Title: Repellency of Citronella for Head Lice: Double-Blind Randomized Trial of Efficacy and Safety.
Author(s): Mumcuoglu KY; Magdassi S; Miller J; Ben-Ishai F; Zentner G; Helbin V; Friger M; Kahana F; Ingber A.*
Author’s Address: Department of Parasitology, Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel. kostam@cc.huji.ac.il
Source: The Israel Medical Association journal : IMAJ. [Isr Med Assoc J] 2004 Dec; Vol. 6 (12), pp. 756-9.
Publication Type: Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial
Language: English
Journal Information: Country of Publication: Israel NLM ID: 100930740 ISSN: 1565-1088 Subsets: MEDLINE
MeSH Terms: Cymbopogon*
Insect Repellents/*therapeutic use
Lice Infestations/*drug therapy
Pediculus/*drug effects
Phytotherapy/*methods
Plant Oils/*therapeutic use
Scalp Dermatoses/*drug therapy
Adolescent; Age Distribution; Animals; Child; Double-Blind Method; Female; Humans; Israel/epidemiology; Lice Infestations/epidemiology; Lice Infestations/prevention & control; Male; Plant Leaves; Plant Stems; Recurrence/prevention & control; Scalp Dermatoses/epidemiology; Scalp Dermatoses/prevention & control; Sex Distribution; Treatment Outcome
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Head lice move easily from head to head. The lack of safe, effective repellents leads to reinfestation.

OBJECTIVES: To test the efficacy of a slow-release citronella formulation as a repellent against the head louse.

METHODS: During 4 months in 2003 a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind clinical study was conducted in four elementary schools; 103 children were treated with the test formulation and 95 with a placebo.

RESULTS: A significant difference was observed during the second examination 2 months later, when 12.0% of the children treated with the test repellent and 50.5% of those treated with placebo were infested with lice. A significant difference was also observed at the third examination 2 months later, when 12.4% of the children treated with the test repellent and 33.7% treated with placebo were infested. Overall, there were significant differences between those treated with the repellent and those treated with the placebo (15.4% and 55.1% respectively, P < 0.0001). Side effects were observed in 4.4% of children who disliked the odor of the formulation, and an additional 1.0% who complained of a slight itching and burning sensation.

CONCLUSIONS: Use of an effective repellent could significantly lower the incidence of reinfestations, which would lower expenditure on lice control, including pediculicides, combs and products for nit removal, and the time spent on treatment and removal of the nits.

Database: MEDLINE

*The author(s) cited above are not in any way affiliated with Rainforest Essentials. Their citation is offered solely for informational purposes and not to be construed as an endorsement of Lice Off!™ in particular or any of our products in general.