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Head Lice : Diagnosis and treatment

Head Lice - Dr Gauri Patil Raipur

For Diagnosing head lice at home

You will need 2 common items:

  • Bright light.

  • Fine-tooth comb or lice comb.

What to do : You can find head lice by following these 2 steps:

  1. Wet the hair as it prevents the lice from scurrying away.

  2. Separate hair into sections. Beginning at the scalp, slowly comb outward through the hair section by section.

What to look for : adult lice and their eggs (called nits).

You’re more likely to see nits than adults because nits are firmly attached to the hair and do not move.

As you comb through the hair, look closely at the hair behind the ears and around the nape of the neck. These are likely places to find lice and nits.

  • Eggs : These are yellow, brown, or tan objects that look like tiny seeds and appear to be attached to individual hairs close to the scalp.

  • Adult lice : These look like one or more light-brown objects that resemble sesame seeds, often moving quickly. You can find these on the scalp or the hair

Dermatologists offer the following tips :


  • Carefully read and follow the directions (such as lathering a shampoo into the hair and leaving the shampoo on for a few minutes before rinsing).

  • Rinse the shampoo lather under running water from a sink. These products are not meant for use while taking a shower or bath.

  • Use the amount stated on the product.

  • Use the lice comb with closer teeth to remove the lice and their nits.

  • Look at the hair 12 hours after treatment. If the lice seem as active, the medicine may not be working. A different lice medicine may be necessary.


If the medicine seems to be working :

  • Wait 2 days to wash your hair. This lets the medicated product continue to work.

  • Continue to comb through the hair with the lice comb once a day. Doing this for 2 to 3 weeks helps to ensure that you get rid of the lice.

7 to 9 days after the first treatment :

  • Retreat as recommended on the package. The lice shampoos often are more successful at killing the adult lice than the nits, so retreatment helps to kill any surviving lice that hatched after the first treatment.

  • After applying the second treatment, comb through the hair with the lice comb.

  • Wait 2 days to wash the hair.

  • Continue to comb through the hair with the lice comb once a day. Do this for 2 weeks, checking for lice and nits.

Treat family and friends : It is very common for close family and friends to get head lice. Hence check everyone for head lice everyone every day for 10 to 15 days.

Treat your home for head lice

To avoid lice infestation, you should clean the following items:

Brushes and combs

  • Soak combs and brushes in hot water, 130 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter, for 10 minutes.

Sheets, pillowcases, clothes, blankets, and towels

  • Place all items that touched the person’s head in a washing machine and wash in hot water.

  • Dry all machine-washed items in a hot dryer for at least 10 minutes.

Other personal items

Hair accessories, helmets, headphones, and other personal items can become infested with head lice. You can kill the lice on these objects by:

  • Sealing the objects in plastic bags.

  • Placing the plastic bags in the freezer overnight or keeping the bags sealed for 2 weeks.

If the at-home treatment does not work, you can contact at Dr Gauri’s Skin & Hair Clinic.

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