Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
If over-the-counter lotions or shampoos (Nix, Rid, others) don't kill your pubic lice, your doctor may prescribe stronger treatments, such as:
- Malathion (Ovide). You apply this prescription lotion to the affected area and wash it off after eight to 12 hours.
- Ivermectin (Stromectol). This medication is taken as a single dose of two pills, with an option to take another dose in 10 days if the treatment isn't initially successful.
- Lindane. Because of its toxicity, lindane is usually prescribed only when other treatments fail. You apply lindane to the affected area and wash it off after four minutes. It's not recommend for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, or for children younger than age 2.
- Eye treatments. If pubic lice are found in eyelashes, you can treat them by applying petroleum jelly to your eyelid and lashes three times a day for several days. In addition, or as an alternative, the lice and nits can be gently removed from eyelashes using tweezers, a nit comb or your fingernails. Your doctor may also prescribe a medicine to apply to the eyelids.
- Parasites: Lice. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/index.html. Accessed Aug. 24, 2012.
- Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=5196533. Accessed Aug. 24, 2012.
- Mai DL, et al. Infestation of the eyelashes with Phthirus pubis. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2010;4:182.
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Aug. 24, 2012.