You can buy
over-the-counter shampoos and lotions to kill
lice and their eggs (nits). These medicines work well
and are the most common way to treat lice. Examples of these products
creme rinse (such as Nix).
Pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide hair products (such as A-200, Pronto, or Rid).
Check the product label. Be sure to follow the directions about proper use and safety. And talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether these products are safe for young children.
Even though some products are designed to help loosen the
nits so that they can be removed from the hair, these products may or may not
Itching may continue for 7 to 10 days after successful
treatment for lice. Do not reapply the medicated shampoo or lotion during this
time. You may want to try an over-the-counter cortisone cream to relieve the
itching. Hydrocortisone cream should not be used for longer than 7 days without
talking with your doctor.
Note: Do not use the cream on
children younger than age 2 unless your doctor tells you to. Do not use in the
rectal or vaginal area of children younger than age 12 unless your doctor tells
Your doctor may advise you to reapply the lice treatment
in about a week to ensure that all the lice, their eggs, and any newly hatched
lice are also killed.
These shampoos and lotions contain
potentially toxic chemicals. They are very safe when used as directed, but they
can be harmful if used improperly or used too often.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.