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Efficacy of Products to Remove Eggs of Pediculus humanus capitis (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae) From the Human Hair

Hilde Lapeere, Lieve Brochez, Evelien Verhaeghe, Robert H. Vander Stichele, Jean-Paul Remon, Jo Lambert, Luc Leybaert
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/ME13106 400-407 First published online: 1 March 2014


Head lice infestations are very common in children aged between 3 and 12 yr old. The eggs of the head louse are difficult to remove and remain firmly attached to the hair even after any head louse treatment. Solid in vitro and in vivo evidence to support the use of any of the proposed products to facilitate nit removal is scarce. The objective of the current study was to determine the efficacy of several products to remove eggshells from human hair using an objective measurement procedure. Water and ordinary hair conditioner significantly facilitated the removal of nits in vitro. We found no difference between ordinary conditioner and products specifically marketed for the purpose of nit removal. Other products such as formic acid solution and almond oil did not have a beneficial effect.

  • Pediculus humanis capitis
  • pediculosis capitis
  • nit removal
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