Treating head lice and scabies

NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
Record ID 31999009758
Authors' objectives:

To summarise the available evidence on the treatment of head lice and scabies.

Authors' recommendations: Head Lice Infestation with head lice is widespread and most commonly occurs in children. Physical evidence of living lice is necessary prior to the commencement of treatment. Close contacts should be traced and if found to be infested treated at the same time. There is no evidence that any one insecticide currently in use in the UK has a greater effect than another. Best choice will depend on local resistance patterns. It is unclear whether physical methods such as wet combing are effective as a means of curing head lice infestations. Scabies While infestation with the scabies mite is not a life-threatening condition, the severe, persistent itch debilitates and depresses people. There is a lack of good quality research on the effectiveness and comparative effectiveness of available treatments. Health professionals treating scabies face considerable uncertainty as to the most effective and safe topical treatment for scabies. Whilst permethrin appears to be the preferred treatment for scabies at the present time, this choice is based on small trials together with traditional reviews and professional opinion.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 1999
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England
MeSH Terms
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Pediculus
  • Scabies
Organisation Name: University of York
Contact Address: University of York, York, Y01 5DD, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1904 321040, Fax: +44 1904 321041,
Contact Name:
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Copyright: Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.