Tag Archives: Head lice

Problems with head lice?

Attending school frequently means children bringing home unwelcome visitors – head lice. Primary school children are particularly prone to infection.

Head lice are passed from head to head through physical contact. They lurk mainly near the scalp for food and warmth and attach their eggs to the shaft of the hair.

Yuck! Thankfully there are plenty of good treatment options.

The lice are whitish to grey-brown in colour, and smaller than the size of a pinhead when first hatched. When fully grown they’re about the size of a sesame seed.

Combing wet, conditioned hair with a lice comb is a reliable detection method even when very few lice are present. Thoroughly wet lice stay still, whereas dry or damp lice move quickly away from disturbance, so evading detection.

Head lice can usually be effectively treated with lotions or sprays designed to kill head lice, or by wet combing using a specially designed head lice comb. Don’t forget that if using a lotion at least two applications will be needed 10-12 days apart, as the lotions don’t always kill louse eggs.

The pharmacy can provide plenty of advice and treatment options to get rid of head lice, so speak to our pharmacist if you need help.


Head lice don’t take summer off

Head lice can be awkward to treat due to the time-consuming and precise nature of treatment and high re-infestation rate.

Head lice

The insecticide products that were used to treat lice infestations have largely replaced with silicone and oil-based preparations which have a physical rather than a chemical action.

After a head lice infestation has been confirmed you can treat the lice at home by wet combing the hair with a head lice comb or by using a lotion or spray that’s designed to kill head lice.

However, neither will protect against re-infestation if head-to-head contact is made with someone with head lice during the treatment period.

You can get a fine toothed comb suitable for wet combing from your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist will also be able to recommend an over-the-counter lotion or spray and advise you about how to use it correctly if this is your preferred option.