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Apply tar soap against lice: is it effective?

Попробуем разобраться, насколько дегтярное мыло эффективно против вшей и гнид в волосах...

Tar soap is considered one of the most famous folk remedies for fighting lice. And its popularity is justified: it has virtually no contraindications and side effects, very effectively heals the skin lesions on the head, it is easy to use and is quite affordable.

However, experts are well aware that the pediculicidal effect of this soap, although it can effectively fight lice, but often overestimated.

Мнение специалистов: вряд ли можно будет полностью вывести вшей при помощи одного лишь дегтярного мыла.

If tar soap has been chosen by you as the main drug against lice, then be prepared that, to completely destroy the parasites with it, you will have to apply a lot of effort ...

It is interesting

Birch tar was known as a powerful antiseptic since the days of Ancient Rus. Then it, however, was used not in the composition of soap, but independently, treating them with wounds, scratches and other skin damages. The popularity of this remedy in the fight against lichens and inflammations on the skin was so high that in the Middle Ages, on the basis of tar, they began to prepare "tar water" and ointments to protect them from mosquitoes and nematodes.

And only a little later there was actually a tar soap and ointments based on tar: Vishnevsky ointment, Wilkinson's ointment and others. It is interesting that the tar soap against lice began to be applied relatively recently.

Бактерицидные свойства дегтя известны давно, и сегодня он входит в состав многих известных лекарственных мазей.

Effect of tar soap on lice

The effectiveness of tar soap practically in any of its applications is determined by the presence of a large number of phenol derivatives (actually phenol, cresol, etc.) and alkali in its composition. It is the combination of these components that effectively destroys bacteria, fungi, viruses and various microscopic parasites.

For this reason, soap has proven itself in the treatment of wounds and skin lesions in general - in these cases all pathogenic agents capable of leading to infection and development of inflammation are reliably destroyed with tar soap components (the antiseptic effect of this soap is confirmed by numerous reviews).

It is interesting

Birch tar from lice is effective for the reason that the substances contained in it from the class of phenols burn on organic tissues, leading to denaturation of proteins. However, tar has no pronounced insecticidal effect. Interestingly, tar against lice as a whole is less effective than, for example, from caterpillars in the garden - in the latter the integument is more permeable and more easily affected by the components of the substance.

Березовый деготь является сильным антисептиком, но выраженным инсектицидным эффектом не обладает.

Березовый деготь - эффективное противомикробное и противовоспалительное средство.

So, the components of tar soap in significant concentrations are harmful to lice. However, here there are a few nuances:

  • It is important to understand that applying a tar soap for a short time (say 5 minutes) to the corresponding scalp will not be enough to destroy the parasites. In order for the product to work, soap components must be contacted with lice for at least 30-40 minutes during each treatment. Дегтярное мыло придется выдерживать на волосах довольно долго, чтобы хоть как-то воздействовать на вшей
  • It should also be borne in mind that tar soap from nits does not help at all. This means that even with the most correct application of the funds will have to hold at least two hair treatments: first the main population of parasites is destroyed, and in 1-2 weeks - those insects that will be removed from the nests left after the first nitus procedure. In practice, often even 2 treatments are not enough. Против гнид дегтярное мыло абсолютно неэффективно.


I, on the advice of my grandmother, bought a tar soap from lice, read reviews, instructions, washed my head about three times, but they continue to crawl. Basically I did not buy any chemistry, I decided to get lice healthy. I was advised in the pharmacy for a good comb, so I went with him. First head to soap, rinse, comb. Three days so povyshesyvala and lice over. Six months later, she brought the lice to her younger sister with the same kind of macaroni and did without any insecticides.

Alain, Kirov

By and large, the use of tar soap to get rid of lice - a small misunderstanding. The fact is that this remedy has always been known as a reliable medicine against skin diseases, including - and scalp. For this reason tar soap has long been tried to fight and with hair loss, and with dandruff, and with the symptoms of pediculosis - redness, itching, scratching.

Дегтярное мыло издавна использовали против болезней кожи, в том числе вызванных вшами

Indeed, the soap helped to somehow calm down the pain and improve the skin, effectively protecting scratching and scratching from secondary infection with bacterial infections. However, on lice, as the root cause of the appearance of these symptoms, it acted weakly.

На самих вшей дегтярное мыло воздействует слабо

Nevertheless, the use of tar soap to fight lice eventually became a kind of tradition, a folk recipe.

In fairness, it should be noted that tar soap can still somewhat ease the fight against lice, if used in conjunction with other pediculicidal drugs.

Often, those who do not want to use chemical insecticides try to take lice out with tar soap, adhering, for example, to the view that "all chemistry" is harmful. In this case, tar soap from lice is best used together with special combs: after application, soaking and washing off, a part of the parasites lose their mobility, is weakened. As a result, it becomes much easier to comb out with a comb.

Лучше всего дегтярное мыло комбинировать с использованием густого гребня от вшей

На фото - вши, вычесанные с помощью специального гребня


Only one can comb the head with a comb to the point of insanity - these nests do not catch on to the combs, and until all adult lice are weeded out, it will be necessary to repeat the procedure. Take at least the tar tar soap - small larvae die from it, it will be faster. We did this when we did not want to buy Parasidosis. Well, now there is Nyuda, with her in general there is no problem - both safely and effectively.

Pavel, Moscow

But together with insecticide shampoos, creams and even folk remedies such as vinegar and kerosene, soap can be used - it helps to reduce the risk of possible skin irritations from these remedies, effectively washing off the remnants of the drugs from the skin and hair.

What to do to make tar soap help with lice?

Depending on what means of applying tar soap for the destruction of lice, it is necessary to carry out a different procedure for treating the head in different ways:

  • if soap is used in conjunction with the comb, then at first the head is thoroughly washed and rinsed to remove fat from the hair. Then the soap is applied again, the foam is thoroughly beaten and kept on the head for about half an hour or so. There are no upper limits - soap has no contraindications, and only with individual hypersensitivity to tar components can there be unpleasant sensations. Then the soap is washed off, and the wet hair is stranded carefully from the roots and combed from the roots with a comb. This procedure should be repeated daily throughout the week. После того, как дегтярное мыло будет смыто с волос, необходимо прядь за прядью вычесать вшей гребнем
  • When combining soap with insecticides, the head is first treated with a suitable remedy for lice according to the instructions, and then washed with tar soap. In this case, a single application of soap to the hair with a thorough foaming is sufficient. The procedure is carried out once or twice depending on the effectiveness of the additional drug. Дегтярное мыло желательно комбинировать с использованием другого педикулицидного средства

On a note

Combination of tar soap at the same time with insecticides and with the comb for combing lice and nits, generally speaking, is excessive, although in the absence of a reaction of the scalp to such a combination it can be fully used.

Гребень для вычесывания вшей и гнид AntiV

In both cases tar tar soap to some extent helps to get rid of lice, strengthening the effect of the second component.

Is there a contra-indication for tar soap?

There are few contraindications to tar soap, and side effects appear only in very rare cases.

For example, people with dry skin often do not use tar soap (and any alkaline soap in general) to avoid excessive exfoliation of the skin and the appearance of cracks - soap dries very much the skin.

With caution should apply tar soap during pregnancy.

Во время беременности дегтярное мыло нужно применять с осторожностью


I also tried to smear my head with tar soap, but it dries so much hair that after it the situation is even worse than after lice. In the end, I figured out the perfect combination: I washed my head with soap once, washed it off, smeared it with chicken and left it. My skin does not react to it, and after soap - and even more so. And then I comb out the comb. For a week of such experiments, I took all the lice out, took on the guy. He just returned from a business trip, and, apparently, or from me even earlier got infected, or I from him. But with him it was just simple - he washes his head with soap, then combs it out. And on the third day he got tired of it and he shaved his head. Also, by the way, option.

Antonina, Yaroslavl

To avoid the appearance of an individual allergic reaction with soap it is useful to spread the skin on the elbow bend and hold it for several minutes.

Перед применением дегтярного мыла полезно проверить кожу на чувствительность к нему

If the skin does not react, the soap can be safely applied. If red spots appear on the site of application, it is better to abstain from using it.

Birch tar against lice

Similarly, soap from lice can be used and other means based on birch tar, including tar itself. However, it is dangerous to apply pure tar - due to the high concentration of active ingredients, it can cause severe burns on the skin. Therefore, to combat parasites, it should be diluted to a concentration of 15-20%, resulting in the so-called tar water. Her head needs to be treated the same way as soap.

Tar is also part of Vishnevsky's ointment and Wilkinson's ointment. You can use them against lice, but absolutely irrationally: these drugs have the same effect on lice as soap, but their cost is much higher.

Известное средство на основе березового дегтя - мазь Вишневского (не эффективна от вшей)

In any case, for effective removal of lice along with tar soap it is highly desirable to use additional means - the same combs, shampoos, creams or sprays of your choice.

To the record "The use of tar soap against lice: is it really effective?" 6 comments left.
  1. Amam :

    Thank you

  2. Sabina :

    Thank you very much for your help.

  3. Aruka :

    Will tar soap help lice? How to apply it? Tell me please.

    • Anonymous :

      You need to wet your head, soap it thoroughly with this soap, sit for 30-40 minutes, Wash.

  4. Xenia :

    How long should I wash my head with tar soap and what is the period of its action?

  5. Vic :

    I washed my daughter's head with soap, foamed, waited 15 minutes, washed, rinsed with water and vinegar. I immediately combed out 3 dead lice and one live louse. But the nits do not want to comb out. Tomorrow we will poison with chemistry, but after washing the child really began to scratch less, and live adult lice were not found.

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