What are the treatment options for eyelash infestations of pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Lyn C C Guenther, MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Ophthalmic-grade petrolatum (2-4 times a day for 10 days) is often used, with good results, as an asphyxiant for eyelash infestation. [13] The petrolatum covers the lice and their nits, preventing respiration. The dead lice are removed mechanically, usually with tweezers. Mercuric oxide ointment is also useful in the treatment of eyelash infestation with P pubis. If only a few live lice and nits are on eyelashes and/or eyebrows, it may be possible to remove them with a nit comb or fingernails. [13]

Fluorescein dye strips, which are used in the diagnosis of corneal abrasions, may be used in combination with white petrolatum. The strips are applied to the eyelashes for 3 nights.

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