The first step in getting rid of head lice is to wash all of your clothing in hot water with detergent. This will kill the lice and prevent them from spreading. You should also treat any bedding or clothing you may have shared with someone who has lice. If your child has been in contact with an infected person, they should not wear the same clothes or use the same hair accessories. In some cases, schools will not let infected children attend classes.
A variety of over-the-counter treatments for head lice are available. Some of them are made of natural ingredients or may contain essential oils. However, these treatments do not kill the nits. Instead, they may cause an allergic reaction in some people. It is also important to consult with a physician before using these home treatments.
Topical pediculicides are another treatment option. These are available in the form of lotions or shampoos. They work by interfering with the lice’s ability to manage water. While these treatments are effective, it is important to follow directions carefully. If you have been using one of these products for three days and still have nits, it is time to consult your physician.
After the first treatment, you may need to repeat the process to kill any newly hatched lice. However, this second treatment is usually needed seven to 10 days after the first one. The reason for this is that lice often lay new eggs after the first treatment. Your pharmacist will be able to give you the specific time frame you need for the second treatment. During the second treatment, you should wash all washable items in hot water and dry them in a hot dryer.