Updated on July 24, 2020
By Karen Sokoloff
Updated by Tierna Moser
While it is no secret that, as time has gone on, prescription and over- the-counter lice killing shampoos are losing their effectiveness, especially against super lice. But what about the eggs (nits)? Can lice shampoo kill nits too?
Can Lice Shampoo Kill Nits?
When I treated my own daughter for lice, long before my time with LiceDoctors, I got the over-the-counter medicine that’s been the go-to treatment option for families for as long as I can remember. After arriving home and going through the zillion items I had found at the store to help me with my upcoming battle, I decided to start my initial attack with the Lice Killing Shampoo. In the box was a bottle of what I thought I could rely on to end this for good as well as a purple plastic comb and instructions. During my review of the instructions I learned that applying the shampoo to the hair for the directed amount of time was the easy part.
After that was complete I was to take this purple, worthless looking tool, through my daughter’s hair and remove all of the eggs that would still remain on the millions of hair strands in her long, long, long thick hair. Puzzled, I wondered….this shampoo is supposed to kill the lice….does lice shampoo kill nits too? The incredibly disappointing answer to that question is no. Lice killing shampoo does not kill the nits. This is a very upsetting lesson I learned at the brink of midnight on a week night.
There are 3 stages to a lice infestation. Adult and adolescent lice, nits (lice eggs) and nymphs (baby bugs). Over-the-counter lice shampoos only kill adult lice, and they are not even guaranteed to do that. These shampoos work by attacking the nervous system, but baby lice do not have a fully developed nervous system, so they are often not killed or even phased by the chemicals in the treatment. And many adult lice (called “super lice”) have developed a resistance to lice shampoos so lice shampoos often do not kill baby lice, they don’t kill all of the adult lice, and they do not kill nits (lice eggs). Even if you managed to get rid of all of the adult head lice with the shampoo, their eggs will start hatching within a few days.
Is There a Lice Shampoo That Kills Nits?
Some parents after learning about the lack of effectiveness of over-the-counter treatments head to their doctor or pediatrician to get a lice shampoo to kill lice and nits. But can lice shampoo kill nits? Prescription lice treatments, while not 100% effective, do have a higher success rating than the typical over-the-counter head lice treatment.
One of the more common prescription head lice treatments, Sklice (Ivermectin), touts on their website that during 2 studies, 76.1% and 71.4% of patients did not have lice after one treatment even with no nit combing which would indicate that the treatment did have some effectiveness on lice eggs. This treatment, however, comes at a hefty cost depending on your insurance coverage and proves prohibitive to most families because of this. In addition, the product may have side effects including red or sore eyes, dandruff, dry skin, and a burning feeling.
The truth is that nits have to be combed out with a nit comb and then handpicked. This can be a long process, but it must be done, or the nits will continue to hatch into bugs that will start reproducing. We recommend that you skip the chemicals, altogether, and focus on removing the nits and live bugs. This can be challenging since the nits camouflage with the hair.
I don’t know about you, but if I am going to pay a premium for lice treatment for my family, I expect guaranteed 100% effectiveness – and quite frankly, so should you. If you are looking for a lice treatment that comes at an affordable price, is all-natural, and relieves you of the burden of treating lice and does it in just one comfortable visit without leaving home, you have come to the right place. LiceDoctors has treated hundreds of thousands of clients successfully and without chemicals. There is a better way to tackle head lice than boxed chemical shampoos. Give us a call at 800-224-2537 and an experienced lice specialist will make a house call and take care of you and your family at your convenience, any day or night that you choose.