When To Call a Doctor
If you suspect Reference lice Opens New Window infestation (pediculosis), you can try an over-the-counter lice medicine or visit your doctor to double-check your symptoms. Call a doctor if:
- You have severe nighttime itching that does not go away after a few days.
- You see live lice or new eggs (nits) after using the medicine (prescription or nonprescription).
- You have serious side effects after using a product to treat lice.
- You have signs of a skin infection. These may include:
- Increased pain, swelling, heat, redness, or tenderness.
- Red streaks extending from the affected area.
- Discharge of pus.
- Fever of 100°F (37.8°C) or higher with no other obvious cause.
Lice will not go away without proper treatment. Even if they don't bother you much, lice can be spread to other household members, sex partners, or other people you have close personal contact with. If you think you have lice, try an over-the-counter lice medicine or call a doctor.
Who to see
If you need help treating a lice problem, contact any of the following:
- Local health department
- Reference Nurse practitioner Opens New Window or Reference physician assistant Opens New Window
- Reference Internist Opens New Window
- Reference Pediatrician Opens New Window
- Reference Family medicine doctor Opens New Window
- Reference Gynecologist Opens New Window (for pubic lice)
- Reference Dermatologist Opens New Window
A Reference pharmacist Opens New Window can answer your questions about medicines that treat lice.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 30, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics