Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Old-fashioned methods best for treating head lice


Old-fashioned methods of getting rid of head lice in children are far more effective than current chemical treatments, researchers revealed yesterday (FRI).

Using a fine-tooth comb and conditioner on wet hair was four times more effective than popular chemical-based treatments like lotions and shampoo.

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) researcher Dr Nigel Hill said: “Millions of pounds are spent each year by desperate parents or through NHS prescriptions on lice treatments and many seem to be virtually useless.

“It’s clear insecticide treatments are not working very well at all and if you speak to parents and school nurses they will confirm that.”

Dr Hill explained that lice had become resistant to the insecticides most commonly used to kill them.

He said: “Chemical treatments were very effective when they first came out, but lice have become resistant. That situation is not going to improve – if anything, it will get worse.”

The research team at LSHTM tested the “bug busting” fine tooth comb method and chemical treatments in a group of 126 children with head lice.

A total of 56 were allocated the comb-and-conditioner “Bug Buster” kit, while 70 were given insecticide-based treatments. The results were assessed two to four days after the end of treatment.

Questionnaires to determine compliance with the instructions, satisfaction and to obtain background information were also filled out by parents. The results are published in this week’s edition of the prestigious British Medical Journal.

The “Bug Buster” treatment showed a 57 percent success rate compared to just 13 percent for insecticide treatment.

Dr Hill said: “This is the first study to show the ‘Bug Buster’ method is an effective and viable alternative to chemical treatments, although some may consider that the cure rate is still not acceptable and it can be rather time-consuming.

“At present, however, there is no readily-available product which provides fully effective control of head lice. There is a need to identify new, safe and effective treatments.”

Dr Hill said that head lice were not a dangerous medical condition, but that some felt the problem was “a socially distressing condition, considered a stigma by some and parents want a quick fix.”

And he added that the problem consumed a lot of time in GP’s surgeries and among school nurses which could be better spent on more significant health issues.

Dr Hill said: “Head lice issues consume very significant resources, finance and time in an already over-stretched health service, so an effective treatment is desperately needed.”

Raymond Hainey | alfa

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Solid progress in carbon capture

27.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>