Mayonnaise treatment for lice

  1. I just took care of a pt who was infested with lice. And I do mean infested. Our infection control nurse recommended mayonnaise treatment for this patient. Applied the mayonnaise to the patient's hair, wrapped in saran wrap and left it on for 12 hours. Anyone ever have success with this treatment? I think I would rather use mayonnaise on someone (or myself) than that pesticide stuff available nowadays. Never have seen a lice infestion this bad. Patient also had fleas.
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    Joined: Aug '01; Posts: 2,276; Likes: 42


  3. by   lovebigdogs
    did it work?
  4. by   AlaskanRN
    I personally have never used this remedy, although I've heard of it for years...just figured it was an old wives tale. But what the heck, I'm an old wife...
  5. by   NurseDennie
    Ewwwww -yeuchhhh

    Mayonnaise-covered lice (and HAIR)

    ewwww - I don't feel so good.


  6. by   deespoohbear
    Not sure if it worked or not. Sent the patient home before the time was up to remove the mayo. According to the infection control nurse you leave the mayo on for 12 hours, wash it out, use shampoo, comb the hair with a fine tooth comb to remove the nits, and then you apply the mayo again and leave on for 12 hours and repeat the procedure. I would be interested in knowing if it worked too.
  7. by   lisamcrn
    Well unfortunatley from personal experience when my oldest daughter got this last March I tried everything and with 5 kids in the house of course it had spead by the time we realized one was infested. I used all brands and types of over the counter stuff, perscribed stuff, homeremadies. While it seems to take care of it, it keep reoccuring, starting with my oldest daughter. My house was more santized/deodorized/disinfected etc than you could believe,you name it, everything was sprayed and vacuumed (all furniture), bedding washed and rewashed and all hair items boiled (4 daughters with long hair..couldn't throw all that stuff out lol) or thrown away. There was nothing I didn't do.

    After the sixth or seventh week I went into a rage. I put the otc stuff on each child and went thru their hair then I put mayonaise on for a couple of hours, and I personally scrubbed and combed thru all heads, rewashed all bedding, school bags, coats, gloves...anything I could think of....and that was the end off that.

    Disgusting but didn't hurt and I think it helped!
  8. by   NurseDennie
    I'd heard that the Rx stuff was the only thing you could really rely on for this.


  9. by   Motivated, SN
    Mayonnaise and oils work; because they suffocate the lice.
    I had a girl whose mom had the same problem with repeated
    infestation. The problem is that the lice are becoming resistent
    to the lice shampoos the same way bacteria are becoming
    resistent to antibiotics.
  10. by   st4304
    I had a child with lice a couple of years ago, (it was an epidemic at her grade school.)

    One mother suggested mayonaise -- it did not work, but my daughter's hair never felt softer! Later, my child's pediatrician told me one should never put mayo on anyone's head because if they have ANY kind of scratch or abrasion on their scalp (especially from scratching a itchy head), you are just inviting infection.

    Another mother suggested to saturate her head in olive oil, which was suppose to smother the lice/nits. Just made her hair greasy for several days. And, boy, did it stink!

    Also tried the store-bought remedies like Nix. Did not work. At all. In fact, I think they made the lice worse.

    Another mother slathered vasoline on her child's head. It took her a month to finally wash it out. AND SHE STILL HAD LICE.

    The ONLY THING THAT WORKED was purchasing for $15.00 a metal lice comb made by the National Pediculosis Association. Sat the kid in front of me and combed every hair on her head to remove each individual nit and bug on her head. Took several hours to do. I mean, my kid has the thickest head of hair!

    The sad thing was the kids whose parents could not afford $15 for a comb (or just never treated their kids properly or AT ALL) kept reinfecting everyone so I had to go over my child's head with that comb every few days for the ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR!

    There is a website that is excellent regarding headlice that explains why it is so important to get rid of EVERY nit. An adult bug cannot survive without human blood after 24 hours. So that why it seems that some of the remedies work at first, but the nits can survive for weeks, so if you miss ANY nits, they will hatch and one will be reinfested. Yuck.

    For more info, go to

    This subject is making me itchy. . . . .!

    Bye now!

    Your pal,

  11. by   Rustyhammer
    How about if I just pass the scissors?
  12. by   DebsZoo
    Originally posted by Rustyhammer
    How about if I just pass the scissors?
    The summer all of our children were first with us, we had lice from an overnight visit to former foster home.....................
    long story short.............All hair was cut, due to EXTREMELY sensitive heads on my girls. We went through the combs, metal & plastic, sanitizing everything, and wound up with adorable SHORT hair cuts.........and newly pierced ears.
    Thank goodness, they were all home for the summer.
    But, they loved the coolness
  13. by   boggle
    There was another thread recently on this lovely subject of headlice, but i can't locate it now. There were other suggestions mentioned there too.

    I strongly recommend you contact your local health department. They can advise you on what works best and what to NOT do, and what is the best use of your time and money.

    Our local dept has contacts for free and low cost treatments for families who can't afford it. The last time we had head lice here, treatments for our household and all those quarters in the laundrymat added up to $100 . Luckily I had a day off, otherwise I would have had to lose a days pay to stay home cleaning heads and bugs!

    Toxicity with the Rx Kwell is a real concern. Lots of over the counter treatments do work, but you still have to check EVERY hair for nits. Everyone in the house gets checked, (and probably end up treated too).

    Mostly, you have to thoroughly clean the environment including bedding, clothing, carseats...., or you will have those critters back in no time.

    It is such hard work, but you've got to do it right the first time.

    Man, I'm getting itchy just thinking about it.
  14. by   lisamcrn
    Oh the hours I spent combing out my girls' super long hair. Going thru everyone every night for almost two months. Oh my god! YUCK YUCK. I really should of made them cut off their hair, but it's too beautiful and they were in tears when I suggested it.
    I think what finally made the difference was using the otc crud and comb, then shampoo, then the mayonaise and comb and shampoo along with all the cleaning. Alone the comb or txs and cleaning didn't do it. I'll have nightmares tonight of lice.......yuck.