Several sources lately have discussed how some products for the eradication of head lice infestations are combustible/flammable when on the hair and can ignite and cause serious harm in the presence of an open flame or other source of ignition such as when lighting cigarettes.
According to Gov.uk “Eight cases of serious burns associated with Hedrin 4% cutaneous solution have been reported to the MHRA since the product was licensed in 2005. Following the first reported case in 2007, warnings about risk of fires were added to the pack and patient information leaflet for Hedrin 4% cutaneous solution. Four cases were associated with a cigarette lighter or lighting of a cigarette, one with a lit cigarette, one with a candle, and 2 with adjusting a gas fire.
There have been 2 further serious burns cases associated with other products. In 2006 a woman suffered serious burns when smoking during treatment. In 2017 another incident occurred when a child undergoing treatment came into contact with a naked flame, resulting in very serious burns.
Pharmacists should encourage parents, caregivers, and people with head lice to read the instructions carefully for all headlice eradication products.”