How are head lice treated?
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Lice are treatable. Treatment will include applying a medicated cream rinse or shampoo to your child’s hair. Many head lice medicines are available over the counter. Your child’s healthcare provider may prescribe a medicine if the OTC medicines did not work for your child.
Talk with your healthcare provider about which rinse or shampoo would be best for your child. Do not use two forms of treatment at the same time. If one treatment does not work, use a different treatment or call your healthcare provider for advice.
In addition to the medicated cream rinse or shampoo, treatment may also include:
- Removing nits from wet hair with a fine-tooth comb.
- Soaking combs and brushes in hot water with the shampoo for at least 15 minutes.
- Checking all other household members closely to see if anyone else needs to be treated.
- Washing all bedding and clothing in hot water (130°F or 54°C), or sealing items that cannot be washed in a plastic bag for 2 weeks.
Children can return to school or daycare the day after their first treatment for head lice.