Experience based treatment of head lice

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7347.1220 (Published 18 May 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1220
  1. Liz Crossan, freelance technical editor

    EDITOR—Head lice are a familiar problem to most doctors, but especially to general practitioners and those who have children. Ten of the 17 responses to Dodd's editorial were from doctors, and all but four were from the United Kingdom. 1 2 Many respondents enthusiastically described the strategies that had worked for their children, most favouring variations on the theme of wet combing, a strategy deemed ineffective in the editorial.

    Robert Bunney, one of four general practitioners responding, reports that his children repeatedly required treatment, and although the infestations usually responded to various pediculicides, the children soon became reinfected. In exasperation he turned to wet combing and kept them clear until the epidemic waned. The combing method, he adds, although initially seeming to have less success than pediculicides, will at least retain or even increase its effectiveness as parents become more skilled in using it and realise that resistance can't occur.

    C H Kimberley, another general practitioner, says: “We are regularly told that head lice only transfer on prolonged head to head contact, that head lice …

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