FAQs

We have lice problems in our home. We have used all the shampoos and sprays that are out there. The problem is not going away. What else can I do?

Treatment "failures" usually result from the following:

  1. incorrect identification (not lice)

  2. incomplete combing out or removal of the nits (eggs)

  3. not realizing it may take 8-12 hours for the lice to die

  4. lice re-infestation, or

  5. not strictly following the directions on the medication label

Resistance to the medication could be considered as a possible reason for failure if none of the above apply.

 

Here are some tips to help with the lice problem:

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Make sure you are using a recommended shampoo. The current recommended treatment is 1% Permethrin (e.g., NIXâ ). An alternative treatment is Pyrethrin (e.g. RIDâ , A-200â , R&C Shampooâ , etc.). Lindane (e.g.,, Kwellâ ) is no longer recommended. Another shampoo, called Ovideâ, is available by prescription.

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Make sure you are using the treatment as recommended and it stays on the hair for the length of time required.

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Check the product to see if re-treatment is recommended.

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Do NOT treat the infested person more than 3 times with the same medication. If it does not seem to work, see your health care provider.

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Do NOT use other products on the hair such as cream rinses, conditioner, etc. before the lice treatment. Do not re-wash the hair for 1-2 days after treatment or use other products on the hair (gel, conditioner). These products may make the lice shampoo less effective.

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The most effective control measure is the thorough removal of nits and lice by hand or with a comb regardless of which product is used for treatment. This can be best accomplished by using a metal nit comb. Although time consuming, combing must be conducted EVERY day until ALL lice and nits are removed. Many brands of combs are available; one model with long teeth available from the National Pediculosis Association (800-446-4672) has been reported to be easier to use than other combs, but costs about $15. Less expensive, but effective devices may be found in pharmacies. A pet flea comb also works well.

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Check the heads of affected persons for 2-3 weeks after treatment to be sure all the lice and nits are gone.

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Machine wash all washable clothing and bed linens that the infested person touched during the 2 days before treatment. Use the hot water and hot dry cycle.

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Store any items that cannot be washed in a sealed plastic bag for 2 weeks (such as pillows, stuffed animals, comforters, hats, etc.)

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Soak combs and brushes for 1 hour in rubbing alcohol or wash with soap and hot water.

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Check the other members of the household for lice and nits every 2-3 days.

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Thoroughly vacuum carpeting and upholstered furniture.

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Fumigation, sprays and pest control "bombs" are NOT recommended.

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Discuss the lice problem with your child's school or daycare. Other children in the same classroom or group should be checked for lice.

Note: Use of a product name is for identification purposes only and does not constitute endorsement.

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