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Getting lice can be a literal pain. Finding an effective lice treatment can be an even bigger pain. However, you can safely remove head lice with a proper lice treatment. Hereís what you need to know to get started.

Know your enemy

In order to have an effective lice treatment, it is helpful to know what you are going up against. It will save you a lot of time and effort. Contrary to popular belief, head lice arenít going to invade every corner of the house. The bugs can only survive on a person, dying quickly if they do fall of. Thus, they generally restrict their activity to the head. So while your effective lice treatment may require you to wash bedding and clothing, you will not need to steam clean the carpet in the living room that you never use.
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Be aware of your options

Some head lice are becoming increasingly resistant to lice treatments, making treating them with chemicals difficult. Even herbal/natural lice treatments do not always work. Chances are, if the lice are not gone after the first treatment, one of two things happened: 1) the product you used didnít work or was used improperly or 2) nits remained, hatched, and grew into adults. If you still see lice, do not use more chemicals Ė get professional help from your doctor.

The three step process

An effective lice treatment involves a three step process. You have to kill the live adults, remove the eggs, and clean up the infested personís environment to prevent re-infestation.

Killing the lice

The first step of an effective lice treatment is to kill the adult lice. There are a variety of ways to go about this. Some people will look for an over-the-counter head lice treatment, such as Rid or Nix. These lice treatments include an insecticide, and they should only be used if you are sure you have lice. If you are unsure, confirm the diagnosis with a doctor. Always follow manufacturerís instructions when using a chemical lice treatment.

You can also choose to use a prescription lice treatment. This may be necessary if the lice are resistant to the over-the-counter lice treatments. These will require a visit to the doctor for a diagnosis and prescription.

You can try natural remedies like mayonnaise or vinegar. However, natural lice treatments are generally unproven and can be harsh on hair.

Remove the eggs

The second step of an effective lice treatment is to remove the lice eggs, or nits. Nits are often resistant to the chemicals that kill adult lice, and so can remain on the hair and hatch into adults that can start the process all over again. Manual removal is required, though a nit comb can help facilitate the lice treatment.

Cleaning the environment

The last step of a thorough lice treatment involves treating the infested personís environment. Personal items, such as clothing, bedding, and linens, should be treated first and the most thoroughly. Washing with a strong detergent in hot water, followed by drying, will generally do the trick. Cleaning the home for a lice treatment is not usually necessary beyond a vacuuming of the carpets, since adults and nits die quickly when away from the host.
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