The following information includes the
steps for treating a head lice infestation.
Step 1: Treat the infested
person/any infested family members
Requires using an OTC or prescription
medication. Follow these treatment steps:
Before applying treatment, remove all clothing from the waist up.
Apply lice medicine, also called pediculicide [peh-DICK-you-luh-side],
according to the label instructions. If your child has extra
long hair, you may need to use a second bottle.
Do not use a creme rinse or combination shampoo/conditioner before
using lice medicine. Do not rewash hair for 1-2 days after
Have the infested person put on clean clothing after treatment.
If some live lice are still found 8-12 hours after treatment, but
are moving more slowly than before, do not retreat. Comb dead and
remaining live lice out of the hair. The medicine sometimes takes
longer to kill the lice.
If no dead lice are found 8-12 hours after treatment and lice seem
as active as before, the medicine may not be working. See your
health care provider for a different medication and follow their
A nit comb should be used to remove nits and lice from the hair
After treatment, check hair every 2-3 days and use a nit comb to
remove any nits or lice you see.
Retreat in 7-10 days.
Check all treated persons for 2-3 weeks after think that all
lice and nits are gone.
Step 2: Treat the household
To kill lice and nits, machine wash all washable clothing and bed
linens that the infested person touched during the 2 days before
treatment. Use the hot water cycle [130 degrees F] to wash clothes.
Dry laundry using the hot cycle for at least 20 minutes.
Dry clean clothing that is not washable, [coats, hats,
scarves, etc.] OR
Store all clothing, stuffed animals, comforters, etc., that cannot
be washed be washed or dry cleaned into a plastic bag and seal for 2
Soak combs and brushes for 1 hour in rubbing alcohol, Lysol*, or
wash with soap and hot [130 degree F] water.
Vacuum the floor and furniture. Do not use fumigant sprays; they can
be toxic if inhaled.
If you have any further questions
regarding treatment, please contact one of the nurses here at the
health department at 573-471-4044. Information on this page
was obtained from the CDC website.