Head lice: Ditch the itch - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Head lice: Ditch the itch

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Just hearing the words "head lice" is enough to make you start itching, but now a new medication appears to be highly effective and allows parents to forego combing through every strand of hair.

Getting rid of lice usually requires doing multiple loads of laundry, buying a special shampoo and then keeping kids still while you painstakingly comb through their hair looking for for tiny eggs, or nits.

"If you don't get those off, they will hatch out, and then you've got live lice again," warns Dr. Jamie Satterfield.

Now a study shows a relatively new lotion called Ivermectin is safe, effective and kills nits.

No combing necessary.

"It's an easier treatment to use for the parents, and they don't have to sit there and pick out all the little nits," says Dr. David Pariser.

Ivermectin is powerful stuff, historically used to de-worm cattle.

The formulation meant for children is only available with a doctor's prescription.

Experts say lice are increasingly resistant to over-the-counter chemicals used to treat them.

"The currently available agents are the ones the lice have had repeated exposure to for many years in come cases," Dr. Pariser says.

While the creepy crawlies may continue to make your skin crawl, this new weapon may make them a little less scary.

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