Ah…soon to be springtime! That marvelous time of year when those lovely little darlings throw their hats and coats into piles in the playground at school…
…and bring home head lice, followed by traumatic visits to drug stores and at least one weekend shot to heck fumigating their heads, toys, clothes and entire bedrooms!
And worse yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the first line of defense is a neurotoxin that is losing its effectiveness. Despite being an FDA approved over-the-counter (OTC) active ingredient, pediculicides containing neurotoxic pesticides are creating a strain of lice that is resistant.
So if neurochemistry does not work, how about “biomechanical topical science?” Good old home remedies such as mayonnaise, olive oil, and petroleum jelly seem to work initially. But lice cannot be asphyxiated easily so they bounce back to life within the next shampooing.
Clinical research to the rescue! –> In a study published online February 23, 2010 in Pediatric Dermatology, three (3) recent clinical trials studying 700 subjects showed that Benzyl alcohol lotion 5% (BAL 5%), a non-neurotoxic topical treatment successfully kills head lice by suffocating them. According to MedScape Today, “BAL 5% is safe and effective in children as young as 6 months and is the first non-neurotoxic compound to win approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”
Downsides? BAL 5% is:
- Only available by prescription – so you first need to see your pediatrician
- Non-ovicidal (does not kill nits) – requiring a second treatment 7 days later (plan on tying-up 2 weekends in a row!)
- Expensive – requiring multiple bottles for longer hair times two applications
So if your insurance covers it, fret no longer, moms and dads!
BAL 5% is on its way to a drugstore near you to “head lice off at the pass!“