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Doctor insights on: Prescription Medication Removing Lice

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Are prescription medication better than over-the-counter medication for removing lice?

Are prescription medication better than over-the-counter medication for removing lice?

Not necessarily: There has been a growing concern that lice are becoming resistant to some common over-the-counter treatments such as permethrins (like nix) and pyrethrins (like a-200, clear lice system, pronto, r & c, and rid). They are still a good 1st line treatment since they have been proven to be so safe and are available over the counter. Be sure you have the correct diagnosis and instructions from your doc. ...Read more

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Body Lice (Definition)

Body lice (pediculus humanus corporis) are similar to head lice. These are tiny parasitic insects live on the clothes and can often be seen at the seams. They feed on the blood of the host, and can spread certain infections. Generally these are found in the homeless or those who are ...Read more


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What is the difference between prescription and over-the-counter lice treatment?

What is the difference between prescription and over-the-counter lice treatment?

Active ingredients: The differences between prescription and OTC lice treatments are the active ingredients, treatment protocols (some require more than one application), and side-effect and safety profiles. OTC: 1. Permethrin (NIX) 2. Pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide (Rid) Rx: 1. Benzyl alcohol 5% (Ulesfia) 2. Malathion lotion (Ovide) ...Read more

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Can you get rid of head lice without prescription medicated shampoos?

Maybe: Some swear to effectiveness of a pickling vinegar used as a wash/rinse daily for a week. The acidic material loosens the nits, which should be removed by a nit comb.I suppose you could try, and go to an alternative treatment, if you were not happy with the results. ...Read more

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What medications are safe to use on small toddlers that have lice?

Nix (permethrin): There are several pediculocides on the market and all are about the same. Avoid kwell (lindane) in children under 2 because of possible toxicity. ...Read more

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How often should I retreat lice with over-the-counter medication?

Give it a week: I commonly retreat any infestation a week after primary treatment to catch any stragglers that may have been missed or emerged from eggs in the interim. ...Read more

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If i put salicylic acid (acne medication) on my head, will that kill all the lice and their eggs?

If i put salicylic acid (acne medication) on my head, will that kill all the lice and their eggs?

Not appropriate: Lice medication is over the counter and has multiple names. See your drugstore. If you are uncertain about the diagnosis see your doctor and she will prescribe medication for you with detailed instructions regarding your clothing, sheets, towels, and laundry in general as well as your household. It is infectious and contagious. ...Read more

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My doctor diagnosed me with scabies. She told me to go buy Rid lice treatment. But if it didn't work to fill a script she gave. They were oral medication I took for only 7 days. I done one treatment, took all 7 pills then done another Rid treatment. My la

My doctor diagnosed me with scabies. She told me to go buy Rid lice treatment. But if it didn't work to fill a script she gave. They were oral medication I took for only 7 days. I done one treatment, took all 7 pills then done another Rid treatment. My la

Very confusing: Rid is not a treatment for scabies. You fail to note the name of the pills or the name of the "prescription." Sounds like you need a better DR. If you really have scabies, ivermectin pills are a single dose with one more dose 2 weeks later. Permethrin cream is used once all over the skin, then repeated in 1 or 2 weeks. All contacts are treated, even if not itchy. From first treatment to absence of ...Read more

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What is a good alternative head lice treatment to use instead of the drug store shampoos?

What is a good alternative head lice treatment to use instead of the drug store shampoos?

Cetaphil cleanser: Use gentle cetaphil skin cleanser. Apply to hair and scalp. Wait 2 minutes, then comb out. Wash your hair 8 hours later. Repeat once a week for 3 weeks. You can hold the mayo! ...Read more

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Will removing hair from the genital area helps in removing pubic lice and thereby prevent itching?

Pubic Lice: A lice-killing lotion containing 1% Permethrin or a mousse containing pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide can be used to treat pubic ("crab") lice. These products are available over-the-counter without a prescription at a local drug store or pharmacy. These medications are safe and effective when used exactly according to the instructions in the package or on the label. ...Read more

Dr. Richard Rissmiller
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Pediculosis (Definition)

Pediculosis is a condition in which a person has lice, a blood-feeding insect, on his or her body. Lice may be present in the head, body, or pubic area, and can be spread by contact between people. Itching ...Read more