The Challenge of Choosing a Pediculicide


  • Paula Hensel R.N., M.S.N., B.A., C.S.-F.N.P.

    1. Paula Hensel is a nurse practitioner in General Internal Medicine, Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, Wisconsin.
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Address correspondence to Paula Hensel, 8160 Jackson Street, Pittsville, WI 54466. E-mail:


Head lice is the most frequently occurring communicable disease, except for the common cold, among children in the United States. The impact on a family facing the challenge of head lice is tremendous, ranging from emotional to financial distress. Challenges also face the health care provider and school personnel. Many over-the-counter preparations and prescription products are available to combat head lice. With the alleged advent of pediculicide-resistant head lice, many other products and applications not necessarily intended to treat head lice are being recommended. The purpose of this article is to outline the products and procedures currently being utilized and to provide a starting point for treating head lice.