ZocdocAnswersHow do you cure head lice?

Question

How do you cure head lice?

I think that my daughter might have head lice. How do I cure it and make it go away? Do I just buy a shampoo from the store?

Answer

Head lice is something that we all fear getting for us and our children, but in reality it is a fairly easy problem to deal with. There are over the counter medications and shampoos that can be purchased at your local drug store. Deciding on which one can be difficult and having your doctor involved in the decision is always helpful. In addition, it is always nice to know if your daughter actually has head lice. While they are common, there are other possibilities that look like head lice. Unless you have actually seen the parasites, there is always the possibility that your daughters symptoms (itching scalp, etc) are caused by something else. A quick trip to the pediatrician's office can sort that out. I suggest that you schedule an appointment today. If her doctor does see the lice parasites or if the symptoms are consistent enough to try treatment, then her doctor will likely prescribe something or give you some direction on what to buy over the counter. One option is a permethrin cream or shampoo. This is a very effective treatment that only has to be done once in some cases. Be sure to follow the directions closely because using the shampoo exactly like your other shampoo will not work. Good luck.

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