Why Am I Still Itching?

by Lori
(New York)

QUESTION:

Hi
Can you tell me please!

Everyone here got lice - 3 kids, me, husband, and my mom. I have dried every pillowcase, hat, what touches the head item, each day since treatment.

I did a NIX treatment on my head last Friday. I itched before and after. Around Tuesday I couldn't take it any longer and poured olive oil on my head for 8 hours. Washed it out, picked my hair and found a bunch of black things in my hair. My husband and girlfriend hair dresser do not see any nits in my head, but I'm still itching like crazy.

I don't know what to do to get rid of the itching - it's not that it happens more in the daytime than night or dark. We did the comb out w/the nix treatment last week, my husband has gone through my hair w/a tweezer, and I did the comb through again - though not with a metal comb - after the olive oil. So my question is, do i still have lice even though I don't see any nits?

I don't have a problem re-treating myself. In fact tomorrow is day 7 - I am considering doing a natural remedy on my head instead of the nix. of course I'll do the comb out and will buy one of the lice combs you mention on your site.

Can you please provide some feedback based on your experience to my itchy - though no visible nits - head lice problem??????


ANSWER:

Hi, Lori. So sorry you're going through this! I assume the rest the people in your family show no continuing signs of lice?

I thought of two possibilities for what could be going on.

It's possible that a couple of live lice survived the NIX treatment, olive oil and combing you did. Some head lice have developed resistance to the active ingredient in NIX. Even if you did a great job removing all the nits, live lice can hide and run away from the comb.

If I were you I would treat now with an enzyme shampoo, and do a very, very thorough comb-out with the Terminator or LiceMeister comb.

During the comb-out, if you discover any live lice, dead lice or nits, then repeat the shampoo-and-comb process once more. (Repeat until you find nothing at all in the comb-out.)

It's so easy to miss just one or two - which is enough to start the cycle all over again.

The other thought I had as I read your story was that my head felt itchy for a while after our family was rid of head lice. In my case, the itching was mild and intermittent. I think it was simply a manifestation of my worry that the lice would come back. I kept checking the kids' heads, and my own, over and over for several days. I even used the enzyme shampoo instead of my regular shampoo a couple of times, just to be certain.

I don't think that's what's going on with you, because you say you're itching like crazy. It seems more likely that you do still have lice, though not a bad case. If so, enzymes and extremely thorough combing should knock them right out. :-)

UPDATE:
Since answering this question, I've learned that some people with an allergic reaction to head lice bites can itch for up to two weeks after the head lice have been eliminated. Similar to how chigger bites can itch for days and days.

So if you still feel itchy after successful treatment, there's no need to treat again unless you find other evidence of continuing lice ... such as nits attached to the hair. Weekly head checks are a good idea for everyone, so that any new head lice infestation can be caught early.

Comments for Why Am I Still Itching?

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Dec 15, 2011
Okay...
by: Lori

Hi, thanks for answering my question. I did a conditioner comb-out tonight and I had not lice or nits. Neither did DH, DSx2 - only DD. She was treated w/Rid 7 days ago. I took about 5 nits out and 5 nymphs. I treated her w/the NIX this time and am going to buy the enzyme shampoo.

Do I need to retreat myself again w/the nix? Or, can I (on myself) do the enzyme shampoo and and comb out both me (only because of my itching) and DD for the next few days?

Thank you so much for your suggestions!!!

Dec 16, 2011
Skip The NIX
by: KidsHeadLice.com

Hi again Lori!

I'd avoid the NIX altogether for your whole family. Here's more detail about why:
http://www.kidsheadlice.com/nix-lice-treatment.html

I think you've got a really good plan there in your last sentence - treat both you and your daughter with enzyme shampoo, followed by thorough comb-outs with a good lice comb. (Repeat until you find no lice or nits in the comb-out.)

It's painstaking but essential to do the repeat comb-outs until you come up empty. The enzymes are very effective at loosening the nit glue, so assuming you're very careful, you may find your daughter in the clear on the second combing.

If you can find Lice-R-Gone or LiceLogic shampoo, you'll have 8 or 16 uses per bottle (respectively). This is more cost-effective than the mousse-type shampoo, though the mousse consistency might make it easier to keep the shampoo on your head while waiting to rinse it out.

Whatever type of enzyme shampoo you use, make sure you leave it on the head as instructed for several minutes before rinsing out.

Boys' shorter hair sure does make it easier to get every last one out. I'm sorry you and your daughter are battling it again.

Here's hoping your whole family is in the clear ASAP!

Oct 25, 2014
Still itching
by: Ella

I got treated yesterday but I'm still itching why is this happening. Do I still have lice? Or is my head still feeling the biting because it is used to the feeling of being itchy?

Oct 26, 2014
Still itching
by: KidsHeadLice.com

Hi Ella,

Your itching may be due to irritation from and/or allergic reaction to the bites. In that case, even if the lice are all gone, you may still feel itchy until the bites heal completely or the reaction subsides.

So if your treatment was successful, you can expect the itching to decrease. However, it's important to keep up the head checks to make sure all the lice are really gone. You can use the Terminator comb to check for nits & lice every couple of days for a week or so, and then weekly thereafter. If any nits survived, you can catch it early. :-)

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