#1 PRESCRIBED BRAND
FOR HEAD LICE1

Do Home Remedies Kill Lice?

Some helpful tips to prevent head lice from spreading

For the most part, home remedies, whether natural or homeopathic, do not kill lice as effectively as prescription medications. Currently, there is no clear scientific evidence stating that remedies that try to suffocate lice, such as mayonnaise, olive oil, or similar substances, work as effectively as prescription head lice treatments.2,3

The sections below list the most commonly used home remedies for head lice.

Essential oils

Small studies have suggested that some natural plant oils may be toxic to lice and eggs. These include tea tree oil, anise oil, and ylang ylang oil. Note that these oils are not required to meet any of the safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing standards used for FDA-approved drugs.2,4 They also have the potential to cause contact reactions, which limits their use.2

Herbal products

Many plants naturally produce insecticides to protect themselves. Although some of these can be used in humans, they may produce toxic effects. Herbal products are not currently regulated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness, so they are not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics in a 2015 report on lice treatment in children and infants.2

Household products

Household products such as mayonnaise, olive oil, butter, and petroleum jelly have been used to treat head lice. The idea is that the heavy nature of these items smothers the lice so they are unable to breathe. In a laboratory study, only petroleum jelly showed any benefit in killing lice, and it is unclear whether the effects were due to the product, or to the multiple washings and combings necessary to remove the product from the hair.4 To date, none of these products have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness in head lice treatment.2

Vinegar

The acid in vinegar is thought to dissolve the protective shell covering live lice eggs. Instead, vinegar may help loosen the cement that binds the eggs to the hair shaft, so the eggs and nits are easier to comb out of the hair. It does not, however, kill adult head lice, leaving them able to breed and continue the infestation.2

Nit-loosening

A variety of other household products ranging from acetone and bleach to WD-40 and vodka have been used in an attempt to loosen eggs from the hair shaft. Not only do these products not work, they pose a health risk to the infested person and can cause major damage to the hair. They should not be used.2

Heat

There is a custom machine that claims to dessicate (dry up) lice and eggs by using hot air. This device is only available at lice treatment centers and should only be used by trained operators. Regular blow dryers should not be used for this purpose, as their high heat can burn the scalp. It has been shown that blow dryers can blow lice around, potentially spreading them to others.2

Electronic combs

These devices claim to remove live lice and nits, and some even have a “bug zapper” feature that is said to kill live lice. None of these devices have been studied in a clinical trial to see if these claims can be proven.2

Kerosene or gasoline

These products are flammable and dangerous, and should never be used to kill lice or remove nits.2,4

References: 1. Data on file. Arbor Pharmaceuticals, LLC. 2. Devore CD, Schutze GE, The Council on School Health and Committee on Infectious Diseases. Head Lice. Pediatrics. 2015;135(5):e1355-e1365. 3. Treatment frequently asked questions (FAQs). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/gen_info/faqs_treat.html. Updated September 24, 2013. Accessed January 21, 2019. 4. Mayo Clinic Staff. Head lice: diagnosis & treatment. Mayo Clinic Web site. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/head-lice/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20356186. Accessed January 21, 2019.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

To prevent accidental ingestion, adult supervision is required for pediatric application. Avoid contact with eyes.

The most common side effects from Sklice Lotion include eye redness or soreness, eye irritation, dandruff, dry skin, and burning sensation of the skin.

Talk with your doctor if you or your child have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

To prevent accidental ingestion, adult supervision is required for pediatric application. Avoid contact with eyes.

The most common side effects from Sklice Lotion include eye redness or soreness, eye irritation, dandruff, dry skin, and burning sensation of the skin.

Talk with your doctor if you or your child have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


INDICATION:

Sklice Lotion is a prescription medication for topical use on the hair and scalp only, for treatment of head lice in people 6 months of age and older.


ADJUNCTIVE MEASURES:

Sklice Lotion should be used in the context of an overall lice management program:

  • Wash (in hot water) or dry-clean all recently worn clothing, hats, used bedding, and towels.
  • Wash personal care items such as combs, brushes, and hair clips in hot water.

A fine-tooth comb or special nit comb may be used to remove dead lice and nits.


BEFORE USING SKLICE LOTION, TELL YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU OR YOUR CHILD:

  • have any skin conditions or sensitivities
  • have any other medical conditions
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Sklice Lotion can harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Sklice Lotion passes into your breast milk.

Please see the full Prescribing Information for Sklice Lotion.