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MHRA Advises Caution Over Head Lice Medications

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a warning regarding the storage of head lice medications.

Further to a Drug Alert sent to pharmacists urging them to make people purchasing such treatments aware of the risks, the MHRA states in a public press release: ‘Parents, caregivers and people with head lice are being reminded to always read product instructions before applying head lice removal products. Some of these products have the potential to ignite when in the presence of an open flame – such as when lighting cigarettes.’

The warnings come after 10 incidents of serious burns associated with head lice treatment – which can ignite whilst on the hair – were reported to the MHRA during the 2007 – April 2018 period.

itchy head scalp hair lice nitsProper storage of hair treatments

Head lice treatments are not the only type of medication which needs to be properly stored. The patient information leaflet which accompanies all medications should contain the relevant instructions for safe storage and – as with the rest of the directions contained – it is important to follow them.

Hair loss treatments are no exception when it comes to following proper storage protocols, though the rules, such as keeping bottles away from direct sunlight, generally have little impact on users. They mostly refer to how topical hair loss solutions in particular are stored by manufacturers, pharmacists and sellers and set out practices to ensure the products remain at their optimum efficacy, and that safety is not compromised.

Along with not knowing precisely what the packaging may contain or whether it is in date, this storage issue is one of the key troubling factors people should be wary of when considering buying hair loss medications from unauthorised vendors or websites. The MHRA has previously run campaigns advising people about the dangers associated with buying counterfeit or stolen medications.

Hair loss from scalp burns

Should anyone find themselves in the unfortunate position of burning their scalp, either the emergency services or their GP – depending on the severity – will be able to assist with pain management and healing. Whether hair loss as a result of scalp burns will be permanent or not depends on how acutely the hair follicles have been affected.

If it is a minor, surface burn then, once the scalp heals properly, as long as there is no scarring, normal hair growth should resume within a few months. Where there is scarring and the skin takes on a smooth, shiny appearance, this is a sign that the follicles are no longer functioning so hair growth is no longer possible, even with the help of pharmaceutical treatments. In this case, the resulting hair loss condition is called Cicatricial Alopecia, also known as Scarring Alopecia.

In some cases surgical hair restoration may be a possibility, though as burns vary so drastically from person to person, as well as the level and quality of donor hair – the hair that is taken from the back and/or sides of the head and grafted into the recipient areas of the scalp during a hair transplant – this is decided very much on a case-by-case basis. There are various surgeons in the UK with highly specialised expertise in this area and anyone considering this option would do well to take advice from one of these renowned experts to gauge whether this is the right procedure for them and if it is likely to be successful.


circ - Belgravia Centre hair loss clinic London pharmacy hairloss treatmentsThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.


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