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Overview

Head Lice: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Hair lice are the tiny insects that are present in the human scalp and feed on blood. The condition may be due to poor hygiene or unclean living conditions but it mostly spreads from person to person by direct contact. Lice are most often seen in children who catch them during play or any other kind of close contact with others carrying them. You will experience itching and redness in scalp. They are not really harmful but can be extremely annoying. Head lice can be treated by home remedies if detected in time. If home remedies do not work, there are some other medications available to get rid of them.

How is the treatment done?

The over counter medications prescribed by doctor will kill the lice but not the eggs. Therefore, you will have to use the medicine for some time to see good results. The chrysanthemum flower is toxic to lice. Pyrethrin, a chemical compound extracted from the flower is used as base to make these medicines. You have to use these medications as instructed by your doctor. If these over the counter medications fail, your doctor may prescribe benzyl alcohol, malathion or lindane. Benzyl alcohol kills the lice by depriving them of oxygen. Malathion is a medicated shampoo that should be applied and left to dry naturally. It should be rinsed only after 8-12 hours. Lindane is used only in extreme conditions when other treatments have failed. Benzyl alcohol, malathion or lindane should be used only at the instruction of a doctor and not by yourself as they can have severe side effects including seizures.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

If you have head lice and cannot get rid of them by home remedies, you may consult a doctor and take the required medicines.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If your head lice condition has just started, you may not need to go for complicated treatments.

Are there any side effects?

Benzyl alcohol, malathion and lindane are high in alcohol content. The use of these medications can cause itchiness or redness for some time. They should not be used in excess as they can even cause seizures.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

You must maintain your personal hygiene and keep your scalp clean with the use of a mild medicated shampoo for some time.

How long does it take to recover?

If the medications are taken properly, your condition may improve in about two to three weeks.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

One consultation with a doctor may cost ₹800 - ₹1500.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of the treatment are permanent if good hygienic conditions are maintained.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Try to comb your wet hair with a fine toothed comb after every 2-3 days for a few weeks. The use of tea tree oil, anise oil and ylang ylang oil is known to help head lice condition.

Safety: Very High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Low Relative Risk: Very Low Side Effects: Very Low Time For Recovery: Very Low Price Range:

Rs 800 - Rs 1,500

Popular Health Tips

Head Lice - How You can Treat Them?

Senior Residency, DNB - Dermatology Venereology & Leprosy , MD - Dermatology, MBBS
Dermatologist, Mumbai
Head Lice - How You can Treat Them?

‘Head lice’ are insects that feed on the blood of your scalp. This condition usually affects children and is moderately contagious. Contrary to popular belief, head lice does not occur due to poor personal hygiene.

The symptoms of head lice are:

1. Presence of lice on scalp: Lice are small insects that are usually hard to spot. But their infestation can be felt because you experience intense itching on the scalp.

2. Itching: There will be intense itching on the scalp and the neck. This itching occurs due to the saliva secretion by the lice that the skin is allergic to. Usually, the itching starts after 3 to 6 weeks of infestation.

3. Lice eggs: The lice eggs stick to the shafts of the hair. They are very hard to spot as they are small and well camouflaged.

What can be the reasons behind their infestation

This condition is contagious; apart from direct contact with the scalp of an infected person, this condition can also spread if you happen to share the below mentioned items with an infected person:

1. Brushes

2. Hats

3. Headphones

4. Towels

5. Pillows

6. Accessories for the hair

The treatments for hair lice are:

1. Over- the counter (OTC) products: OTC products are made from ‘pyrethrin’, a compound extracted from the ‘chrysanthemum’ flower. ‘Pyrethrin’ works as an insecticidal compound and it is advised to use these medications only after washing your hair with a shampoo. Vinegar may also be used to loosen the nits from the hair shafts.

2. Prescription medications: Certain medications can also be prescribed by the doctor, such as benzyl alcohol and lindane.

Certain home remedies for head lice include:

1. Essential oils: Apply oils such as Anise oil or tea tree on the scalp; these oils act as toxins for the lice.

2. Wet combing: This is a method wherein the wet hair is combed using a fine toothed comb to remove the nits and the lice. Repeat the procedure for 3-4 days every week. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist and ask a free question.

3840 people found this helpful

Lice - How To Get Rid Of It?

PG Dip Dermatology (London), Fellow Aesthetic Medicine (Germany) , D.M.C.H, MBBS
Dermatologist, Delhi
Lice - How To Get Rid Of It?

A head louse is an insect that lives on the human scalp and feeds on human blood. The female louse lays eggs in the head and makes sure the eggs are attached to the hair shaft. It takes around eight days for the egg to hatch. The louse takes another 11 days to mature into an adult louse.

The primary cause of head louse is poor personal hygiene. Other methods by which a person becomes infected by lice are-

1. Using combs and towels that are infested 
2. Coming in contact with another person who has this condition
3. Sharing the bed with a person who is affected by lice

Symptoms

When a person is affected by this condition then the following symptoms are seen,

1. Itching 
The saliva of the lice causes an allergic reaction in the scalp which leads to constant itching. It can occur in various places such as ears, scalp and the neck. It may not occur initially, but it tends to occur after a few weeks.

2. Small red bumps
Constant scratching can lead to red bumps on the skin. A bacterial infection usually occurs from constant itching. 

3. It may lead to symptoms of dandruff in the scalp.

4. Presence of various insects in the scalp.

Prevention of Lice-

Lice can be prevented by using medicated shampoos and conditioners to wash the hair. The shampoos are usually based on a chemical called pyrethrin. This compound is toxic for lice and helps in getting rid of it.

You can opt for the following lifestyle changes to prevent lice-

1. You should avoid sharing your hairbrush with others
2. In case you have long hair, tie it in buns or ponytails
3. Add tea tree oil to your shampoo before using it
4. Keep the scalp clean to prevent infestations
5. Avoid sharing pillows and clothes
 

4259 people found this helpful

Avoiding Head Lice!

MD - Acupuncture, Diploma In Accupuncture, Advanced Diploma In Accupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi
Avoiding Head Lice!

What is Head Lice?

Head lice are parasites that can be found on the heads of people. Head lice are tiny, wingless, parasitic insects that live and feed on blood from your scalp.

Symptoms of Head Lice-

  • Intense itching
  • Adult lice on scalp
  • Lice eggs (nits) on hair shafts

Causes of Head Lice-

  • Head-to-head contact
  • Sharing personal items like comb, caps, hats
  • Contaminated Towels, Clothing, Blankets and Pillows

Risk factors of Head Lice-

Contact with someone who already has lice


Complications of Head Lice-

It may cause you to scratch your head so vigorously that you break the skin.

Diagnosis of Head Lice-

Use disposable gloves and look at the person’s head under a bright light. Part the hair all the way down to the scalp in very small sections, looking both for moving lice and eggs (nits). Look at the entire head this way. Look closely around the top of the neck and ears, the most common locations for eggs.

Precautions & Prevention of Head Lice-

It’s difficult to prevent the spread of head lice among children in child care and in school. You can ask your child not to share hats, scarves, coats, combs, brushes, hair decorations and other personal belongings at school.

Treatment of Head Lice

  • Homeopathic Treatment of Head Lice
  • Acupuncture & Acupressure Treatment of Head Lice
  • Psychotherapy Treatment of Head Lice
  • Conventional / Allopathic Treatment of Head Lice
  • Surgical Treatment of Head Lice
  • Dietary & Herbal Treatment of Head Lice
  • Other Treatment of Head Lice

Homeopathic Treatment of Head Lice-

Homeopathy eliminates body’s proneness of letting lice become parasitic. It removes lice and prevent recurrence.It treats the person as a whole. Treatment is constitutional. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. It balances the energy system, improves immunity and body functions. It naturally cures the root cause of disorder. Some of the homeopathic medicines for treatment of head lice are:

  • Carb ac
  • Lyco
  • Merc
  • Staph
  • Vinca

Conventional / Allopathic Treatment of Head Lice-

Allopathic treatment is available in the form of cream, lotion and shampoo. Malathion, Lindane and Benzyl alcohol lotion are prescribed under allopathic treatment. Malathion is intended for use in adults and children age 6 or older. Below six years, a fine-toothed or nit comb can physically remove the lice from wet hair.

Other Treatment of Head Lice-

Head lice treatment with vinegar is probably one of the most popular of all lice treatments.

Causes, Symptoms And Prevention Of Lice

MD - Dermatology, MBBS, Fellowship In Dermatosurgery
Dermatologist, Delhi
Causes, Symptoms And Prevention Of Lice

A head louse is an insect that lives on the human scalp and feeds on human blood. The female louse lays eggs in the head and makes sure the eggs are attached to the hair shaft. It takes around eight days for the egg to hatch. The louse takes another 11 days to mature into an adult louse.

The primary cause of head louse is poor personal hygiene.

Other methods by which a person becomes infected by lice are -

1. Using combs and towels that are infested 
2. Coming in contact with another person who has this condition
3. Sharing the bed with a person who is affected by lice

Symptoms - 

When a person is affected by this condition then the following symptoms are seen :

1. Itching 

The saliva of the lice causes an allergic reaction in the scalp which leads to constant itching. It can occur in various places such as ears, scalp and the neck. It may not occur initially, but it tends to occur after a few weeks.

2. Small red bumps

Constant scratching can lead to red bumps on the skin. A bacterial infection usually occurs from constant itching. 

3. It may lead to symptoms of dandruff in the scalp.

4. Presence of various insects in the scalp.

Prevention of Lice -

Lice can be prevented by using medicated shampoos and conditioners to wash the hair. The shampoos are usually based on a chemical called permathrin. This compound is toxic for lice and helps in getting rid of it.
You can opt for the following lifestyle changes to prevent lice -

1. You should avoid sharing your hairbrush with others
2. In case you have long hair, tie it in buns or ponytails
3. Add tea tree oil to your shampoo before using it
4. Keep the scalp clean to prevent infestations
5. Avoid sharing pillows and clothes

3687 people found this helpful

3 Symptoms Of Head Lice And Its Treatment!

MBBS, Diploma in Venerology & Dermatology (DVD)
Dermatologist, Delhi
3 Symptoms Of Head Lice And Its Treatment!

‘Head lice’ are insects that feed on the blood of your scalp. This condition usually affects children and is moderately contagious. Contrary to popular belief, head lice does not occur due to poor personal hygiene.

The symptoms of head lice are:

1. Presence of lice on scalp: Lice are small insects that are usually hard to spot. But their infestation can be felt because you experience intense itching on the scalp.

2. Itching: There will be intense itching on the scalp and the neck. This itching occurs due to the saliva secretion by the lice that the skin is allergic to. Usually, the itching starts after 3 to 6 weeks of infestation.

3. Lice eggs: The lice eggs stick to the shafts of the hair. They are very hard to spot as they are small and well camouflaged.

What can be the reasons behind their infestation

This condition is contagious; apart from direct contact with the scalp of an infected person, this condition can also spread if you happen to share the below mentioned items with an infected person:

1. Brushes

2. Hats

3. Headphones

4. Towels

5. Pillows

6. Accessories for the hair

The treatments for hair lice are:

1. Over- the counter (OTC) products: OTC products are made from ‘pyrethrin’, a compound extracted from the ‘chrysanthemum’ flower. ‘Pyrethrin’ works as an insecticidal compound and it is advised to use these medications only after washing your hair with a shampoo. Vinegar may also be used to loosen the nits from the hair shafts.

2. Prescription medications: Certain medications can also be prescribed by the doctor, such as benzyl alcohol and lindane.

Certain home remedies for head lice include:

1. Essential oils: Apply oils such as Anise oil or tea tree on the scalp; these oils act as toxins for the lice.

2. Wet combing: This is a method wherein the wet hair is combed using a fine toothed comb to remove the nits and the lice. Repeat the procedure for 3-4 days every week.

4812 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi sir, I have a beautiful hair but it is infected by lice can you say some causes symptoms precautions and treatment. Please suggest me something.

MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Cuttack
Apply permethrin 5% lotion (1: 4 dilution) over scalp and leave for 2-3 hrs and wash with normal shampoo and comb properly to take out lice.
2 people found this helpful

I have a lot of nits in my hairs. It is because of contact with person who has lice in her head. These cause a lot of itching in my head. I have tried some home remedies like vaseline and listerine but it did not worked and also used lice removal shampoo. Please tell me how can I get rid of nits from my hairs.

MBBS, Diploma in Venerology & Dermatology (DVD)
Dermatologist, Thane
Try using vinegar on the nits. They might dissolve. If you have lice then you might require anti line preparation like Perlice lotion once a week for 2 weeks.

Im having heavy head lice and on repeated combing ,its not being relieved and it is leading to severe hair fall can you please suggest me a shampoo or a cream.

Dermatology Backed Expert Skin & Hair Care Solution
Dermatologist, Kolkata
Dear Lybrate user Apply 1% Perlice lotion on a wet scalp for 30 mins and then wash off with water.. use a nit comb after this.. repeat after 10 days
8 people found this helpful

Please give a complete solution for lice. I take out with lice comb. What to do with eggs and nits. I am working and very busy schedule and nobody to sit and clean nits. Please give some medicinal applicant for complete removal.

MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy, Diploma In Dermatology And Venerology And Leprosy (DDVL), MBBS
Dermatologist, Bangalore
you apply IVREA shampoo(Ajanta Pharma) for 10 minutes on scalp then wash with water.Single application.If required,repeat after 2 week. you take out eggs and nits with lice comb.

My scalp is itchy, I have head lice, split ends and thin plus rough hair. Please suggest me something so that I get a clean scalp with no lice and smooth hairs. Thank you!

MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Bangalore
Hi lybrate-user, Firstly your scalp should be treated with medication to kill the lice and nits (eggs). Post that to maintain good quality hair you need to use appropriate shampoos.
2 people found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Head And Neck Cancer
Causes and symptoms of Head and Neck Cancer

My name is Dr. Manish Julaha and I practice Head & Neck Oncosurgery. Today I'll tell you some facts about Head and Neck cancer how to predict them early. So in India approxiately 1.2 million cancer patients are detected every year, and out of this one thirds of the number occur in head and neck, mainly oral cavity and throat. And this is a very big number if you compare with rest of the countries because head and neck cancer they account for less than 10% in western countries and less than 4% in U.S. So what is the cause of such high number of head and neck cancers in India. It is mainly the use of tobacco and another sad fact about head and neck cancer in India is that majority of the patients, you can say more than 65% are present in stage 3 or stage 4. And we say cancer is curable if it is detected early and when patients presents to us in such late stages it effects all the paramaeters like overall survival, treatment outcome, side effects, functional outcome, quality of life everything is affected. And when patients come in early stage, the treatment is less invasive with less side effects and the functional outcome is very good and the chances of recurrence is very less.

So what can we do to detect head and neck cancer at the earliest. We can do this if we've the knowledge of the signs and symptoms which hint towards the head and neck cancer and by doing self examination. So what are the early signs and symptoms. They're mainly any ulcer in the oral cavity which dosen't heal in three weaks or any lump in the lung or oral cavity, any red or white patches in the oral cavity, or there maybe unexplained earache or nasal blockage, mainly on one side, specially with blood stained mucous discharge, ill fitting of denture because of any swelling in the gums. So, these are the early signs and symptoms. If we find any such thing we should take expert opinion. And by doing self examination we can detect head and neck cancer at the earliest. I would say all those people who're at a high risk of getting head and neck cancer they should do the self examination at least once a month. So who're the people who're at high risk of getting head and neck cancer. Most importantly those who use tobacco in any form, then elderly people above the age of 45 and people who have exposure to ionizing radiation in past, and people who have had head and neck cancer in the past they're at high risk of getting a second cancer so they should also be very careful.

Now, how to do this self examination. It is very simple, to do this you've to stand in front of the mirror and you've to feel both the lips, upper lips and lower lips, using your thumb and index finger feel both the lips and by pulling them outward you've to see the inner lining of the upper lip and lower lip and also you have to look at the upper gums and lower gums. And using your thumb and index finger pull your cheek and look at the inner lining of your cheek on both sides and look for any ulcer or lump or any red or white patches. Now just open your mouth and say "aaa" and while saying "aaa" just look at the throat and also at the roof of the mouth. Then by touching your tongue on the back of upper teeth have a look at the under surface of the tongue and the floor of mouth. Then pull your tongue outward and look at it's upper surface, by moving the sideways look at the sides also. Again look for any ulcer or lumps or any red or white patches and you have to examine your neck also. Just by standing straight palpate below the jaw bone and above the collar bones, and by moving the head backwards look for any asymmetry of the neck, if there is any fullness on one side as compared to the other side, there maybe some lump. If you find any such thing just take expert opinion.

Thank you very much for watching this video and contacting through Lybrate . Thank You.
Play video
Psoriasis

Hi, I am Dr Rohot Goel and I am an Ayurvedic Dermatologist. I have treated so many cases of Psoriasis leucoderma, chronic eczema, successfully in Ayurveda. Here we are discussing Psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a non contagious skin disorder. causes due to uncontrolled growth of the cells. Here, we can see some symptoms such as;

Red patches
Silver scaling
Itching
Some burning sensation
Puffiness
Some common sights are elbow, knee, back
The reason behind Psoriasis is;

Excessive stress
Excessive smoking
Excessive alcohol intake
We can treat Psoriasis in Ayurveda with lice therapy only. This therapy plays an important role in the treatment of Psoriasis.

Purification of blood is a basic aim of ayurvedic treatment for Psoriasis. Here we are using so many herbs in the purification of blood and treats Psoriasis successfully.

So, in Ayur Skin Clinic, we are also using the latest technology like a laser, phototherapy etc.

If you want to consult me for Psoriasis or any other disease, you can consult me through Lybrate.
Play video
Neck Pain
Causes and Symptoms of Neck Pain

Hi guys! I'm here to talk about neck pain today. Let me introduce myself. I'm Dr. Virmani.

I'm a Physio. I've been practicing for the last 20yrs. Many of our patients, when they come to us, quite often they complain about this Cervical Headache, or the pain originating from the head, from behind the neck and coming to the center of the head or coming to the sides of the head or sometimes they complain about burning sensation in the eyes.

You know what goes wrong? This is because of our sedentary lifestyle and the posture in which we are most of the times, that is, keeping the head bent, while on a laptop, on the mobile or on the tabloid we are keeping the neck in a bent position which leads to overstraining of the muscles behind the neck radiating the pain to the heads.

Now, there is a simple solution to it, what you can try at home is you can try massaging the back of the head and the neck area, that is, the area where the hairline stops. It is the connection between the neck and the head. You can just massage it with two fingers, massage it on both the sides. You can do this for almost two to three minutes twice a day and it'll give you good results.

In case you have any queries or you want to reach me you can always call me or put an enquiry at Lybrate.com . Thank you.
Play video
Know More About Brain-Related Problem
Few common brain related problems include brain tumor, head injuries, cyst and infection and so on. Few simple precautions like avoiding spicy food can help control the same.
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Headache
A headache is a very common condition that causes pain and discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck.Primary causes of headaches are causes that aren t related to separate medical conditions. These headaches are the result of an underlying process in the brain.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice