(BPT) - It’s a moment that every parent dreads. Your child returns home from school with a letter from the school nurse alerting you that he or she may have head lice. And then, the race to treat the infestation begins.
Head lice are a common community condition, with an estimated 6 to 12 million infestations occurring each year in the US, most commonly among school age children 3 to 11 years old.1 This means many parents are likely to experience firsthand how lice can impact their children, families or friends.
What are Head Lice?
Head lice are tiny, wingless parasites that feed on human blood and live close to the human scalp.1 They move by crawling and are mainly spread by head-to-head contact, most commonly among preschool and elementary school children, and the people who live with them.1 Despite what you might have heard, it is uncommon that transmission occurs by contact with items such as clothing, brushes, towels or pillows recently used by someone with head lice. Further, personal hygiene and cleanliness have nothing to do with getting head lice.1
How Do You Know?
People with head lice may experience no symptoms at all,2 and misdiagnosis is common – live lice are small, quick and avoid light and the eggs (or nits) are often confused with dandruff, hair spray droplets or dirt particles.3
Itching, which is caused by an allergic reaction to louse bites, is the most common symptom but may take four to six weeks to develop the first time someone becomes infested.2
Finding a live louse on the scalp or in the hair – most commonly seen behind the ears and near the neckline at the back of the head – is a good indication of an infestation. If crawling lice are not seen, finding nits attached firmly to the hair, close to the scalp (within ¼-inch of the base of hair shaft) suggests, but does not confirm, that live lice may be present.3
Tackling the Problem
Between school, sports, play dates and summer camp, children tend to be in close proximity to their peers, and may come in contact with someone who already has lice. Therefore, parents should educate themselves about all available treatments, including over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription options, before they get hit with an infestation.
“If head lice hit your home, your pediatrician or family physician can be your best resource,” said David M. Pariser, M.D., a dermatologist at Eastern Virginia Medical School. “There are a variety of treatments with varying effectiveness, and Sklice® (ivermectin) Lotion, 0.5% is a prescription option parents may want to consider.”
Sklice Lotion offers health care providers an effective, well-tolerated prescription treatment option to help parents and caregivers manage head lice infestations in children six months of age and older.4 In clinical studies approximately three-quarters of patients had no live lice 14 days after a one-time, 10-minute treatment.5 The most common side effects included eye redness or soreness, eye irritation, dandruff, dry skin, burning sensation of the skin – none of which occurred in more than one percent of treated patients.5
Nit combing is not required when using Sklice Lotion, but a fine-tooth comb may be used to remove dead lice and nits.4 As with all head lice treatments, it should be used in the context of an overall lice management program, which includes washing or dry-cleaning all recently worn clothing, hats, used bedding and towels, as well as washing personal care items such as combs, brushes and hair clips in hot water.4
Talk to your doctor about how to combat head lice before it hits at home and Sklice Lotion, or visit www.Sklice.com to learn more and access the full Prescribing Information.
Sklice Lotion is a prescription medication for topical use on the hair and scalp only, used to treat head lice in people 6 months of age and older.
Sklice Lotion should be used in the context of an overall lice management program:
- Wash (in hot water) or dry-clean all recently worn clothing, hats, used bedding and towels.
- Wash personal care items such as combs, brushes and hair clips in hot water.
A fine tooth comb or special nit comb may be used to remove dead lice and nits.
Before using Sklice Lotion, tell your doctor if you or your child:
- Have any skin conditions or sensitivities
- Have any other medical conditions
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Sklice Lotion can harm your unborn baby, or
- Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Sklice Lotion passes into your breast milk.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR SKLICE LOTION:
To prevent accidental ingestion, adult supervision is required for pediatric application. Avoid contact with eyes.
The most common side effects from Sklice Lotion include eye redness or soreness, eye irritation, dandruff, dry skin, burning sensation of the skin.
Please visit www.Sklice.com to access the full Prescribing Information.
Talk with your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
# # #
1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Parasites: Lice: Head Lice: Frequently Asked Questions. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/gen_info/faqs.html. Accessed October 9, 2012.
2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Parasites: Lice: Head Lice: Disease. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/disease.html. Accessed October 9, 2012.
3Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Parasites: Lice: Head Lice: Diagnosis. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/diagnosis.html. Accessed October 9, 2012.
4SKLICE Lotion [Prescribing Information]. Swiftwater, PA: Sanofi Pasteur Inc.; 2012.
5Pariser et al. Topical 0.5% Ivermectin Lotion for Treatment of Head Lice. N Engl J Med. 2012; 367(18);1687-1693.