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Head lice cases on the rise across the UK, warns Superdrug

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If lotions or sprays prove ineffective, consulting a pharmacist about alternative head lice treatments is recommended

Parents are advised to check their children’s hair often as cases of head lice infestations are increasing in the UK amid rising temperatures.

Superdrug has reported a significant 121 per cent surge in sales of its head lice treatment spray, according to Wales Online.

The high-street chemist explains that head lice are particularly prevalent during this time of year as the warmer weather triggers infestations.

Head lice and nits (head lice eggs) are very common in young children and are picked up by head-to-head contact. The pesky insects make your head feel itchy.

The National Health Service (NHS) recommends taking immediate action against head lice as soon as they are detected. It is not necessary to see a GP for head lice treatment.

You can remove lice and nits from hair by wet combing using a special fine-toothed comb (detection comb), which can be purchased online or from pharmacies.

The NHS instructions for wet combing:

  • Wash the hair with regular shampoo and apply a generous amount of any conditioner.
  • Use the detection comb to comb the entire head of hair from roots to ends.

There are also over-the-counter medicated lotions and sprays that can kill head lice within a day. These can be bought from pharmacies, supermarkets or online. Some treatments may need to be repeated after a week to ensure any newly hatched lice are eliminated.

The health service advises checking the packaging to confirm suitability for yourself or your child, as well as for instructions on usage.

If lotions or sprays prove ineffective, consulting a pharmacist about alternative treatments is recommended.

The NHS does not recommend using medicated lotions and sprays to prevent head lice, as they can irritate the scalp.

It is advisable to products containing permethrin, head lice “repellents”, electric combs for head lice, plant oil treatments, such as tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil and lavender oil herbal remedies, as they are unlikely to work.

 

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