Do alcohol kill body and hair lice? Let’s find out.
Also known as denatured alcohol, rubbing alcohol has a varied number of uses.
Broad use categories include household cleaning, medical use, pest control, and home health. Under each of these broad categories are tons of uses.
However, we’re more concerned about its use for pest control.
Will Rubbing Alcohol Kill Lice?
This is an interesting question we’ll be seeking answers for.
Lice infestations are among the most difficult to get rid of. Head lice are the most notorious of these pest issues to tackle for a lot of people, any type of solution will do.
However, the truth is, certain treatments may be toxic and best ignored.
About Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol can either be categorized as isopropyl alcohol or ethanol-based liquid.
It contains bactericidal properties that are also effective in killing viruses and fungus. This is great news as it also deals with unwanted conditions.
However, the truth is; not all topical applications offer similar results.
Simply speaking, the topical use of rubbing alcohol on the skin shouldn’t make it an automatic lice killer. This isn’t in any way saying that rubbing alcohol will not affect lice.
Killing these parasitic insects is the sure way of getting the much-desired relief you seek.
Is it Safe?
Before anything else, you’ll need to determine the safety of any pest treatment method.
Human lice live on their human hosts for as long as conditions remain favorable. These could either be body, pubic, or head lice. Due to the nature of lice, the topical application will be necessary.
Now the question of safety arises. As a precautionary measure, we’ll need to determine whether or not it’s safe before we get into details about its efficacy on lice.
Rubbing alcohol is safe for use on the skin.
With this said, let’s proceed to find out how it affects lice.
Using Rubbing Alcohol For Lice
Rubbing alcohol will kill lice, but must have direct contact with them for a considerable amount of time (a few minutes). Now, that creates a conundrum in the sense that continued exposure of your skin to rubbing alcohol could lead to skin dryness and irritations.
However, sufficient time is needed to kill lice.
Unlike what many assume, you won’t have to expose rubbing alcohol to the skin for too long. A few minutes (10 to 15 minutes) should suffice.
With lice gone, there won’t be any need to keep using rubbing alcohol.
How Rubbing Alcohol Kills Lice
Our discussion won’t be complete without stating how rubbing alcohol kills lice. As stated earlier, these parasites are difficult to get rid of. Plus, their feeding activity causes significant discomfort to the host.
When applied onto lice-affected areas, rubbing alcohol kicks in by drying out these pests.
Note that rubbing alcohol must come in contact with lice to have any real exterminating effect. It’s quite easy to apply this treatment.
All you have to do is target the scalp or areas (body or pubic area) infested by these pests and rub rubbing alcohol.
When you do that, this product gets into their system and easily desiccates or dries them. When exposed long enough, these parasitic insects won’t stand a chance to survive the ordeal.
The Downside of Rubbing Alcohol Use on Lice
While rubbing alcohol has an advantage as a lice killer, it has its several downsides. Apart from causing skin irritations when left for too long on the skin, rubbing alcohol does not have any exterminating effect on lice eggs.
That’s a significant disadvantage because dead lice will be replenished in a matter of days.
A study on rubbing alcohol’s effect on lice has revealed that these eggs remained unharmed during 10 days of exposure to rubbing alcohol.
This points to one thing; rubbing alcohol isn’t a comprehensive treatment for lice problems.
You need a treatment that kills both lice and their eggs. Only such treatments are capable of giving you real results.
It’s Not 100% Effective
Even if rubbing alcohol did kill or destroy lice nits, it’s not completely effective in addressing lice issues. Problems could arise from the exposure time of lice to rubbing alcohol.
Also, some fleas may simply make it out alive. While this is true, so are lots of lice treatments available today.
You’ll need to know that you’ll not get a 100% lice elimination rate. However, a significant percentage (between 70% and 80%) should serve your needs.
Other Natural Alternatives to Rubbing Alcohol Use on Lice
If you’re thinking of incorporating other natural lice remedies to rubbing alcohol use, you might want to consider the use of anise oil, olive oil, and coconut oil treatments.
Other treatment methods include tea tree oil, petroleum jelly, and mayonnaise treatments.
Further details on how to use these remedies won’t be given. However, it’s necessary to have some knowledge about what they are.
For details on whether they work or not and how to use them, you’ll need to make further findings of each of these rubbing alcohol alternatives.
Medical Advice Will Be of Great Help
Anyone dealing with, or having a lice problem will want to find immediate relief from such infestations. Due to the many limitations of home remedies, it’s necessary to consider speaking with a medical expert.
Lice treatment centers are in a better position to advise on what steps to take towards resolving your lice problem.
What more? Treatments may be administered by them, thus making the recovery process much faster than it would take with treatments like rubbing alcohol.
Follow CDC Guidelines
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, there are basic safety strategies to adopt while treating lice infestations. These can be adhered to while using rubbing alcohol treatments.
These control and prevention strategies include avoiding head-to-head contact as well as not sharing clothing.
Other helpful guidelines include avoiding the sharing of combs towels and brushes and also not lying on a bed used by an infected person until the sheets are treated.
Machine wash and dry clothing and also vacuum after an infected person.
As discussed so far, the answer is yes! Rubbing alcohol will kill lice, but has its many downsides as discussed.