Treatment of Headlice - Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara

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Treatment of Headlice


Treatment of Headlice

A combination of methods is likely to be most successful. But, of course, it is also advisable to seek your

doctor’s and/or pharmacist’s opinion before embarking on a course of treatment.

Dry combing

This method is for removal of headlice and eggs.

 Use a metal fine-toothed comb

 Fingernails can effectively remove eggs.

 Individual strands of hair can be cut to remove difficult eggs.

 Some combs will extract adult headlice only and leave the eggs; the closer together the teeth of

the comb are, the more successful combing will be.

Wet combingThis method, using any kind of hair conditioner, is for detection and removal of headlice and

eggs. It is recommended that this treatment be repeated on alternate days for three weeks. The idea is to

smother the headlice with conditioner, preventing them moving away, and to allow manual removal. Do

not use conditioner within a day of using a chemical treatment; it will make the chemical treatment


 Apply enough conditioner (much more than usual) on dry hair to thoroughly cover the whole

scalp and all the hair from the roots to the tips.

 Keep the conditioner in the hair. Conditioner stuns the insects for about 20 minutes.

 Comb the hair straight and get knots out with an ordinary comb.

 Use a fine-toothed comb to systematically comb the hair. Comb the full length of each hair.

 Wipe the comb with a clean tissue after each stroke of the comb.

 After thorough combing and inspection, wash the conditioner out.

Electric combs

Electric battery operated combs are available to be used on dry hair. These are claimed to stun or kill the

headlice so they let go of the hair and can be combed out. Clean the teeth after each stroke of the comb.

Electric combs should be used on alternate days for two or three weeks to break the breeding cycle.

People with epilepsy, heart disease or pacemakers should not use them.


Short hair is easier to comb, requires less time to treat and makes detection easier. It should not be

necessary to shave heads. Hairdressers may refuse to cut infested hair. If your child’s hair is long that you

he should tie it back or, better still, get it cut.


The use of any chemical in or on the body carries risk. So please read instructions carefully and seek

advice from your doctor or pharmacist.

 Apply the treatment strictly in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

 Treat those members of the household who appear to be hosting headlice. Do not treat babies

with chemicals.

 Do not wash the hair or use conditioners for at least 24 hours after treating. Treatments are

designed to coat the hair shaft and should be allowed to remain. Do not wash chemicals off.

 Do not use hairdryers on treated hair. The heat may break down the active chemical.

 Comb the hair carefully to remove as many dead or live headlice and eggs as possible.

 Repeat the treatment after seven to ten days.

 Check all members of the household daily for a period of three weeks.

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