During a lice outbreak, many people become vary of applying strong pesticide shampoos, particularly on the heads of their children. Homemade remedies become an enticing alternative, with rubbing alcohol is often cited as providing the same lice relief benefits as traditional pesticide shampoos. So, we set out to find out if rubbing alcohol indeed kills lice or this is another old wives fable.
Does Rubbing Alcohol kill lice?
The Simple answer to this is yes to some extent! It is, however, imperative to note that a number of the over-the-counter lice treatments have rubbing alcohol as one of the core ingredients. However, they are created with at least one synthetic pesticide, making them less lucrative options.
What Is Rubbing Alcohol?
Rubbing alcohol is a simple product with a base of ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. Beyond the United States, it is also referred to as a surgical spirit. As a result of the high content of alcohol, this type of alcohol is not ideal for drinking, and it has a high volatility and is quite flammable; hence it should not be utilized close to a naked source of heat.
Making Use Of Rubbing Alcohol To Sanitize Hair Brushes And Nit Brushes
Even though it should never really be used on your hair or scalp directly, rubbing alcohol can be used safely to clean brushes and nit combs. Here are a few steps to take in this regard:
- Create a solution of rubbing alcohol with hot water in a shallow glass bowl. Try to use a ratio of a cup of water to half a cup of rubbing alcohol so that the liquid content is enough to have the brushes and nit combs covered.
- Dip the brushes and combs inside the solution of the rubbing alcohol, allowing it to soak for about an hour.
- After an hour, rinse the combs and brushes in clean water and dry them on a kitchen towel.
Repeat the process above after each use to prevent cross contamination or spread of lice if the person were to be infected.
It is also advised that you do not allow any member of your family to share combs, brushes, scarves, hats and certain hair ointments. These are avenues for lice to be spread during an outbreak.
What Are The Dangers Associated With Using Rubbing Alcohol To Kill Lice?
It is important to explain that isopropyl alcohol can prove to be quite harmful to the human scalp, skin, and hair. One of the most pronounced side effects of Isopropyl alcohol on human skin in the case of dehydration.
This situation is one that can prove to be quite harmful especially when handling head lice issues because the scalp may grow bumps as well as infections when it is exposed to certain elements. Alcohol can also cause allergic reactions in some, bringing itching, stinging, inflammation, and hives.
What Are The Unique Applications Of Rubbing Alcohol?
Rubbing alcohol holds the unique reputation of being a very effective solution to skin linked conditions. Additionally, it is regarded as a strong cleaning agent that can be used in the home. Interestingly enough, there are also several more uses.
Commonly referred to as Isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol is widely used in drugs in addition to the treatment of skin infections due to its antioxidant and anti-septic nature.It can be effectively used as both an antiseptic and anti-oxidant.
Rubbing alcohol is made up of 70% Isopropyl alcohol and 30% distilled water. The ethanol percentage, however, is largely dependent upon the product quality. These days, it is mainly used in homes for different cleaning purposes. Here are a few other unique applications of rubbing alcohol:
1. Gives relief for minor injuries
Rubbing alcohol can be used on minor cuts on the body, as it kills the fungal and bacterial infections that can arise from a wound on the skin. It also helps stop bleeding while averting the blood flow.
2. A good solution for acne and pimple
Furthermore, due to its antiseptic nature, rubbing alcohol is an effective ingredient in fighting acne and pimples. It is quite soothing and cool and as such gives you quick relief for inflammation that may be caused by the acne issues. It is also useful in unblocking clogged pores.
3. Helps in the treatment of the nail
Due to its antiseptic nature, rubbing alcohol treats fungal infections that may arise in the toes. Hence, you can mix the rubbing alcohol alongside white vinegar while you get bandage wrapped around the toenail and let it remain for an hour. It will work to restrict fungal growth in that area, and should give you a clear difference rather quickly.
4. Helps with muscle pain relief
Rubbing alcohol brings relief to pain in the joints while lowering muscle swellings. It also helps in increasing blood flow.
What Are The Lice Prevention Tips You Should Know?
If you have never had to battle with lice on your head, that is great! However, it is even more important that you stay away from them. However, you may have lice and even not be aware because they are not easy to see and may even not begin tormenting you immediately. Here are a few ways to catch them in their tracks:
1. Ensure to watch your head
Lice usually spread via head-to-head contact. This simply means that you have to be close to an infected person before you contact it. It is therefore advisable that you avoid hair to hair contact with anyone you suspect may be infected.
2. Share, but not always
You may think that that cap hanging on your colleague’s shelf would look great on you, but it doesn’t mean you should try it on. You must stay away from whatever predisposes you to infection.
3. Avoid lending an ear
You must be aware of the fact that lice do not land on hard surfaces, rather they look for soft and dark spots. Hence, for you to reduce the risk of being infected, you may want to consider not sharing things.
4. Do your laundry
Are you concerned that someone around you may be infected with lice? If so, toss your clothes into washer at a temperature of above 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Alternative Ways To Get Head Lice Treated?
If you want to avoid chemical treatments, you should consider engaging your doctor about other possible options, such as the wet combing technique. To do this, you simply get the hair wet, then use a comb to remove the eggs and lice. You will have to do this for at least three weeks regularly.
Some people believe that you could remove the lice by using certain greasy substances such as mayonnaise, petroleum jelly, and olive oil, however there is not significant evidence that this is effective.
How Can You Get Rid Of Lice In Your Home?
Lice can crawl from your body onto items that are close-by such as towels, beddings, and hats. However, it is imperative to recognize that they need the blood of humans to stay alive, hence, they do not live long after they have fallen off a human body. The outline below are a few tips that should help you get rid of lice in your home.
First, begin by washing off any item that has been worn or used by the individual inside hot water after which you dry them using high heat. Lice eggs and lice usually die off when they have been exposed to very high temperatures for at least five minutes. Also, ensure to wash scarves, jackets, hat, sheets, pillowcases, and headbands.
If you are however unable to wash the infected items, you could opt for the option of placing them inside a plastic bag and sealing them for at least two weeks.
Furthermore, ensure to vacuum clean sofas, rugs, upholstery, and other furniture to eliminate hair that may contain active lice eggs in them. It is however important that you recognize that having lice does not mean that you have some incurable disease or that you are dirty. You would be surprised that even the cleanest people do have lice. It is therefore imperative that you open up to someone about it as quickly as possible.
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Hence the big question remains; “will rubbing alcohol kill lice?” the answer is “yes it may” and this is why it is added in a couple of products that help in killing lice. However, rubbing alcohol must never be directly applied to your scalp or hair.
However, a mixture containing water and rubbing alcohol should be used to sanitize brushes and combs thus averting a spread of lice and nits to members of your family.