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BMJ Clin Evid. 2015 Jan 14;2015. pii: 1703.

Head lice.

Author information

1
Insect Research & Development Limited, Cambridge, UK.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Head louse infection is diagnosed by finding live lice, as eggs take 7 days to hatch (but a few may take longer, up to 13 days) and may appear viable for weeks after death of the egg. Infestation may be more likely in school children, with risks increased in children with more siblings or of lower socioeconomic group. Factors such as longer hair make diagnosis and treatment more difficult.

METHODS AND OUTCOMES:

We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of physically acting treatments for head lice? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to March 2014 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

RESULTS:

We found six studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: 1,2-octanediol, dimeticone, herbal and essential oils, and isopropyl myristate.

PMID:
25587918
PMCID:
PMC4294162
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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