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Head Lice: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

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?

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.

Popular Questions & Answers

My daughter is having nits and lice in her hair. I am worried. I have used medical shampoo nd perlice shampoo treatment also. But no effect. Kindly suggest.

Diploma In Dermatology
Dermatologist, Visakhapatnam
perlice should be applied before headbath for 30min to 1 hr and wash. weekly once for 2-3 weeks. all the family members should apply on same day. even if u do all this there will be new infestation from classmates

I have lice problem. I have used permethrin, ivrea,curd and pepper, applecidervinegar, neem oil but it is not getting cured. Please help.

MD, MBBS
Dermatologist, Chennai
don't worry.. Medicine available for good improvement......As the treatment varies depending on the severity... Send photos of the affected area, by direct online consultation for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

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.

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MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery,DNB - Dermatology & Venereology
Dermatology
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