Sunday, November 4, 2012

What do I need to know about Lice?

This post was prompted first by my wife, who works as a school nurse, and told me about seeing a boy who had to be treated for both lice and scabies at the same time, and next by a patient I saw, primarily for allergies, but then his mother asked me to look carefully at his hair.  There was a high suspicion of lice in my mind. 
 (Photo 1) More good photos are online.  We discussed the treatments: over-the-counter meds and prescription meds.  A good summary can be found at the CDC's website (although this site was last updated 11/2/10).  His mom asked me about using mayonnaise, which I never heard of.  The idea here is to suffocate the lice.  Some research led me to the Minnesota Department of Health's website.  I want to stress that any medication or home remedy must not be left on the person's scalp, because of the risk of irritating the skin, or causing a chemical burn.  The third and final thing that prompted me to write this post an announcement of a new prescription medication for lice: ivermectin.  You have to login to MEdscape to read the article, so if you can't then here's a pretty good summary on an open website.

Now for 2 obvious trivia questions: can anyone guess the origin of the phrases "to nit pick" and "to use a fine tooth comb"?

If you have questions about lice, ask your doctor....

11 comments:

Wrightrichard007 said...

Thanks for this article. Fantastic findings. I've also heard my fair share of "home remedies" as a nurses at an allergy specialty care clinic in Orlando. Some seem to produce reasonable results, but because they aren't officially tested and retested, there's no telling whats safe or not. Thanks again.

Bill Shields said...

I'm hoping to attend a allergy specialty care in Orlando soon. I think that I have some weird food allergy, but I'm not exactly sure what it is yet.

Strake Davis said...

I hate bugs! I think it's important for everyone to go see the allergy doctor in Richmond. They can help you with anything you need.

bryan flake said...

My tongue goes numb and tingly every time I eat water melon. What in the world sort of allergy could that be? What kind of specialist would be able to check to see if I am allergic to watermelon?


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John Bond said...

Lice creep me out so much. I can't imagine having them with an allergy to them. I have never had them luckily, I've heard they can be gross business.
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