Everything You Need to Know about Rid Lice Shampoo
What is the first thing you do when you discover your child has head lice? For most of us, that means running to the pharmacy and grabbing over the counter head lice treatments, most often Rid lice shampoo. Lice Shampoo is the number one go to when it comes to head lice treatment, at least it is where most people start. After all, when you were a kid that’s what your mom used right? It worked back then, so why try to recreate the wheel?
When first created in the early 80’s the pesticide based treatments found in Rid worked great at eliminating a head lice infestation. Unfortunately, this is no longer true as lice have built resistance to the pesticides in these over the counter remedies, which has earned them the name of Super Lice. (Wait, did I just say pesticide? If it said pesticide on the box, would you think twice about applying it to your child’s head? I did!)
What is Rid?
Rid lice shampoo is a topical head lice treatment applied to the scalp. It is applied at home by patients with a lice problem and should only be applied to people with a confirmed case of head lice. Because it is a pesticide, it is toxic and not worth the risk of using it as a preventive or precautionary treatment.
How Long Does a Rid Treatment Take?
Rid claims to be a ten minute treatment and in fact warns not to leave on for any longer than 10 minutes. You then have to do a 2nd treatment 7-10 days after the first one.
But that does not take into account the days and hours you will have to spend combing to remove the eggs that Rid does not kill. While Rid is intended to eliminate live bugs (which it no longer does a very good job of) it has no effect on the lice eggs (nits), and at home lice treatment does kill eggs. This means 10 minutes per treatment is far from how long it takes to treat since you will have to spend hours over days combing to be sure and remove every single egg.
Over the counter treatments such as Rid have no ovicidal effects. There are no lice shampoos or over the counter treatments that kill the eggs. That means every single egg must be combed out after treatment and if you miss just one or two, it all starts over again.
Here at Lice Clinics of America Vernon Hills, we prefer a non-toxic, pesticide free, one and done treatment that will keep you healthy and end the infestation once and for all so you can go home and relax!
How Much Does Lice Shampoo Cost?
Most over the counter lice shampoos range from $15-20 per application, depending on the length of your child’s hair. You will need to do a minimum of 2 application, or more since you will need to retreat your child 7-10 days after the first treatment. Don’t forget to multiply this by how many children you have infected in your home, or yourself.
And the sad fact is almost every client that comes to see us has already spent $100-$200 on OTC treatments that have not worked due to super lice just not being affected by the pesticide. This is a pretty penny for a treatment that you will quickly find is very ineffective.
How Effective is Rid Lice Shampoo?
With the current issue with super lice, Rid and other over the counter lice treatments tend to be less than 30% effective, on live bugs only. A 2016 study in the Journal of Medical Entomology found that up to 98 percent of head lice in the U.S. and Canada now possess a genetic mutation that makes them resistant to these products.
Even when they do work, Pyrethrin and Permethrin, “can only kill live lice, not unhatched eggs (nits),” according to the CDC. This is a big deal, because as any parent or school nurse can tell you, combing out the eggs is the hard part of head-lice treatment. Every female louse can lay around 100 eggs, which means that missing a few eggs can mean a lice case can recur over and over.
This calls into question the value of OTC head lice treatments even if they work. As one lice expert says, “The only way to completely get rid of head lice and nits is to physically remove them…Why apply pesticides when you’ll need to do all the same steps as the natural method anyway?”
What is in Rid Lice Shampoo?
The active ingredient in Rid lice shampoo is typically permethrin, a drug used to treat a variety of parasites including head lice. This ingredient works by attacking the nervous system of the bugs and obliterating it causing paralysis and death. Lice have become adapted and built resistance to the deadly effects of Rid which is again, now less than 30% effective on live bugs only.
We certainly don’t want to be rubbing something this strong with such poor efficacy all over the scalps of our children. Especially when it has been proven to penetrate beyond the skin and across the blood brain barrier causing some pretty nasty side effects.
Let’s Compare Apples to Apples
|LICE CLINICS OF AMERICA||RID (OTC|
Utilizing the AirAllé® FDA-cleared medical device
|None||Piperonyl butoxide (4%)|
Pyrethrum extract (equivalent to 0.33%
Combined efficacy on live lice & eggs of device, dimethicone & comb-out (93.7% with device alone)
For live lice only
|Cost||$169 (Vernon Hills, IL Location)|
For guaranteed one-and-done treatment.
|$10-20 per treatment, depending on hair length|
|Warnings||The AirAllé® device cannot be used to treat persons who cannot sense temperature or pain; who cannot communicate physical discomfort; who have open head wounds, sores, or visible signs of skin or scalp abnormalities or who have received radiation treatment of the head within the last 6 months; or those who have cranial or facial implants. Safe use of the AirAllé® device has not been demonstrated for children under the age of 4 years old.||Stop use and ask a doctor if|
● breathing difficulty occurs
● eye irritation occurs
● skin or scalp irritation continues or infection occurs
Ask a doctor before use if you are allergic to ragweed. May cause breathing difficulty or an asthmatic attack.
Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.
Fortunately for today’s families a new, non-toxic medical device is available that kills both live lice and nits using nothing more than carefully controlled warm air that quickly dehydrates the lice and eggs. It is safe, fast and has been clinically proven to kill lice and, more importantly, 99.2 percent of eggs. It’s called AirAllé —it is an FDA-cleared medical device for lice treatment, and is available exclusively at Lice Clinics of America. Combined with our in clinic combout our lice treatments are 99% effective and guarenteed to make you lice free in 1 day.