Dimeticones and pediculosis: a review of recent literature

Created on 17.02.12

Physically acting pedulicides are of continuing interest to the those creating and providing anti-head lice treatments. In particular, dimeticones have received increasing attention over the last few years. Here we summarise the results in the scientific literature between 2010 and now.

A paper by Burgess et al. published in BMC Research Notes in 2011 found that a 4% dimeticone liquid gel killed all lice and eggs from a single 15-minute application. The study used Hedrin 4% and involved 41 participants.

After a single treatment, follow-up detection combing in the next week was unable to find either live lice or nymphal lice among any of the test group. The only drawback noted was that over two-thirds of participants found the product to be more difficult to wash out than other preparations.

Kurt et al. conducted a study published in BMC Public Health in 2009. This study involved schoolchildren in rural Turkey in a randomised study testing 4% dimeticone solution against an alternative silicone product (dimeticone 4% + nerolidol 2%) (n = 36 in both groups). After two treatments a week apart, the dimeticone 4% solution had shown a 97.1% success rate, with the alternative treatment having a success rate of 85.7%. No adverse effects were reported, and p < 0.2 in both groups.

Older RCTs are also discussed in the review published in 2010 by Heukelbach et al. in The Open Dermatology Journal. These generally had successful treatment rates of over 70% in a variety of settings and study designs.

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