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:
incorrect identification (not lice)
incomplete combing out or removal of the nits (eggs)
not realizing it may take 8-12 hours for the lice to die
lice re-infestation, or
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:
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.
Make sure you are using the treatment as recommended and it stays on the hair for the length of time required.
Check the product to see if re-treatment is recommended.
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.
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.
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.
Check the heads of affected persons for 2-3 weeks after treatment to be sure all the lice and nits are gone.
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.
Store any items that cannot be washed in a sealed plastic bag for 2 weeks (such as pillows, stuffed animals, comforters, hats, etc.)
Soak combs and brushes for 1 hour in rubbing alcohol or wash with soap and hot water.
Check the other members of the household for lice and nits every 2-3 days.
Thoroughly vacuum carpeting and upholstered furniture.
Fumigation, sprays and pest control "bombs" are NOT recommended.
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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