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Date of Graduation


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Judy Ortiz, PA-C, MS


Objective: Due to the toxic nature and increasing resistance of pediculicidal agents in the treatment of head lice, a new, safe, effective treatment is needed. This study uses a silicone-based, Pre-Combing Conditioner to treat pediculosis and looks at its overall effectiveness and subject-ta-subject variability. Success is defined as the absence of live head lice at day 14, following two uses of the Pre-Combing Conditioner.

Methods: Single blind, repeated measures study enrolling 59 subjects ages 2 to 18 years. Results: Fifty-eight of the subjects (98%) completed the study. Primary efficacy, defined as number of live head lice on day 14, was 100%. The percentage of subjects with live lice on day 7 was 14%. The estimated number of nits before and after treatments did not change significantly.

Conclusion: The Pre-Combing Conditioner is a safe, effective treatment for head lice. The fact that most or all nits remained after two treatments may be a misleading negative outcome of this study: the incubation period for the nit is 7 to 10 days. Of the 86% of patients on day 7 who had no lice, it can be assumed that by day 14, which was 14 days from the original treatment, the nits were no longer viable.


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