Clinical efficacy and safety in head lice infection by Pediculus humanis capitis De Geer (Anoplura: Pediculidae) of a capillary spray containing a silicon-oil complex

Parasite. 2010 Dec;17(4):329-35. doi: 10.1051/parasite/2010174329.


Head lice are endemic worldwide. Resistance to permethrin and doubts about the safety of pesticides promoted the use of physical therapies (wet-combing, dry-on suffocation). The aim of our study was to test the pediculicidal and ovicidal effects of one application of a silicon-oil complex composed of dimethiconol and castor oil. The study was a prospective cohort of 108 infested patients (11 males, 97 females; 58 children, 50 adults), in Sri-Lanka. Pediculicidal efficacy was evaluated as the percentage of patients free of live lice one hour after the application of the treatment and at day 1 (wet combing). Ovicidal efficacy was calculated as the proportion of subjects without larval stages at days 1 and 7 among subjects followed up all over the study. In normal conditions of use, in this open cohort, a pediculicidal effect of a dimethiconol-castor-oil lotion was.shown one hour after application in 99/108 (91.7%) treated subjects and at day 1 in 86/99 (87%) subjects and an ovicidal effect at day 7 in 79/108 (73.2%) treated subjects. A second application of the same product was necessary to increase the cure rate to 79.6% (86/108) at day 8. In our study, the second application of the same product was performed seven days later, but the best time for additional applications should be defined in further studies. However, the efficacy of this safe physical treatment was similar to that of chemical pediculicides (malathion, permethrin).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Castor Oil / administration & dosage
  • Castor Oil / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Female
  • Hair / parasitology
  • Humans
  • Insecticides / therapeutic use
  • Lice Infestations / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pediculus / drug effects*
  • Permethrin / therapeutic use*


  • Insecticides
  • Permethrin
  • Castor Oil