Head lice are usually found
in hair, most often on the back of the neck and behind the ears. Head lice are
common in preschool and elementary school-age children. Adults can get them
too, especially adults who live with children.
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 pill called ivermectin.
Some people have an allergic reaction to lice bites that causes 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, antihistamine pills may
help. But don't give antihistamines to your child unless you've checked with
the doctor first. Read more about the
symptoms, treatments, and prevention of head lice.