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Head lice in pregnancy

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Most pediculicides can be used by pregnant women. However, all agents should be used with caution in lactation due to a lack of data. Wet combing or dimeticone 4% lotion is recommended first-line for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

For women who want an extra margin of safety, mechanical removal or compounds with a physical mode of action can be safely used instead and nit combing is the treatment of choice (1)

It is important to advise pregnant women to avoid 'natural' or 'herbal' head lice treatments as many of their constituents have not been formally tested.


1. Patel VM et al. Safety of Topical Medications for Scabies and Lice in Pregnancy. Indian J Dermatol. v.61(6); Nov-Dec 2016

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