Treatment should only be applied when live lice are found on the head. If more than one person in your family has been infested, treatment should be applied at the same time to break the cycle.
There are two methods of treatment:
1. Conditioner and combing technique (non-insecticidal treatment)
- No chemical treatment kills all the eggs.
- A second treatment should be applied 7-10 days after the initial treatment to kill the young lice that have hatched from the eggs remaining from the first treatment.
- Do not apply the treatment more than once per week as more frequent applications could lead to scalp problems and have little or no effect.
Nits are the most difficult to kill. The most effective way to remove eggs is to actually pull them off the hair using your fingernails.
There is no need to use pesticides around your home, as lice cannot survive more than a day or two away from the scalp. The following recommendations will help to prevent reinfestation:
- Regularly check the child's scalp for signs of lice.
- Teach your child to avoid head-to-head contact during play and other activities.
Resource No: FS332. Developed by General Paediatrics Division, Children's Health Queensland. Updated: February 2019. All information contained in this sheet has been supplied by qualified professionals as a guideline for care only. Seek medical advice, as appropriate, for concerns regarding your child's health.
For more information and assistance in managing head lice, families can contact their local public health nurses, child health clinics, pharmacists and family doctors.