Cautions for use

  • The use of a head lice treatment may exacerbate existing skin problems.
  • Alcohol-based solutions are not recommended for use on younger children or on children with asthma.
  • Hair should be left to dry naturally rather than using a hairdryer or sitting by a fire.
  • Occasionally, lice may be found in facial hair or on eyelashes. These should be carefully removed; head lice lotions should never be used anywhere near the eye.

Resistance to head lice preparations is increasingly common, and in some areas a policy of rotation of different treatments is suggested to help prevent this. Your local doctor or pharmacist will be able to tell you which treatment is currently being used in your area.

An alternative, nonchemical option for treating head lice is the “combing” method. This involves combing through the hair and systematically removing any lice found. The success of this method depends largely on the concentration and skill of the person removing the lice. The use of aromatherapy oils such as tea tree or coconut oil for the prevention and treatment of head lice has increased over recent years. However, there is no reliable scientific evidence to support its use.

Further information
National Institutes of Health:

Last Reviewed: May 2013