Lice recurrence is a significant problem that causes parents, caregivers and children great stress and frustration.
There are three primary reasons why a recurrence of lice can happen to someone who has already been treated; 1) cross-contamination; 2) incomplete lice removal; and/or 3) incomplete nit removal.
Cross-contamination - treating infested family members, and/or limiting contact with an infested person or group, people can pretty well manage the cross contamination aspect of lice recurrence. However, even the most vigilant prevention efforts may still not prevent a recurrence if someone else comes within contact and is not aware that they have an infestation.
Incomplete-lice removal - there are many anti-lice treatments that claim to kill all lice, including pesticide resistant Super Lice. Some of these products contain pesticides and others contain toxic chemicals. Some of these products require a second use. Some treatments want the treated to not shampoo their hair for a period of time after treatment to allow the residue to continue its work. All that being said, with decent confidence it’s feasible to state that these treatments will work as they say, minimizing lice recurrence.
Incomplete nit removal - lice recurrence most often occurs because today’s treatments are not effective at completely removing nits from the hair. It is not a coincidence that products on the market require a second treatment seven to ten days later. Nits take roughly one week to hatch into lice. While the first treatment may have eliminated lice, it did not effectively eliminate the nits. It is assumed that the second round of anti-lice treatment will kill the newly hatched lice before they begin to lay new eggs. If they have not eliminated 100% of the viable nits/eggs, lice recurrence will continue to occur as the new lice life cycle has been reintroduced.
Biologically, lice secrete a highly adhesive glue called spumaline that attaches the lice’s nits to the hair strands like a clamp. When the spumaline hardens, it encapsulates the nit almost completely in a very hard protein shell. Therefore, to remove nits from the hair, the glue must be dissolved. None of the market leading anti-lice treatments can effectively dissolve the spumaline glue and remove nits effectively.
Licemosis Anti-Lice Gel System has been formulated specifically to dissolve spumaline glue and remove nits completely. Stay tuned for more information about spumaline and lice recurrence from OsmoTherapeutics.