What are the Pros and Cons of Using Permethrin for Lice?

Meshell Powell

Lice are small parasitic insects that lay their eggs on the hair follicles and feed on the blood from the surrounding skin. Permethrin is a synthetic insecticide often used to kill lice as well as their eggs, known as nits. There are both advantages and disadvantages to using Permethrin for lice. Some of the advantages include the fact that this medication can be purchased without a prescription, and it is widely believed to be a safe and effective treatment. Disadvantages of using Permethrin for lice include possible side effects such as itching, swelling, or burning sensations.

A head louse.
A head louse.

Among the most popular lice treatments includes using a shampoo made with Permethrin for lice and nit treatment. Many lice products kill only the lice but not the eggs. This medication is largely effective at killing both the lice and the eggs. Another advantage of using Permethrin for lice is the fact that this medication is often effective for up to two weeks, making re-treatment less likely. Treatment with this medication is relatively easy, not requiring a lot of time or effort.

Permethrin can kills lice and their eggs.
Permethrin can kills lice and their eggs.

Treatment with a shampoo containing Permethrin for lice removal is a simple process. The hair should be washed normally and then towel dried. The medicated shampoo is then applied liberally to the hair and scalp. This shampoo is allowed to sit for 10 minutes, and then it is washed out of the hair. A nit comb can then be used to remove the eggs from the hair follicles.

As is the case with any medication, there are some potential disadvantages of using Permethrin for lice control. Some people, especially those with sensitive skin, may experience redness or swelling in the treated area. Some may also experience extreme itching, stinging, or burning. The use of this medication is not recommended for young infants or for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Those who are allergic to the chrysanthemum plant should not use this medication, as it may cause a severe allergic reaction. Anyone with allergies such as hay fever may not be able to use this medication to treat lice. Patients with asthma may experience breathing difficulty or a full-fledged asthma attack after coming into contact with this chemical. Oral medications, such as antihistamines, may help to reduce some of the side effects associated with using Permethrin for lice treatment, although a doctor should be consulted concerning any persistent or bothersome side effects following the use of this medication.

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