Head lice and nits
Head lice and nits are common among children and their families. They have nothing to do with dirty hair and pass-through head-to-head contact.
Head lice and nits symptoms
When you have head lice, it can make your head feel:
- Like something is moving around in your hair
The only possible way to find whether someone has head lice is by finding live lice in hair. You can identify lice by combing your hair with a special detection comb (fine-toothed comb) that you can buy at pharmacies or online.
Ways to get rid of head lice
There are possible ways to get rid of head lice without the doctor’s help, but make sure you treat them as soon as you spot them. Also, check everyone in the house and treat them on the same day.
Wet combing is the first method to try if you have head lice and nits. You can use a special fine-toothed comb that usually comes with the following instructions:
- Wash hair with shampoo
- Apply conditioner
- Comb the entire head, from the roots to end
Do wet combing on days 1, 5, 9, and 13 to catch any new head lice.
Head lice and nits treatments
If you have head lice after 17 days of self-treatments, consult a pharmacist for advice. They might recommend sprays or lotions that help kill head lice in all hair types. Head dice will die within a day with the recommended spray or lotion; some might come with a comb to remove dead eggs and lice.
If sprays and lotions don’t work, consult to doctor or pharmacist about other possible treatments. Some are unlikely to work, for example:
- Products that contain permethrin
- Head lice ” repellents”
- Electric combs
- Tree and plant oil treatments like tea tree oil, lavender oil, or eucalyptus oil
There is no possible way to prevent head lice.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022