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What Is Benzyl Alcohol Lotion Used For?

Benzyl alcohol lotion is prescribed for treating head lice. It works by paralyzing the breathing holes of adult lice and then suffocating them. Two applications are necessary, seven days apart. This medicine is approved for use in adults and children as young as six months old. Currently, there are no off-label (or unapproved) uses for benzyl alcohol lotion.

An Introduction to Benzyl Alcohol Lotion Uses

Benzyl alcohol lotion (Ulesfia®) is a prescription medication licensed to treat head lice. It comes in the form of a lotion that is applied to the hair and scalp for 10 minutes for two treatments (seven days apart).
 
Also called Pediculus humanus capitis, head lice are small, wingless insects. A head louse (head lice is plural) has three pairs of legs located directly behind the head. The legs end in sharp claws that are designed for feeding and allow the louse to hold on tightly to hair or clothing.
 
The most common symptom of head lice is itching. This is because the head lice saliva causes an allergic reaction. Keep in mind, however, that not everyone with head lice will have symptoms.
 
Head lice can be anywhere on the scalp, but are most commonly seen behind the ears and on the back of the head near the neckline. When looking at the scalp, very few head lice are usually seen. This is because they move rather quickly. However, there are usually many nits (lice eggs) at the base of the scalp.
 
(Click Signs of Head Lice for more information.)
 
To get rid of head lice, you must do two things -- kill the live lice on the head and remove all the nits from the hair. This involves three necessary treatment steps:
 
  • Careful combing of the hair (nit-picking)
  • Medications (see Medications for Head Lice), such as benzyl alcohol lotion
  • Treating the house.
     
(Click How to Get Rid of Head Lice to learn the proper way to nit-pick and treat the house. Click Home Remedy for Head Lice to learn about alternative treatments. This includes a discussion on some common home remedies, such as tea tree oil and olive oil.)
 
A Dose of Reassurance for Parents of Picky Eaters

Benzyl Alcohol Lotion Information

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