Lice - Topic Overview
A doctor can
usually tell if you have lice by looking closely for live lice or eggs in your
hair. The doctor may also comb through your hair with a fine-toothed comb to help detect lice. He or she may look at the lice or eggs under a microscope.
Your doctor can also find pubic lice and body lice by
looking closely at your body or your clothing.
Lice won't go away on their own. Be sure to do all you can to treat lice and to prevent the spread of lice.
The most common
treatment is an
over-the-counter or prescription cream, lotion, or
shampoo. You put it on the skin or scalp to kill the lice and eggs. In some
cases, you may need treatment a second time to make sure that all the eggs are
dead. If two or more treatments don't work, your doctor may prescribe a different medicine.
It's also important to wash clothing and
bedding in hot water to help get rid of lice.
Some people continue to have itching for 7 to 10 days after the
lice and eggs have been killed. Steroid creams or calamine lotion can relieve
the itching. If you have severe itching, you can try
antihistamine pills. But don't give antihistamines to
your child unless you've checked with the doctor first.