Head Lice

Lice Facts & Tips:

  • Anyone with clean or dirty hair can get head lice. It can be hard work to get rid of them. Head-to-head contact is the most common way lice are spread.
  • Lice don’t jump or fly, but they are fast crawlers. Pets do not carry human lice. An itchy scalp is the most common symptom of having head lice and may continue for awhile after treatment.
  • The lice treatment will kill most of the lice, but you must physically remove the nits by combing or picking them out. Don’t panic or re-treat if you see live lice after treatment. Remove any lice your find.
  • Lice need human blood to live. They’ll die within 48 hours, if they can’t get it. It take the eggs about 7 days to hatch.
  • When using Nix, do not put any type of cream rinse, hair spray, mousses, gels, or chlorinated pool water on treated hair for one week.
  • The use of mayonnaise, kerosene, Vaseline, vinegar, or other treatments are not proven to work. Shaving the head is not necessary. If you do not want to use an over-the-counter product, just comb out the nits.

EXAMINE: Check for the lice and louse eggs, called nits, on all household members’ heads. Separate the hair strands carefully. Nits are small, white to chocolate brown oval shaped eggs that are glued to the hair near the scalp. Nits are more easily seen than live lice. First look at the base of the hair around the ears and across the back of the neck. Then carefully check the rest of the head. Treat only those members who have head lice.

TREAT: Lice treatment products are available over-the-counter at drug and grocery stores or from some medical clinics. These products will not kill all of the lice and only some nits, but is a tool to get the process started. Follow the directions carefully on the lice treatment’s written instructions or by those of your doctor. One product is applied to wet hair, while others are applied to dry hair. (Using more treatment, reapplying sooner than recommended, or keeping it on the hair longer than directed will not make it work better or faster and can increase the risk of toxic side effects.)

COMB: After treatment, comb the hair with an effective, metal lice removal comb to remove the nits. Try to get every nit and any live lice that you find.

Combing the hair in the opposite direction of normal brushing will help you find more eggs. Nit picking can also be done by hand, using your fingernails or tweezers. Get rid of eggs in the sink, toilet, or garbage. Vacuum around the area where you were combing out eggs. Both people should change their clothes. Continue checking for lice and eggs for two weeks using the nit comb daily, until you no long find any more lice or eggs. This process takes the most time, energy, and patience. Combing is the most important step!

REPEAT: Most products require a second treatment 7-10 days after the first. Follow the directions just as you did for the first treatment. Afterwards, remove any eggs or lice that you might find. Continue to check the heads of household members daily until one week after the second treatment or one week after the last egg or louse is removed.

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