Head lice resist some treatment, but not all


September 23, 2001|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,Special to the Sun; King Features Syndicate

Q. I've had head lice for weeks and have tried RID, Nix and Vaseline to get rid of them. The lice disappear for about two days and then return.

I'm single, so I do the best I can to remove the nits myself. Please help! How common is it to have resistant head lice?

A. No one knows how prevalent resistant lice are, but a Harvard study showed that this is a real problem in some parts of the United States.

For resistant lice, suffocation with Vaseline works, although the nits must still be removed. Did you leave the petroleum jelly on overnight? Removal of the jelly is a messy business, made a little easier with mineral oil or baby oil.

Wetting the hair with vinegar can facilitate nit removal. A vibrating nit comb called MagiComb might also be helpful.

You might try a product made with essential oils called HairClean 1-2-3. Lice have not yet developed resistance to the coconut, ylang-ylang and anise oils in this preparation. It is manufactured by Quantum. If you can't find it at your local drugstore or health food store, you can order directly by calling 800-448-1448 or by going online at www.hairclean.com.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019, or e-mail them at their Web site (www.peoplespharmacy. com) on the HealthCentral. com network, or at pharmacy@ mindspring.com.

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