Treatments to get rid of head lice are available to buy from pharmacies, supermarkets and online.
The main treatments are:
Everyone with head lice in your household should be treated on the same day.
If a treatment doesn't work the first time,you can tryit again,try a different treatment, or get advice from your school nurse, health visitor, pharmacist or GP.
There are several different products that can be applied to the scalp and hair to kill head lice, including:
Some treatments need be done twice seven days apart to make sure any newly hatched lice are killed.
Detection combing should usually be done two or three days after finishing treatment, and again another seven days after that, to check for any live head lice.
Always check the pack or leaflet to see if a product is suitable for you, particularly if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, or your child has head lice and is less than two years of age.
Your pharmacist can recommend a suitable treatment and advise you how to use it correctly if necessary.
Wet combing involves removing head lice with a special fine-toothed comb.It's suitable for everyoneand is relatively inexpensive.
A number of lice removal combs are available to buy. Combs with flat-faced teeth spaced 0.2-0.3mm apart are best for removing head lice, although combs with smaller gaps can be used to remove eggs and nits (egg cases) after treatment.
The comb may come with instructions outlining how to use it. A commonly used method is described below.
Repeat this procedure on days five,nine and 13.Detection combing should be done on day 17,to check for any live head lice.
The following treatments aren't recommended because they're unlikely to be effective:
There's also no need to stay off work or school or wash clothing and laundry on a hot wash, as this is unlikely to be useful.
Find out how to spot head lice, how to get rid of them and how they spread.
Find out how to detect head lice in your or your child's hair using a special head lice detection comb.
Find out how to get rid of head lice and nits, including what the main treatments are and how to use them.