Randomised trials to assess the efficacy of Australian essential oils in the treatment of head lice

Created on 16.03.17

A new study has compared the efficacy of a head lice treatment containing Australian eucalyptus oil and Leptospermum petersonii (EO/LP Solution) with a neurotoxic treatment containing pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide (P/PB Mousse) via a randomised controlled study.

The study by Greive et.al published in the March 2017 Australian Journal of Dermatology revealed that EO/LP solution was more than twice (83% efficacy) as effective in curing head lice infestation compared to P/PB mousse (36% efficacy) in per-protocol participants. In this controlled trial, EO/LP solution was applied thrice with 7-day intervals between applications and P/PB was applied twice with a 7-day interval.

In the second randomised trial conducted to assess the efficacy of EO/LP solution following one single application, EO/LP was found to be 100% pediculicidal. 

The findings suggest that exposure of lice and eggs to the EO/LP solution results in 100% mortality and that EO/LP solution reports no skin irritation or sensitisation in adults or irritation in children.

These findings also suggest that the efficacy, safety and relative ease of use of the EO/LP solution make it a viable alternative in treating head lice.

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