Treatment should be carried out only after live head lice have been found. Head lice can be difficult to treat due to a high re-infestation rate and their ability to develop resistance to traditional insecticides/pesticides contained in some medications. Treatment options include wet combing the hair using a head lice comb (tooth spacing of 0.2-0.3mm) or by using mousse, lotion or spray (see below). However, neither will protect against re-infestation if head-to-head contact is made with someone who has head lice during the treatment period.
The wet combing method involves removing the head lice by systematically combing the hair using a special fine-toothed comb. The comb’s teeth should be spaced 0.2-0.3mm apart. For wet combing to be effective, it needs to be regular and thorough. Follow the “detection combing” method and repeat the procedure on days 5, 9 and 13, so that you clear young lice as they hatch, before they have time to reach maturity.
MOUSSE, LOTION OR SPRAY
Follow instructions that come with the mousse, lotion or spray when applying it. Depending on the product you are using, the length of time it will need to be left on the head may vary, from 10 minutes to 8 hours. Also depending on the product, you may have to repeat the treatment after seven days.
If the lice appear unaffected by the product (some lice may develop resistance to particular insecticides/pesticides), or if the problem persists, seek advice from your school nurse, health visitor, pharmacist or GP.