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NHS England Restricts Treatment for Dandruff and Head Lice


The National Health Service (NHS) in England is widely acknowledged as being one of the best publicly funded healthcare system in the world. Despite this, due to increased patient demands, an ageing population and woeful under-funding, the NHS is in crisis.

As a result, a number of money-saving measures have been announced by NHS England regarding which prescription treatments should be restricted from now on.

The 35 conditions these treatments relate to – including dandruff and head lice – all have readily available over-the-counter medications.

Pills medications illness health drugsOver the counter medications

Having patients buy their medication directly from a pharmacist may be a win-win situation in terms of cost-cutting, given many remedies for the listed health complaints, which include colds, sunburn and mild acne, cost less than the current April 2018 NHS England prescription charge of £8.80. Furthermore, by implementing these changes NHS England hopes to save an estimated £136 million, according to the new guideline report.

“In the year prior to June 2017, the NHS spent approximately £569 million on prescriptions for medicines, which could otherwise be purchased over the counter (OTC) from a pharmacy and/or other outlets such as petrol stations or supermarkets,” states the report.

“We expect clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to take the proposed guidance into account in formulating local polices, unless they can articulate a valid reason to do otherwise,” it continues.

“CCGs will also need to take account of their latest local pharmaceutical needs assessment and consider the impact of this guidance on rural areas and access to a pharmacy and pharmacy medicines.”

Treating dandruff and head lice

Two of the common complaints covered by these regulations are things Belgravia experts are often asked about. Many people appear to have concerns that having either dandruff or head lice – often referred to as ‘nits’ – may lead to hair loss.

Dandruff, also known as pityriasis, is caused by the epidermal turnover process of natural skin cell regeneration happening around twice as quickly as it should. It presents as pale, flaky scales on the scalp which tend to leave tell-tale flurries on the shoulders of those affected. It can be mild to persistent and can generally be treated effectively at home by washing the hair with a medicated shampoo such as T-Gel or Belgravia’s B4 shampoo. This is a premium product designed to ease scalp conditions including dermatitis, eczema, scalp psoriasis and stubborn dandruff.

Anyone dealing with an outbreak of head lice should treat it in confinement as they can be highly contagious. Over the counter scalp solutions and nit combs are available to get rid of the pesky critters, often found in young children – and teachers – as they spread quickly through schools.

Though both conditions, particularly lice, can cause an itchy scalp which may lead to irritation and possible hair breakage from scratching, neither condition causes any type of hair loss condition. If the treatments used, possibly combined with a lot of head-scratching, make the hair look thin, giving it some extra TLC by using an intensive conditioner – and a trim, if needed – should help.

The Belgravia CentreThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. 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 UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

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