When should I call my doctor if I have lice?

You should call your doctor if you have lice and over-the-counter treatment medications aren't effective after two applications. You should also call your doctor if you're unable to tolerate over-the-counter lice medications due to an allergic reaction or side effects.
To be sure you get the right diagnosis, call your doctor if you think you or your child have lice. Symptoms include itching, redness, scaling and small bumps or spots on the scalp. Itching may get worse at night.

Lice don't usually cause serious health problems, but they can spread to other people. They can also lead to scratching, which can break the skin and raise your risk of an infection. Lice are usually treated with shampoos or lotions that contain pesticides. Talk to your doctor before you use these products, especially if you:
  • Are pregnant or nursing
  • Have asthma or allergies
  • Have a very young child with lice
  • Need treatment for lice or nits near your eyes (or your child's eyes)
You should also call your doctor if the lice return after being treated. Your doctor can help you choose the safest, most effective treatment options.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.