What is the role of pesticides in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Lyn C C Guenther, MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Various topical pediculicidal agents are available for the treatment of head and pubic lice. Pyrethrin shampoos and permethrin 1% are available over the counter; permethrin 5% (approved to treat scabies, but occasionally used to treat lice), malathion 0.5% (Ovide), lindane, topical ivermectin (Sklice), and spinosad are prescription agents. Pubic lice can be treated with over-the-counter permethrin 1% lotion and a mousse containing pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide (RID foam). [14] Malathion lotion 0.5% is currently not US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved to treat pubic lice.

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