Benzyl alcohol is a colorless liquid that has a mild, pleasant aromatic scent. It’s also called an “aromatic alcohol,” and is used as a preservative, as a fragrance ingredient, as the active ingredient in head lice treatment, and as a solvent, which simply means that it’s used to dissolve other ingredients to make a smooth formula or solution. |
Benzyl alcohol lotion is used to treat head lice (small insects that attach themselves to the skin) in adults and children 6 months of age and older. It should not be used in children less than 6 months of age. Benzyl alcohol is in a class of medications called pediculicides. It works by killing the lice. Benzyl alcohol lotion will not kill lice eggs, so the medication must be used a second time to kill the lice that may hatch from these eggs.
How should this medicine be used?
Topical benzyl alcohol comes as a lotion to apply to the scalp and hair. It is usually applied to the scalp and hair in two or three treatments. The second treatment of benzyl alcohol lotion must be applied about one week after the first one. Sometimes a third treatment of benzyl alcohol lotion may be necessary. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use benzyl alcohol lotion exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will prescribe a specific amount of benzyl alcohol lotion based on your hair length. Be sure to use enough lotion to cover all of your scalp area and hair.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient. Read these instructions carefully.
Benzyl alcohol lotion should only be used on the hair and scalp. Avoid getting benzyl alcohol lotion in your eyes.
If benzyl alcohol lotion gets in your eyes, flush them with water right away. If your eyes are still irritated after flushing with water, call your doctor or get medical help right away.
To use the lotion, follow these steps:
Use a towel to cover your face and eyes. Be sure to keep your eyes closed during this treatment. You may need to have an adult help you apply the lotion.
Apply benzyl alcohol lotion to dry hair and scalp area. You will also need to apply the lotion in the scalp areas behind your ears and at the back of your neck. Be sure to use enough lotion to cover the entire scalp area and all of the hair on your head.
Keep the lotion on your hair and scalp for 10 minutes after you finish applying the lotion. You should use a timer or clock to track the time.
After 10 minutes, rinse the lotion from your scalp and hair with water in a sink. You should not use a shower or bathtub to rinse the lotion away because you do not want to get the lotion over the rest of your body.
You and anyone who helped you apply the lotion should wash your hands carefully after the application and rinsing steps.
You may shampoo your hair after rinsing the lotion from your scalp and hair.
A lice comb may also be used to remove the dead lice and nits (empty egg shells) after this treatment. You may also need to have an adult help you to do this.
You will need to repeat this entire process in one week to kill the lice that hatch from eggs.
After using benzyl alcohol lotion, sanitize all the clothing, underwear, pajamas, hats, sheets, pillowcases, and towels you have used recently. These items should be washed in very hot water or dry-cleaned. You should also wash combs, brushes, hairs clips and other personal care items in hot water.
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