Treatment of head lice

Carefully combing through the hair is important, but is rarely sufficient and must be combined with some form of medical treatment. If a family member or a classmate at preschool becomes infected, all family members should be thoroughly checked for head lice. If head lice are detected, all infected family members should be treated simultaneously to minimize the risk of recurrence. 

It is important not to conceal a lice infestation since it can quickly develop into an epidemic. A lice infestation is associated with negative connotations, which often means that people prefer not to openly discuss the matter sufficiently so that measures can be taken to avoid infection. By simultaneously informing and examining school staff, family members and entire groups of schoolchildren, treatment can begin for people who are infected. In addition, the remaining individuals can be regularly rechecked using a louse comb to monitor for contagion.

All parents should examine their children for head lice before the school term begins to effectively prevent lice from spreading to larger groups.  


A careful examination should begin by first combing the hair with a regular comb, followed by a fine-tooth comb or lice comb. Comb hair over a white cloth, paper or a mirror to see whether any lice fall down. Carefully inspect the scalp in good light, preferably with a magnifying glass to see if any head lice, nymphs or eggs are there. An easier alternative to inspect the hair for head lice is using Nitview® Ledcomb.  Search extra carefully in the back of the neck and behind the ears. Detection of eggs close to the scalp indicates ongoing infection and finding live head lice confirm the diagnosis. 

Treatment with medication (Tenutex®)

Two courses of treatment are usually required, since the second is needed to kill the lice that hatched from the remaining eggs that may have survived the first treatment.  

After the first treatment, a recheck should be carried out the following day to see whether all lice died from the treatment. If any live lice are found on the head, treatment should be repeated. Common reasons why live lice remain are failure to properly follow instructions and failure to leave the treatment in the hair long enough to achieve full effect. It is important to continue combing hair with a lice comb following treatment. About 7-10 days after the first treatment, it should be repeated to remove any surviving lice. 

It is important to continuing combing the hair carefully for 2 weeks after the second treatment to ensure that no head lice are left. The rest of the family should also be checked for 2 weeks after a member has been treated to ensure that no one else has become infected.  

Useful information

Symptoms like itching may persist for a few days after treatment.

Nit shells may be found on the scalp long after the treatment was carried out and may remain until the hair is cut. 

Click here to read more about treatment


Page edited 2016-01-07. 

Treatment information

Tenutex® is a cutaneous emulsion containing benzyl benzoate / disulfiram. Tenutex® is a prescription free medicine that is active against Scabies, Head lice, and Pubic lice. For treatment of Head lice: Massage Tenutex® into towel dried hair. Make sure that all hair is covered with Tenutex® (consumption 25-75g depending on hair length). Wash and comb the hair after 24 hours. To get rid of head lice, 2 treatments with 8 days interval is required, in combination with daily thorough combing of the hair. For treatment of children under the age of 1 year, a doctor should always be consulted. Avoid contact with the eyes. Tenutex® contains cetostearyl alcohol which may cause local skin reactions (e.g. contact dermatitis). Read the patient information leaflet carefully before use.