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Lice - What Happens

Lice will not go away without treatment. If the initial treatment does not kill all of the eggs (nits), a follow-up treatment may be required 7 to 10 days later to kill the newly hatched lice. Itching may last for 7 to 10 days even after successful treatment.

After treatment, dead eggs may remain in the person's hair until they are removed. Some schools have a policy of not allowing children to return to school until they are free of eggs.

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If your child has lice, report it to your child's day care provider or school so that other children can be checked.

Some children and parents think about or feel lice crawling even after the lice problem is gone. If you or your child feels like symptoms are lasting or feels troubled after the lice problem is gone, talk to your doctor.


Frequent scratching can cause mild complications such as skin infections. In severe cases, hair may fall out. Some people may develop thickened, darkened skin in areas that are infested with lice over a long period.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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