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The Dangers of OTC Lice Treatments

The Dangers of OTC Lice Treatments

About OTC Head Lice Treatments

Over the counter or “OTC” lice treatments are treatments that one could get in their local pharmacy or drugstore. When your child comes home with lice, your first reaction might be to go to a local pharmacy and get something to remedy the situation. But, this is not the recommended solution. Over The Counter treatments can be very harmful and ineffective.

According to National Pediculosis Association’s Headlice website..

Studies have shown links between regular exposure to malathion and various human maladies, including non-Hodgkins lymphoma, childhood leukemia, anemia, chromosome damage, and weakened immune systems. Meanwhile, aerial sprayings have been known to cause allergic reactions or flulike symptoms for people inadvertently exposed. (Source: National Pediculosis Association )

Why OTC Treatments Are Ineffective at Treating Lice

Pesticide-type products such as permethrin used to be effective. But studies show that over the years, lice have adapted and developed a resistance to these toxins rendering them useless. In fact, these treatments only work 20-30% of the time.

The Hazards of Different Substances found in OTC Lice Treatments

If the reasons listed above are not enough to persuade you to not use OTC treatments, here are some more. Permethrin and lindane (anti-parasite neurotoxins) have both been proven to be toxic and hazardous.

Permethrin is carcinogenic and may cause the following side effects:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin/Scalp Irritation/Burning
  • Coughing
  • Allergic reactions

Lindane is a harmful chemical that attacks the nervous system and is also carcinogenic. What makes it alarming is that it is absorbed through the scalp when used to treat lice. In the US, the use of lindane on animals has been banned. Some countries have completely banned the substance altogether. The World Health Organization classifies lindane as “known to cause human cancer.” Lindane can cause the following side effects:

  • Rashes
  • Burning skin
  • Drowsiness/dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures/shaking of the body
  • Allergic reactions
  • Brain damage

Malathion is a nerve agent mostly found in insect control products. It is believed to be safer than Lindane, but still not safe. This neurotoxin can cause:

  • Asthma
  • Disruption in regular hormonal activity
  • Nausea and dizziness

It is unknown if it is safe to use on young children or whether or not it causes cancer. It is also very flammable which means that it should be kept away from heaters, cigarettes, dryers, etc.

What OTC Brands to Stay Away From

We recommend to stay away from brands like Nix, Rid, Ovide and many, many more. These brands use prethmerin, lindane and malathion in their products.

The Right Thing to Do When You Get Lice

Lice are usually found in children whose developing bodies are very vulnerable to toxic substances. So do you really want to use these substances on your children? If your child happens to encounter lice, make sure not to panic and run to the wrong solutions. We recommend to use Lice Free Noggins “DIY Head Lice Removal Kit“. It is all natural solution and does not use any harmful substances. Don’t have the patience or the time to do a comb out on your own, call the lice experts and sit back and relax.

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