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head lice

NYDA® is the first head lice treatment to be approved by the NHS in more than four years

NYDA®, the head lice treatment – clinically proven to leave children and families free of head lice and their eggs (nits) 1,2,3,4,4a,5 – has been approved by the NHS. This means it can be prescribed FREE of charge to children under 16 in the UK by the family GP, practice nurse**, healthcare visitor** or prescribing pharmacist**.

Already the No 1 brand in Germany, NYDA® is the first head lice treatment to be approved by the NHS in more than four years. It is based on a special dual formula of 92% dimeticone and works by suffocating the lice and eggs. (Dimeticone is a form of silicone so safe that it is used for treating colic in babies, and it moisturises and protects the skin.) NYDA® is also proven to be superior to other dimeticone treatments, 1,4,4a.

In Scotland, NYDA® is also available FREE to children under 16 on the Scottish Minor Ailments Scheme. To find out more, visit your local pharmacy or any supermarket with an in-store pharmacy.


At any given time, 20% of children in the UK7 – there are 10 million under the age of 168 – are estimated to be suffering a head lice infestation. UK parents rarely succeed in breaking the louse lifecycle, which means they are not getting head lice and louse eggs (nits) out of their children’s hair. The reasons for this are: failing to check regularly for head lice – 60% check once a month or less often; failing to follow treatment instructions properly (53%), head lice that – in up to 80% of cases – are resistant to traditional insecticide-based treatments9, and the social stigma felt by parents when their children are infested (71%), which can prevent them from seeking help with eradication10

The head lice problem is further compounded by poor access to quality head lice treatments, coupled with limited access to prescription services in the community. Although head lice treatments can be prescribed free to children under 16 across the UK, in reality it all depends on where you live.

Scotland and Northern Ireland both operate a national Minor Ailments Scheme with community pharmacies. This means that parents can go straight to their local pharmacy or supermarket pharmacy and receive FREE head lice treatments with an identified head louse infestation. In other words there is no need to go to your doctor for a prescription.

In England, however, parents fall victim to the NHS postcode lottery, with just 13% of Primary Care
Trusts giving parents access to free head lice treatments through community pharmacies. It is estimated that as few as 20 out of 152 Primary Care Trusts will allow community pharmacies to prescribe head lice treatments FREE of charge to children under 16, thus forcing many parents to buy over-the-counter treatments or wait for an appointment with their GP or healthcare professional.

As a consequence, time-poor parents now spend £25.3* million on over-the-counter head lice remedies and treatments, of which more than half will fail to work. By contrast, the NHS in England prescribes just £1.8 million of head lice treatments per year.

Babs Young, Independent Nurse Consultant, Children and Young Peoples Public Health and NYDA®’s Nurse Advisor, commented:
“Head lice are not considered to be a high-priority health issue as they do not pose a major public health hazard, but continued infestations can have a long-term social impact on children and families. That’s why it’s so important for parents to have access to quality products, whether free on prescription or bought over the counter.

“Parents sometimes panic at the sight of lice, feeling disgust and anxiety when they discover an infestation. Younger children are less likely to get emotional about it, but they can still suffer as a consequence – losing days from school, experiencing disturbed sleep patterns through itching and discomfort, and so losing concentration in the daytime. Some may experience bullying and exclusion from peer groups. Older children can react more like adults, often feeling embarrassment and shame.

“School nurses used to be in a position to take responsibility for prevention, identification and treatment, while these days the responsibility lies with parents, but it is the duty of health professionals to support parents by providing quality education, advice and information on easy access to prescription services.”


NYDA® is a clear liquid (92% dimeticone dual formula) that works physically rather than with chemical pesticides: it kills head lice and their eggs by suffocating them2. Rather like a hair conditioner, NYDA® gently coats the individual strands of hair, but it also coats any lice and eggs that are present and enters their tiny breathing holes, suffocating them. Laboratory tests have proven that after just one treatment head lice treated with NYDA® die within one minute1, while their eggs die within 8 hours5. NYDA® is lethal on lice, yet, easy to use, safe and does not cause skin irritation


Over the years, head lice have developed a resistance to many traditional pesticide-based treatments, which poison the lice. As a result, when an outbreak of lice occurs, pesticide-based treatments often simply do not work9. Because NYDA® works in a physical way, suffocating head lice and their eggs, the insects are very unlikely develop resistance to NYDA®4,4a.


Identify the presence of head lice using the special NYDA® detection comb. Then simply use the pump spray supplied to apply NYDA® over your child’s entire head of hair. Part the hair with the special NYDA® detection comb, spray on the lotion, working from the roots downwards , and then massage the lotion in to make sure the section of hair around the parting is fully covered. Then, repeat the process for another section of hair. After 30 minutes, use the special NYDA® comb supplied to remove the dead lice. Then, leave non-greasy NYDA® in your child’s hair for eight hours (overnight is ideal). Afterwards, comb and wash the hair. NYDA® completely eliminates the need for tedious, unpleasant ‘bug-busting’ (combing your child’s hair to find live lice and their eggs and then removing them by hand, which is only 38% - 57% successful11,12).

- ENDS -

For further information on please contact:

Penny Lukats
Mobile: 07775 992350


* The results of treatment should be re-checked after 8-10 days, if necessary, the application should be repeated.
** For those practitioners who have completed their training.
1. Oliveira FAS et al.,2007: High in vitro efficacy of NYDA® L, a pediculicide containing dimeticone. J. Europ. Acad. Dermatol. Venereol., 21 (10), 1325-1329
2. Richling I.& Böckeler W.,2008: Lethal effects of treatment with a special dimeticone formula on insects (Orthoptera, Ensifera: Acheta domestica and Anoplura, Phthiraptera: Pediculus humanus) - Insights into physical mechanisms. Arzneimittelforschung 2008, 58 (5), S. 248-254.
3. Heukelbach J et al.,2008: A highly efficacious pediculicide based on dimeticone: Randomized observer blinded comparative trial, BMC Infect. Dis. 2008, 8:115 doi:10.1186/1471-2334-8-115
4. Sonnberg S et al.,2008: Ovizide Wirksamkeit von over-the-counter Kopflausprodukten [Ovicidal efficacy of head lice products]. Monatsschr. Kinderheilkd. 2008, Band 156, suppl. 1, S. 82-83
4a. Heukelbach J et al.,2011: Ovicidal efficacy of high concentration Dimeticone dimeticone: A new era of head lice treatment. J Am Acad Dermatol 2011: 64; 4, e61-e62.
5. Data on file, 2007
6. IMS, 2010
7. Clark C. Pharmaceutical Journal 2007; 279: 185-188
8. Office of National Statistics.,2006: Projected populations at mid-years by age last birthday in five-year age groups in 2011
9. D R Thomas et al.,2006: Arch Dis Child 2006,000:1-3
10. Parison j et al.,2008: Emotional Reactions to Head Lice: Stigma and Other Social Impacts. Population Health Congress 2008. A Global World – Practical Action for Health and Well-being, Brisbane,2008
11. Roberts RJ et al., 2000: Comparison of wet combing with malathion for treatment of head lice in the UK: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 2000, 356:540-544.
12. Hill N et al., 2005: Single boind, randomised, comparative study of the Bug Buster kit and over the counter pediculocide treatments against head lice in the UK. BMJ 2005; 331:384-7

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