What Do You Do About Head Lice?

head-lice Credit: Vladimir Godnik/Getty Images

Apply a medicated shampoo, lotion or cream specially formulated to eradicate head lice to the head as soon as possible after it is confirmed a person has lice, explains KidsHealth. Remove any eggs, called nits, by combing through the hair using a fine-tooth comb.

Products designed to treat head lice usually kill the bugs soon after application, although itching may persist for a few days, according to KidsHealth. The nits that require removal with a comb look like small, yellowish or brownish dots similar in appearance to dandruff. It is sometimes necessary to repeat the treatment seven to 10 days after the initial application because some nits may go unnoticed, resulting in additional lice hatching approximately one to two weeks later. In some cases, the head lice still remain after this additional treatment. A doctor can prescribe a stronger product or medication to get rid of the bugs if necessary.

Do not use a hair dryer after applying a head lice product because some shampoos, lotions and creams have flammable ingredients, warns KidsHealth. Wash any bedding, clothing or plush toys the person may have come into contact with or seal them in airtight bags for at least 10 days to rid these items of any lice and nits.