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Welcome to our website! In order to give you a good overview of the large number of lice remedies available and so that you do not lose track of the large number of products on offer, we have compiled all the important information for you here.
We hope that our lice remedy test 2021 will make your purchase decision a little easier and that you will find the right remedy with our help. Our purchase and evaluation criteria should play an important role in this, as they help you to see the differences between the various products. We have also created a guide where you can find answers to frequently asked questions.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Lice Remedies: Our Picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for lice remedies
- 5 Guide: Frequently asked questions on the topic of lice remedies answered in detail
- Lice remedies are products that are used to treat head lice infestations. There are three different types. Lice remedy shampoo, gel and spray.
- Lice remedies have different active substances and principles of action. A distinction is made between chemical, physical, herbal and mechanical options.
- The most important purchase and evaluation criteria for choosing the most suitable lice remedy are: Efficacy, quality, tolerability and application
The Best Lice Remedies: Our Picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for lice remedies
When buying lice remedies, you can look at different aspects, such as:
By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you do not give your body anything it does not need. Therefore, always make sure that the product is of high quality and, if necessary, ask to see the manufacturer's certificates.
For lice remedies to work safely, they must be applied generously. In addition, the instructions for use should be read carefully and followed to avoid application errors.
Usually, two treatments are necessary at intervals of about one week. In addition, a lice comb should be used with each treatment to carefully remove dead and surviving lice and nits.
Quality in terms of ingredients is very important for a safe effect. Also, the quality of the product is important to prevent side effects and to increase the tolerability of the product.
In any case, make sure that the product you use is not toxic or harmful to you or your child. We will go into more detail in the next section.
Various test institutes and studies have examined and evaluated widely sold lice remedies. Experts have looked at studies on efficacy as well as data on risks. Products with the active ingredient dimethicone are predominantly highlighted as positive. Dimeticone is an oil that suffocates lice by blocking their airways. There are also other products that work well. Among others, there are various products with insect poisons that paralyse the nerves of lice, or products with mineral oil.
Lice remedies have different modes of action. Various tested products have been criticised for different reasons.
A lice remedy containing the insecticide permethrin damages the liver and the central nervous system of the animal, which can cause burning and itching of the scalp. Pyrethrum extract is also not harmless.
Some suppliers combine the insecticide with the active ingredient piperonyl butoxide, which presumably delays the detoxification process in the body. Lice remedies containing cyclometicon can cause severe burns to the skin and hair.
The use of lice remedies can cause drying and itching of the scalp, as the remedy is a strong irritant for it. Also, some lice products contain chemicals that can be hazardous to health. (6)
For a lice remedy to work safely, it must be applied liberally from the scalp to the ends of the hair. Read and follow the instructions for use to avoid application errors. (1)
Usually, two treatments are necessary with an interval of about one week. In addition, you should also use a lice comb for each treatment in order to safely remove the lice nits and the killed lice. (11)
Guide: Frequently asked questions on the topic of lice remedies answered in detail
In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of lice remedies and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.
How do I notice a head lice infestation?
- a tickling sensation on the scalp
- the feeling that something is moving in the hair
- Itching at the bites and stings
- sore scratched skin
- sleep disturbances due to itching, as head lice are nocturnal
If you suspect that you or your child has head lice, you should proceed as follows. It is best to wet your hair and then comb it from the roots towards the ends. Examine each strand carefully and comb it through at least twice. You should wipe out the comb on kitchen paper or a towel after each strand. This will help you to see the lice better.
The eggs (nits) are usually on the back of the neck or behind the ears. There they stick firmly to the hair roots, usually less than 1 centimetre from the scalp.(5)
The body of a head louse is flat, wingless, grey-brown in colour and about 2-3.5 millimetres in size. With their six legs, head lice are very good at holding onto and running along human hair, but they cannot jump. (5)
A magnifying glass and a lice comb can help you find lice and nits, especially those that are not yet fully grown.
Most head lice will die within 30 hours if they don't take another blood sample. It is also assumed that lice that have no direct contact with heads dehydrate and are therefore no longer infectious. (9)
What is lice treatment and how does it work?
Basically, a distinction is made between medicinal products and medical devices. These two work in different ways. Medicinal products have a purely chemical effect and medical devices have a purely physical effect. (4, 11)
|Mode of action||Description|
|Physical||Dimeticone has a physical effect on lice, nymphs and nits. The oily secretion covers the parasites and thus closes the respiratory orifices, causing the parasite to suffocate. Studies have shown that there is no resistance to this type of treatment. (4)|
|Chemical||In the case of chemical agents with neurotoxic effects, it is somewhat different. Here, the parasites are paralysed by the neurotoxin, which causes them to die. In this case, however, a sufficient exposure time is necessary for the effect to take place. Permethrin and pyrethrum are synthetic insecticides that are modelled on the poison of the chrysanthemum flower. Allethrin is also a neurotoxic liceicide. (4) However, according to the latest knowledge, some head lice populations are already resistant to neurotoxic pediculocides. (1)|
When and for whom is it useful to use lice medication?
Preventive use, but also use on suspicion, i.e. without prior detection of an active infestation, is not advised. No lice remedy is free of risks and side effects, which is why it should only be used when actually needed.
How often should lice treatment be applied?
Since head lice remedies do not always reliably kill all eggs, a repeat treatment must be carried out. This is because larvae can hatch after the initial treatment. The repeat treatment must be carried out within a narrow time window.
This time window includes the 8th-10th day, whereby the 9th or 10th day is optimal. This exact time frame results from the fact that the larvae can hatch until the 7th or 8th day and young females can lay new eggs as early as the 11th day. (2)
There are some possible errors in treatment that can favour the survival of eggs, as well as larvae or lice. These include (2)
- using the product too sparingly
- uneven distribution of the product
- too much dilution of the product (due to hair that is too wet)
- too short an application time
- failure to repeat the treatment (2)
For these reasons, a repeat treatment on day 8 - 10 is always advised. This prevents the lice that hatched after the first treatment from laying eggs, as they are killed in time beforehand. If necessary, it may also be advisable to carry out a final treatment after a further 7 days. (8)
What types of lice treatments are there?
|Shampoo||The product is applied to dry hair so that its effectiveness is not limited by excessive dilution. The shampoo should be massaged evenly into the hair so that the entire scalp is covered.
The advantage here is the large selection as well as the quick application. However, it is sometimes not as effective as long acting products.
The spray is usually sprayed onto dry hair (especially the hairline). The spray should be massaged in thoroughly and after a certain time (usually about 45 minutes) combed through with a nit comb to remove all lifeless nits and lice from the hair. However, the remedy must not be combed out yet, as it must continue to work for at least 8 hours or overnight. After this time, the hair can be washed out with a commercial shampoo. This should be repeated after 8 to 10 days.
The advantage of this is the very reliable effect and quick application. However, there is usually a long reaction time and the spray can be accidentally inhaled during application.
The gel must be applied evenly to dry hair and massaged in until the hair is completely covered. From the roots to the ends of the hair. To ensure that all hairs are reached, it is best to distribute the product with a comb. In most cases, the gel should be left on for about 15 minutes. Afterwards, the product is washed out with shampoo. However, it is important to apply the shampoo first and then add the water. Then both are washed out together.
The advantage of this is that the lice remedy can be applied safely and quickly. However, there is only a small range of lice remedy gel available.
Always read the complete instructions for use before applying the product. It is best to consult an expert at the pharmacy. The application options explained here may differ from those of your product.
What are the alternatives to lice remedy?
However, since the effectiveness of these remedies is not proven or often even disproven, it is better to rely on tested and actually effective remedies in case of a lice infestation and not to try to experiment with home remedies. This can lead to a worse condition, which could have been prevented.(5)
|Mechanical||Lice combs are an effective means of controlling lice. It is used in addition to other means. It can be used to remove both killed lice and nits. A lice comb is smaller than a conventional comb. It has a smaller tine spacing, which should not be greater than 0.2 mm. Recent studies recommend tines made of metal. (7)|
|Herbal||Herbal products can also be used for treatment. There are many essential oils (such as lavender oil) that fight head lice. They are used to rid the head of lice without the use of chemicals. Another example is tea tree oil, which is said to help against lice. (10)|
It is better to use these "alternatives" in addition to lice medication. Treatment without lice medication by repeated combing out with care rinse was convincing enough in clinical studies. Therefore, it cannot be recommended as the sole treatment.
However, it is a good alternative if other remedies cannot be used. Above all, however, it should be used as a supplement and to monitor the success of lice treatment. (5)
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