Effectiveness of Isopropyl Myristate/Cyclomethicone D5 Solution of Removing Cuticular Hydrocarbons From Human Head Lice (Pediculus Humanus Capitis)

Eric Barnett; Kathleen G Palma; Bert Clayton; Timothy Ballard


BMC Dermatol. 2012;12(15) 

In This Article


Isopropyl myristate/cyclomethicone D5 (IPM/D5) extracted the same specific cuticular wax hydrocarbons as those identified by Scherer to be critical to the survival of the head louse, therefore it can be deduced that IPM/D5 acts by a physical mode of action to kill head lice via disruption of the protective wax coating resulting in rapid dehydration. These data, combined with clinical study data support an explanation of the mechanism of action by dehydration, not suffocation.

Isopropyl myristate/cyclomethicone D5 is a colorless, odorless formulation that kills human head lice within 10 minutes by employing a physical mechanism of action that would not likely be subject to resistance. This formulation could be considered as a viable alternative to conventional pesticides.