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Jay Koovarjee

 92 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
ph: (02) 9221 0091
fax: (02) 8880-8326

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:: Head Lice

Healthy Children & Teens - Head Lice
  Healthy Children & Teens
  Head Lice

Head lice are a very common problem that most parents and teachers are more than familiar with. Head lice are small, wingless insects that live, breed and feed on the human scalp. They do not carry or transmit disease. They have been around for thousands of years and, given the chance, will move from head to head without discrimination.

Head lice are only found on the human head. They are not found on any other part of the human body, although there are other types of lice that do infest other parts of the human body. Nor are they found on any other animal. Head lice do not live on furniture, hats, bedding, carpet or anywhere else in the environment. Treating anything other than the human head does not eradicate head lice.

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Tickling or itching feeling of something moving in the hair
  • Tiny dark lice on the scalp or hair
  • Pale, white specks (the eggs) stuck to base of hairs, that do not fall out when the hair is shaken
  • Skin sores caused by scratching - which can become infected

Many people who have head lice never scratch their head so itching is not a reliable sign. Lice can be hard to spot because they move quickly. The easiest and most effective way to find head lice is to follow these steps weekly:

  • Apply hair conditioner on to dry, brushed (detangled) hair. This makes it difficult for lice to grip the hair or run around
  •  Comb the conditioner through using a 'lice' comb.  Start at the scalp and work your way through the hair
  • After each stroke wipe the conditioner off the comb onto a paper tissue.  Look on the tissue and on the comb for lice and eggs
  • Repeat the combing for every part of the head at least four or five times
  • If the person has been treated recently and only hatched eggs are found, you may not have to treat them again since the eggs could be from the old infection
  • If lice or eggs are found, the person should be treated 


The two preferred treatment options available for treating head lice are the ‘conditioner and comb’ method and the use of an insecticide.

Using insecticide products - Any head lice treatment product you choose should carry an Australian Registered or Listed number.

If you use lotions, apply the product to dry hair. For shampoos, wet the hair, but use the least amount of water possible.

Head lice live in the hair and go to the scalp to feed. Therefore, head lice products must be applied to all parts of the hair.

Insecticide resistance is complex and common, so you need to check that the lice are dead. If the insecticide has worked, the lice will be dead within 20 minutes.

If the lice are not dead, the treatment has not worked and the lice are resistant to the product and all products containing the same active compound.Find a product with a different active compound.

No treatment kills 100 per cent of the eggs so treatment must involve at least two applications, seven days apart.

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