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Treatment for Head Lice

If you are treating for lice please remember to follow the package directions exactly. Research based evidence provides us with this additional information.
  1. Apply the shampoo and leave on the hair exactly as directed on the medication.
  2. Rinse the hair over a sink rather than in the shower or bath to limit exposure.
  3. Use cool rather than hot water to minimize absorption of the medication through the skin.
  4. Retreat after 7 – 10 days when any remaining viable nits will have hatched and can be killed by the shampoo before they mature to reproduce and lay more eggs. Nits hatch, molt and emerge from the egg shell from 6 to 10 days after being laid. This is the nymph stage. Most shampoo treatments do not kill the newly laid eggs/nits. 20% to 30% of the nits remain viable after treatment. Retreating before 7 – 10 days is not advised and ineffective due to the life cycle of the nit and louse. Nymphs do not reach maturity and the ability to reproduce to lay more eggs until 9 – 16 days after hatching.
  5. Some products leave a residue on the hair that is designed to kill nymphs emerging from the 20% to 30% of eggs not killed with the first application.
  6. Shampooing or swimming for 1 – 2 days after a lice treatment are not recommended so that any residue or effects of the medicated shampoo are not compromised.
  7. DO NOT USE a creme rinse, combination shampoo/conditioner, or conditioner before using lice medicine. This interferes with the action of the medicated shampoo.
  8. Manual removal of the nits (especially the ones within 1cm. of the scalp) after using a lice medication is the most important measure to prevent further spread or reinfestation.
  9. It is true that some lice can be resistant to the medications. If treatment is unsuccessful after compliance with the full course of medication, consult your health care provider.
  10. Hot water (130 degrees F) washing and high heat drying will kill lice.
  11. Launder, place items in the dryer for 20 minutes or bag (for 2 weeks) any items that have contact with the head, “Rests upon the head or upon which the head rests”.
  12. The risk of getting infested by a louse that has fallen onto a rug, carpet or furniture is very small. Vacuuming can remove any hairs that might have nits.
  13. Head lice survive less than 1 -2 days if they fall off a person and cannot feed; nits cannot hatch and usually die within a week if they are not kept at the same temperature as that found close to the human scalp.
  14. Spending much time and money on housecleaning activities is not necessary to avoid reinfestation by lice or nits that may have fallen off the head or crawled onto furniture or clothing.
  15. Do not use fumigant sprays..they can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.