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To treat, or not to treat, that is the question. Head lice treatment in the Atlanta area by Elimilice.

Shakespeare, in Hamlet’s famous soliloquy (from which the title of this post is derived), is actually considering the essence of action vs. non-action (or some scholars interpret as life vs. death) and this is sometimes the conundrum presented at Elimilice’s professional head lice service.

Specifically, we often have people come to us requesting immediate treatment.  They want to bypass a head check and go right to head lice treatment – “just to be sure.”  Suspecting or fearful of head lice, they may have even treated everyone in the family with an over the counter product or otherwise – “just to be sure.”

Or it may be that we perform an in home or in facility initial head lice check (as we do before we begin any treatment – even when we’ve identified a case at a school level head check performed by Elimilice technicians) and find just a nit or two or perhaps only one nymph or adult louse in a client’s hair.  It may be that a family has been in an exposure situation but has smartly come to us very soon thereafter.  Or perhaps they’ve been home treating a known case of head lice, want us to “finish their work,” but we find only remnants (nit casings or non-viable nits) of head lice.  We also sometimes find that mothers of children we’re treating for head lice (and to a lesser extent, fathers of children with head lice) have minimal evidence of exposure to head lice and truly do not require a full treatment.   However, frequently, these people want us to treat!

Elimilice maintains a strict policy whereby we will only perform a head lice removal treatment when viable evidence of an active case of head lice exists.  Although it might be considered financially fruitful to do otherwise, we will never treat individuals who present with less but will provide instructions and product recommendations for the actions that should be taken in both the short and long-run to ensure that all evidence is indeed removed from the individual’s hair and to prevent future possible cases of head lice.

Additionally, in the past couple of days, we’ve had clients who have come to us after months of treating themselves and their children for head lice.  Over the counter head lice removal products, home remedies, prescriptions . . .  but they swear that they cannot rid themselves of the head lice.  The adults exclaim that they can “feel crawling on their heads.”  Yet, we find absolutely no evidence of head lice (and we almost always find non-viable evidence of clients who have self-treated.  This would not justify continuing treatment but it would provide us with confirmation that there was head lice present previously.)  They insist on treatment, but this is in direct conflict with the Elimilice policy to treat only when viable evidence of a case of head lice exists.  These are especially troubling situations for us as we do not possess the resources or expertise to help these individuals with an issue that is clearly beyond the scope of what we do.

Treatment for head lice should be performed only for those individuals who truly require it.  We consider this a “moral imperative” and know that it gives our clients confidence (when coming to us for head checks) that Elimilice does not gratuitously treat when such is unnecessary.   And as Hamlet said, “There’s the rub . . . 

Please contact us if we can be of assistance.