Effective treatment of head lice is best accomplished with a step-by-step approach.
Knowing and understanding the steps to effective head lice treatment is the first step to eliminating the problem. So whether you’ve decided the over-the-counter approach to getting rid of lice first as opposed to the prescription medication approach. You need to understand some fundamentals.
Steps to head lice prevention and head lice treatment:
- Always remove or discard any clothing that has become infected or could become wet during any treatments.
- Now it’s time to begin the process of applying the pediculicide otherwise know as the lice medication. Always follow and do not deviate from the directions on the box.
- Individuals with long hair could require the usage of another bottle. It’s important to follow exactly how long the medication should be left on the scalp and hair and the exact rinsing instructions.
- Shampoos or conditioners should not be utilized before applying the lice medication. Hair should
not be washed and conditioned for one to two days following head lice treatment.
- Clean clothing needs to be put on immediately following head lice treatment.
- Lice should start to die immediately. If some lice are moving slowly within an 8-12 hour period following application of medication, do not apply again. It could take longer to fully eradicate lice.
- Employ a nit comb that is “fine toothed” to comb dead and live lice from scalp and hair.
- Following 12 hours, if a significant number of lice are still alive, the medication is probably not working. Contact your family physician immediately because another pediculicide is most likely required.
- If a nit comb does not accompany your medication, a flea comb that is commonly used for cats and dogs have been most effective.
- It’s recommended that you check for lice and comb with a nit comb every two to three days to make sure another infestation does not occur.
- Continue checking scalp and hair for up to three weeks to be sure all lice and eggs are gone.
- Re-treatment generally is recommended for most prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs on day 9 in order to kill any surviving hatched lice before they produce new eggs.
- However, if using the prescription drug malathion, which is ovicidal, re-treatment is recommended after 7-9 days ONLY if crawling bugs are found.