Head lice can be treated using a lice treatment, by combing or by cutting head hair shorter than 0.5cm. If several people in your family or social circle have lice, everyone must be treated at the same time to prevent re-infection.
Lice treatments may be applied to the hair and scalp. These contain substances that kill lice. Some lice treatments are more effective than others. Treatments containing the active substance dimethicone seem to give good results.
Products containing permethrin often give poor results because many lice are resistant to this substance in Norway. Substances containing plant oils may have an effect, although few scientific tests have been carried out using them.
Follow the user instructions on the product carefully. Some lice treatments must not be used on young children or pregnant women. Remember that only people with lice should be treated, as there is always a small risk of side effects.
Combing using a lice comb must be done systematically and thoroughly every day for at least eight days, and then once a week for three weeks. The hair should be wet when combing.
Place a towel over the shoulders of the person being combed to trap any lice or eggs that drop off.
Afterwards, both the towel and comb must be washed at 60˚C, or be frozen for at least four hours in order to kill any lice and eggs.
Lice eggs firmly attached to strands of hair. Illustration: Hallvard Elven