Doctor Scams the Public with
Experimental Head Lice Treatment
In September, 2004, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics published an article stating that Dr. Dale Pearlman was marketing an experimental lice treatment. On his web site, Dr. Pearlman stated that his treatment (which suffocated the head lice) was only available at his office in California for $285 a bottle. Dr. Pearlman recommended a series of treatments with his concoction.
Recently, Dr. Pearlman admitted that the bottle contained a skin cleanser available at any drug store for $10 a bottle. Dr. Pearlman admits his motivation was that he wanted to get rich.
While this is only one of many scams being perpetuated on an unsuspecting and vulnerable public, we do find it alarming that this particular journal was willing to publish the information without any dependable independent research. Whether the journal meant it or not, mere publication of this information on its pages gave Dr. Pearlman's hoax credibility and created a newsworthy event.
We are not surprised that any agent used to suffocate head lice would be more effective than use of pediculicides like Nix, Rid, Pronto, etc.
The American Head Lice Information Center has spent the past seven years fighting an uphill battle to get the word out that suffocation is the only reliable way to safely eliminate a head lice infestation. Now, everyone's jumping on the bandwagon to make a fortune selling all kinds of concoctions to smother head lice. But when it comes to suffocating head lice, the most important piece is the protocol you use. There are no short cuts and there is nothing safer or more beneficial than olive oil as a suffocating agent.
Make no mistake. Anything left on a child's head long enough to smother a louse will be absorbed into the skin. According to Ian Burgess, director of the Insect Research and Development Limited, Cambridge, England About 2-3% of Malathion applied to the scalp is absorbed transdermally (to the scalp). Malathion is the active ingredient in Ovide, manufactured as a head lice treatment by Medicis. According to an alert from the Rachel Carson Council, "adverse effects associated with Malathion include eye damage, decreased immunity, liver damage, cancer, nerve toxicity, and developmental problems.
On the other hand, a recent paper published by Dr. Chopra's research group at the Northern Ireland Center for Diet and Health, University of Ulsters states, Extra virgin olive oil is particularly rich in the phenolic antioxidants as well as squalene and oleic acid, and high consumption of the foregoing in the diet provides considerable protection against colon, breast and skin cancer, coronary heart disease and aging by inhibiting oxidative stress.
Olive oil is also a well-known and effective skin moisturizer and beauty treatment for the hair.
Which would you rather have absorbed into your child's scalp? A concoction consisting of unknown ingredients? Neurotoxins? Or olive oil?
Because ultimately, it's up to you.