Table of Contents
- Head lice facts
- What are head lice?
- How common is head lice infestation?
- Who is at risk for getting head lice?
- How in the world does a child get head lice?
- What do head lice look like?
- Where are head lice most commonly found?
- What are the signs and symptoms of head lice infestation?
- How is a head lice infestation diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a head lice infestation (pediculosis)?
- What is the treatment for a head lice infestation (pediculosis)? (Continued)
- My child has head lice. I don't. Should I treat myself to prevent being infested?
- Should my pets be treated for head lice?
- My child is under 2 years of age and has been diagnosed with head lice. Can I treat my child with prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs?
- What OTC medications are available to treat head lice?
- What prescription drugs treat head lice?
- Are any home remedies effective at getting rid of head lice?
- Which head lice medicine is best for me?
- What are the rules with head lice medicines?
- Is it possible to prevent head lice?
- Should household sprays be used to kill adult lice?
- Should I have a pest-control company spray my house to get rid of lice?
- What is the prognosis of a head lice infestation?
Quick GuideHead Lice Treatment, Symptoms and Pictures
What are head lice?
Head lice are parasites that can be found on the heads of people. Infection with head lice is called pediculosis. (The head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, is different from the lice that cause body and pubic-hair infections.)
How common is head lice infestation?
Head lice infestation is very common. It has been estimated that up to one in every 10 children in school acquires head lice at some time, and there are estimates that there are well over 6 million infestations per year in the United States alone. Lice have been around since the beginning of humanity. In fact, genetic testing has determined that the human head louse has been a distinct human parasitic organism for over 70,000 years.
Who is at risk for getting head lice?
Anyone who comes in close contact with someone who already has head lice, or even their contaminated clothing and other belongings, is at risk for acquiring head lice. So it is easy to transmit head lice from one person to another. Preschool and elementary-school children (3-10 years of age) and their families are infected most often. Girls contract head lice more often than boys, and women contract more head lice than men. Continue Reading
American Academy of Pediatrics. "Pediculosis Capitis (Head Lice)." Red Book, 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2009.
Chosidow, O. "Oral Ivermectin Versus Malathion Lotion for Difficult-to-Treat Head Lice." New England Journal of Medicine 362 Mar. 2010: 896-905.
Devore, C., and G. Schutze. American Academy of Pediatrics. "Head Lice. A Clinical Report: Guidance for the Clinician in Rendering Pediatric Care." Pediatrics 135.5 May 2015: e1355-1365.
Feldmeier, H. "Pediculosis Capitis: New Insights Into Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Treatment." Eur J Clin Microbiolo Infect Dis. Mar. 2012.
Frankowski, Barbara and Joseph A. Bocchini Jr. "Clinical Report: Head Lice, a Policy Update." Pediatrics 126.2 Aug. 2010: 392-403.
Gunning, K., K. Pippitt, B. Kiraly, and M. Sayler. "Pediculosis and scabies: treatment update." American Family Physician 86.6 Sept. 2012: 535-541.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Head Lice." Sept. 24, 2013. <http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/>.
2."Bugbuster" by Thanks for the polite permission of the Community Hygiene Concern, Joanna Ibarra
10."Male human head louse" by Gilles San Martin
21."Male human head louse" by Gilles San Martin
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