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Lice (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

When to call the doctor

While lice can easily and effectively be treated with home-care methods, call your doctor if these conditions develop:

  • If skin or scalp infections develop from scratching with symptoms such as discharge, redness, swelling, pain, or tenderness of the area
  • If home treatment doesn't work after using over-the-counter medications as directed (see below)
  • For further testing for sexually transmitted diseases (if pubic lice are discovered)
  • If itching continues even after treatment with over-the-counter antihistamines
  • If lice persist and treatment has failed

When to go to the hospital

  • If infections from scratching are not improving, are worsening while you are on medications, or if other symptoms develop such as fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting
  • If you develop an allergic reaction to medications (indicated by a rash, swelling to the lips or tongue or if you have any trouble breathing)

Lice Diagnosis

Based on the finding of lice and nits on the scalp, genital area, body, or on clothing, the doctor can suggest home-care techniques and prescribe medications as necessary. No other tests are usually performed to diagnose lice.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/8/2015

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Patient Comments & Reviews

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