Dermatology Handbook

The professional's guide to product selection

Head lice treatments


Derbac M Liquid contains malathion, a widely used organophosphorus insecticide that inhibits cholinesterase. It is effective against a wide range of insects, but is one of the least toxic organophosphorus insecticides as it is rapidly detoxified by plasma carboxylesterases

Full Marks

Full Marks contains isopropyl myristate and cyclomethicone. It is a thin, oily liquid, which spreads quickly and completely through the hair to saturate the scalp and kill head lice and eliminate their eggs. Using the fine-tooth metal comb provided, the solution is then combed through the hair once the required time has elapsed


Hedrin solution contains dimeticone, which is used in many pharmaceutical and cosmetic preparations. A 4% concentration has been found to affect the physico-physiological activity of lice. It is less effective in its ovicidal activity and therefore two applications, 7 days apart, are required. It contains no neurotoxic organophosphate insecticides and acts by a physical process that covers the lice and disrupts their ability to manage their water balance so that treated insects fail to excrete surplus water. Its activity is not diminished in insecticide-resistant head lice


Lyclear contains permethrin, which belongs to a group of anti-parasitic agents called pyrethroids. Permethrin is rapidly absorbed across the insect cuticle. The principal physiological action is the induction of electrochemical abnormalities across the membranes of excitable cells, leading to sensory hyperexcitability, incoordination and prostration. When presented in an aqueous base, the ovicidal activity of permethrin is increased by the addition of an alcohol

Vamousse Head Lice Treatment

Vamousse Head Lice Treatment

Head lice-control product that contains no synthetic pesticides and is demonstrated to provide high levels of efficacy while maintaining a good safety profile for the user. Kills lice and eggs through direct contact, is non-systemic, and does not leave a residue on the hair or scalp. Therefore, direct contact of lice and eggs is necessary for the product to kill lice by its physical mode of action of desiccation through removal of cuticular lipids.