieties their clean, comforting scent.
Why should I choose Tea Tree Oil + Lemon Myrtle?
Lemon Myrtle is an antibacterial ingredient and a highly effective moisturiser, which is important for attractive skin and a healthy scalp.
Among othert hings vitamin C content is high in Lemon Myrtle, which stimulates and strengthens the skin and hair, ensuring a fine, healthy glow.
The slightly acid lemon scent of Lemon Myrtle adds a pleasant freshness to these product varieties.
We have been developing problem-solving skin care products for more than 30 years, and all our ingredients are carefully selected by our experts to target specific skin problems.
The Fresh Mint variant has a fresh taste of menthol and protects the tooth enamel against caries and bacteria and helps against bad breath. When you brush your teeth with Tooth Paste Fresh Mint in the morning, you keep your breath fresh throughout the day.
Toothpaste with Coco and Zinc effectively protects against plaque on the teeth and has a neutral taste of the natural ingredients.
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:
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."
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.
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:
Not all essential oils are suitable for very young children. We give the "age limits" for the use of oils:
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.