If you, or one of your close contacts, is experiencing symptoms of lice, you should be treated immediately. This does not require an appointment with a medical professional. All infested persons including household members and close contacts as well as their bedmates should be treated at the same time, if possible.
Consider treatment if you have:
- Shared a bed with someone who has lice
- Shared a hat, scarf, coat, clothes, hair ribbon, or barrettes
- Had sex with someone with lice
- Been in close contact with someone with lice
Lice treatment is available over the counter at the Cougar Health Services pharmacy, or at most local stores like Walmart, Rite Aid and grocery stores. In addition to treatment, the Center for Disease Control recommends taking the following steps and precautions if you or someone in your home has been infested with lice:
- Wash and Dry in Hot Temperatures. Hats, scarves, pillowcases, bedding, clothing, and towels worn or used by the infested person in the 2-day period before treatment is started, can be machine washed and dried using hot water and hot air cycles. Lice and eggs are killed by exposure of 5 minutes in temperatures greater than 53.5°C (128.3°F).
- Store and Seal in Plastic Bags. Items that cannot be laundered may be sealed in a plastic bag for two weeks.
- Disinfect. Disinfect combs and brushes used by an infested person by soaking them in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.
- Do Not Share. Items such as hats, grooming aids, and towels that come in contact with the hair of an infested person should not be shared.
- Vacuum and Clean. Vacuuming furniture and floors can remove infested persons’ hairs that might have viable nits attached.
- Perform a Head Lice Check. Research video tutorials on how to perform a head lice check. Share videos with peers.
If you have concerns about a skin condition or reactions to treatment, please contact the Cougar Health Services medical clinic at 509-335-3575.