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How to Get Rid of Lice for Good

How to Get Rid of Lice for Good

Head lice and body lice are parasites that can live in human hair or on human skin. Lice aren’t as much of a risk to your pets as they are to your human household members, so if a member of your household has lice, you need to act fast because lice spread easily from person to person.

That said, if you spot lice on your kid’s head or in a common family area, you don’t need to panic. At Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care (MIMPC) of Duarte, California, our urgent care specialists are here to help. Led by Dr. Ulin Sargeant and Dr. Razmik Thomassian, our team can help you get a lice outbreak under control. Here’s what you need to know to get rid of lice.

Medical treatment for head lice and body lice

You have both prescription and nonprescription options for treating a head or body lice infestation. At MIMPC, we can help you understand the right options for you and your family. This may depend on the age of the people affected as well as the severity of the lice outbreak. 

Check all of the people in your household for lice and seek treatment as needed.

Nonprescription lotions and shampoos that contain the active ingredients permethrin or ivermectin can work as a gentle option to kill lice. These treatments often need to be repeated and are best used with a doctor’s supervision and support.

Techniques like wet combing — conditioning hair and going through all hair from root to tip with a fine-toothed comb every couple of days for at least two weeks — can also remove lice and may be the best choice for very young children and babies.

For more severe lice outbreaks, you may need stronger prescription medications or prescription shampoos. The team at MIMPC can prescribe the medications you need to get rid of both head lice and body lice and talk to you about the right ways to administer these treatments.

Getting rid of lice in your home

In addition to clearing lice from affected people in your household, you also need to take steps to eradicate lice from your home environment. Nits can live in clothing, bedding, and soft toys, hatching later to create a whole new wave of lice outbreaks in your family. You need to get all lice, nits, and eggs the first time in order to avoid further problems down the road.

Wash anything that you can in hot water. Bedding, clothing, hats, and stuffed animals should be washed with soap and water as hot as at least 130 degrees F, then dried with high heat for no less than 20 minutes. Use an airtight bag to seal off things that can’t be washed — keep them bagged for at least two weeks to allow all lice and nits to die.

Vacuum frequently while lice are around. Wash combs and hairbrushes frequently in hot, soapy water. You can also soak combs and brushes in rubbing alcohol for an hour to clean them. 

Don’t share hairbrushes until the lice problem is resolved. While you have an ongoing lice issue at home, keep your children home from school to avoid spreading the parasites.

With the help of Dr. Sargeant and Dr. Thomassian, you can deal with lice and get rid of these parasites for good. Use our virtual office to schedule your appointment at Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care now.

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