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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)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/8/2014
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