Olive Oil for Lice

September 7, 2014 | 0

Lice are parasitic insects that attach to any part of your body and feed on your blood. They are tiny and wingless. They normally attack people of young age especially school going children because of the close personal contact and sharing of items in these groups. Older individuals may also be affected especially those with poor self-hygiene. One way of eliminating lice is by using olive oil.

Several types of lice exist. They are classified on the basis of the body part that they preferentially attack. Head lice attack your scalp and are easily identified on the nape of your neck and over the ears too. The second type is body lice, which have preference for the trunk. They are the most isolated types in individuals who are homeless and those with poor hygiene. They are often found living and attached to clothing and bedding and move to access your skin before they use their specialized structures to feed on your blood.

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Last but not least are the pubic lice, which are commonly known as crabs. They attach on the skin and hair of your pubic area and less commonly on coarse body hair for example eyebrows and chest hair. Lice infestation does not have serious health implications but they can be a real nuisance especially when they tend to recur. It should also be noted that even people with good personal hygiene could get lice.


Signs and symptoms caused by lice infestation are mainly superficial. They may be caused either by the adult lice moving across the body or by the presence of eggs. The major symptom is pruritus, the itchy sensation that you feel as your body reacts to the presence of the parasite on your body surface. It may also be caused by an allergic reaction due to some antigens that the louse injects into your body or due to an immunogenic reaction.

Other manifestations include a tickling sensation as the lice moves across your body. You may also find live lice on your clothing, body, scalp, or pubic region if you do an examination and lice eggs may also be present on hair shafts. Eggs are also called nits and morphologically they resemble tiny pussy willow buds. They can easily be mistaken for dandruff but they are different as they cannot easily be brushed off.

You may also find some small, red bumps on the areas affected such as in the scalp, neck, or shoulders. These are mainly adverse reactions to either the lice eggs or the adult lice.

olive oil lice

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When to see a doctor

In most cases, you may not need to see a doctor for professional advice as you can eliminate these insects by simple measures such use of olive oil. There are situations, however, that may warrant a visit to the doctor. These include conditions where non-prescribed shampoos do not work.

You will need a prescription for a stronger prescribed shampoo, but when you are pregnant, you are not allowed to use any anti-lice shampoo that is not prescribed. Similarly, when you have other concomitant conditions such as hives or ski abrasions, you may require specialized prescriptions from doctors on how to manage lice.

Causes of lice infestation

Lice are transmitted as adults or as eggs. Their eggs take approximately one week before they fully mature. Since lice cannot fly or hop, close contact with a person who is infected is the major route. Head-to-head or body contact transmission occurs in children especially school going children, and between family member as they share their niche closely.

Other risk factors that increase the chances of you getting lice include your proximity to stored belongings such as pillows, blankets, and stuffed toys at home or school, which can permit spread. Sharing of items such as combs or fomites between family members and sexual contact in the case of pubic lice are other possible causes.

Poor personal hygiene as mentioned earlier is also a major risk factor. Keeping oneself clean almost always prevents lice infestation or their recurrence in people who have been infected.

Treatment and prevention

Most of the times you do not need to apply any kind of medication. However, in cases where lice infection recurs, over-the-counter drugs or prescribed medication can be obtained. OTC drugs mostly comprise shampoos, which you apply and are invariably effective. Prevention measures include observation of good personal hygiene and prompt identification and treatment.

Olive oil for lice

Olive oil can be used effectively to clear lice in any part of the body. This oil is easy to apply and because it is natural, it does not have any side effects on your skin. Instead, it nourishes the dry skin that is caused by the reactions of your body to the lice. The major factor that enhances attachment of lice on the skin surface is the presence of nourishment that the lice derive from the surrounding environment.

Olive oil tends to clear any bacteria and other organisms that may influence positively the growth of lice. It has bactericidal effects that kills the bacteria on your skin and renders it relatively sterile. Since the lice cannot have enough food, they die off. Olive oil also has direct effects on lice, which makes them ineffective and die off.

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