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What Lice Treatment Is Safe During Pregnancy?

What Lice Treatment Is Safe During Pregnancy?
Created on 
March 27, 2017
Updated on 
April 6, 2023

Pregnancy involves being as cautious as possible for the benefit of the baby's health. Lice treatment while pregnant can cause stress, since both chemicals and natural remedies used for treating head lice can be risky to an unborn child. What can expectant mothers do when they catch lice when pregnant? Are lice treatments safe during pregnancy?

Places Where You Can Get Lice While Pregnant

Where can you get lice? The most common way that lice are transmitted is by way of direct contact of your head with another person's head that has a lice infestation. While uncommon, it is also possible to get lice from inanimate objects like hair accessories. Pregnant women exposed to adult lice through head contact are just as likely to catch it as they were before they became pregnant.

Lice During Pregnancy Symptoms

During pregnancy, lice symptoms are the same as they always are.

  • Itching: This occurs due to bug bites and live lice crawling on the skin, but doesn't start until weeks into an infestation, or sometimes never.
  • Irritability: The psychological toll of having lice can make it hard to focus and complete normal tasks.
  • Sleep Problems: Lice crawl and bite more in the dark, so itching often interrupts sleep, leading to more irritability.
  • Red Bumps and Sores: Allergies to bug bites cause the development of itchy red bumps, and scratching those can lead to sores or even diseases like a skin infection.

How to Get Rid of Lice While Pregnant?

what lice treatment is safe during pregnancy

Having come to terms with the fact that you do have a case of head lice through no fault of your own, you will likely want to move onto the next most pressing matter at hand: Is there a lice treatment safe for pregnancy? We can assure you that LiceDoctors is the safest lice treatment during pregnancy. While you would likely want to be more selective regarding the treatment option you choose, lice treatment in pregnancy is possible.

Ariel in Indianapolis called us recently to thank us for helping her to get rid of the case of head lice that had infested the family. She was pregnant with her third child, and when she discovered that she had head lice, she immediately called her pediatrician to ask his advice about chemical lice shampoos — namely, how it would affect her baby?  He advised her to call LiceDoctors. He told her that our all-natural plans work and that our treatments are safe for expecting and breastfeeding women.

Wet Combing

Head lice in pregnancy are best treated with wet combing with a fine toothed comb, since it's natural, completely free of any risk, and yet extremely effective. You can wet hair with olive oil or hair conditioner (or less effectively hot water) and use a professional nit comb to remove the lice and nits from the entire head of hair without chemicals. The lice experts at LiceDoctors know how to comb out lice naturally, safely, and quickly, and we can help you get rid of head lice in hair during pregnancy.

Home Remedies

What are some other safe home remedies for lice during pregnancy? Home remedies to kill head lice are seen as safer than chemical treatments. While this can be true in the case of smothering techniques like mayonnaise or olive oil, there are many potentially hazardous home remedies, like benzyl alcohol or kerosene. Coating the hair and scalp in olive oil is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than essential oils like tea tree oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, or neem oil. Still, these home remedies don't kill nits, only adult and small insects. They are ineffective in the long run if you don't also remove the louse eggs.

Prescription Medications

Can you use lice treatment while pregnant? There's almost no human study data about prescription lice treatments in pregnant women, so your doctor needs to weigh benefits against potential risks to baby. Lindane is considered potentially dangerous for the baby in utero and nursing babies. To treat head lice during pregnancy successfully, our all-natural methods actually have a higher success rate and no risk.

Can You Use Lice Shampoo When Pregnant?

lice treatment while pregnant

LiceDoctors does not recommend pesticides for anyone, especially pesticide lice treatment while pregnant. The go-to pesticides to treat lice are losing their effectiveness as the lice grow resistant. In addition, they come with undesirable side effects such as excessive itchy scalp and risks from toxic chemicals.

Ask your doctor can you use lice shampoo while pregnant, as many doctors and school nurses are concerned that the pesticides in lice shampoos might have a neurotoxic effect on the baby, which may lead to adverse outcomes. Since nobody knows for sure the long-term effects of pediculicides on pregnancy outcomes, it's better for pregnant women to be safe than sorry.

What Are the Potential Dangers of Chemical Lice Treatments?

Known potential side effects of pyrethrin and permethrin-based lice shampoos include nasal irritation, headache, nausea, facial swelling, tremors, loss of coordination, convulsions, and difficulty breathing. Overuse or use on broken scalp skin may cause itching, burning, and irritation on the scalp. It may also cause allergic reactions including difficulty breathing or closed airways, dizziness, rash, or vomiting. Add all that to the unknown effects on baby's health.

And the benefits don't even outweigh the risks. These chemicals rarely work in a single treatment, they don't prevent lice, and they can't kill lice eggs.

The Best Lice Treatment While Pregnant

lice during pregnancy

As soon as pregnancy starts, you'll want to take extra precautions to protect the baby and treat lice safely. LiceDoctors' treatment of head lice is one of the only methods that's both safe for all ages including expecting and nursing mothers and infants, and yet still so effective that we guarantee it. Remember the safest way to treat head lice is to remove it from the hair and scalp physically.


LiceDoctors technicians use all-natural treatment plans that work to get rid of your pregnancy lice problems without the potential risks that come with the use of dangerous chemicals. We are sure you will agree that this is a safe option for everyone in the family, even the expectant mother, and eventually, her infant. Technicians have treated more than 500,000 clients using all-natural, hassle-free methods. If you're still wondering what lice treatment is safe during pregnancy, call us at 800-224-2537 with questions or to book an appointment.



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