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How to get rid of recurring head lice?

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Pediatrician, Neonatology
Practicing since : 1970
Answered : 891 Questions
My granddaughter seems to keep getting head lice or so everyone else mother says, however no one else in our house does. One mother is a nurse and she states it is head lice. My question is there anything to do if someone keeps getting head lice after numerous treatments? Why would no one else in the house get them even if we sleep in the same bed with her, is there anything that can be done to prevent her from getting in the future
Fri, 1 Feb 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 2 hours later
Recurrent lice infestation comes from.

1- incomplete treatment.
The nits still remaining in the scalp.

2 use of contaminated comb,hair brush.

3 nails should be cut short,to prevent nits getting under the nails from scratching.

4- keep the hair short if possible- it helps in keeping the hair and scalp clean.

5- pillow covers and sheets which she uses to be cleaned thoroughly in hot water.

6 school going kids get this infestation frequently from friends.

Dr Uma

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How to get rid of recurring head lice? 8 minutes later
But is it common for no one else in the house to get lice? Is there any prescription for someone who has it continously?
Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 3 hours later
Yes , you are correct! In at least 50% of cases one more family member will be affected( unless extreme precautions are taken).

I hope lice and nits have been seen on the scalp and confirmed.
This is not difficult to see and confirm.( because you mentioned you are not sure of lice!)

The shampoo containing permethrin or pyrethrins should be used as instructed in the bottle properly. Some require retreatment in 7-10 days.

After that slightly wet hair should be combed well to remove nits
Nit combs can be used and sometimes manual picking is necessary.
Nits if left can hatch and cause reinfestation.

here are some herbal preparations but effect not tested properly.

3 The clothes used should be washed in hot water at 125 degree f
for 10 mints and combs should be soaked in a pan of very hot water for 10 mints at least.

One has to do be very patient o follow all these precautions and it is time consuming !

Good luck
Dr Uma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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