Lice are back in the news, and—with children back in school—are soon to be back in your office. While pediatricians generally view lice as a nuisance with no true medical consequences, families see lice as a time-consuming, worrisome health issue. One of the bigger concerns for parents is that if their child is diagnosed with lice, they will have to stay home from school or daycare.
Here are three important facts to keep in mind when discussing head lice with parents.
Lice remain treatable.
The quickest, most efficient way to treat lice is to use one of the two ovicidal prescription creams, malathion or spinosad. In our practice we consider this pretty much a “one and done,” and sometimes a “two and done” (meaning the parent might have to repeat the cream treatment a week later).
Although it was initially considered ovicidal, recent studies have suggested that ivermectin is not completely so, in that it doesn’t kill the unhatched eggs (nits) but seems to kill the newly hatched nymphs. This may require a second treatment if live lice are seen a week after treatment.
Parents may bring up recent news suggesting that over the counter lice treatment products are no longer effective. Keep in mind that the study behind that news was funded by a manufacturer of prescription lice treatment products. …Read More