This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
For head lice, saturate the hair with kerosene oil two or three times a day for two or three days; then wash the head with soap and water. This is not a very agreeable remedy, but is a safe and certain cure. Another remedy is a lotion made by steeping half an ounce of bruised stavesacre seeds in a pint of equal parts of vinegar and alcohol. Wash the head with the solution twice or three times a day for a day or two. The following is another good remedy: Carbolic acid, one drachm; glycerine, one-half ounce; alcohol, one ounce Mix the carbolic acid thoroughly with the alcohol and glycerine, then add four ounces of water. Shake well before using. Must be employed with some caution, but is a good remedy. Bathe the head with it carefully twice or three times a day for two days.
Body lice can usually be cured by changing the clothing, and warm bathing with soap and water. It is better, however, to apply to the skin of the affected parts some parasiticide ointment The following is excellent: Soak half an ounce of powdered stavesacre in an ounce of hot olive oil for half an hour; add an ounce of vaseline. This ointment is also excellent for head lousiness. It should be well rubbed in.
The crab louse usually affects the hair of the covered portions of the body only. The best remedies are cleanliness, thorough washing with soap, and the application of mercurial ointment. Care should be taken in the use of this ointment, as harm may be done by its absorption into the system. In order to render a small quantity efficient, it is a good plan to clip close to the skin the hair of the affected parts. The ointment should then be applied at night and washed off' in the morning, the clothes being changed for new ones, or those which have been freed from the parasites. Kerosene oil, or crude petroleum, may also be used as directed for head lousiness, and is a safer remedy.
In all varieties of lousiness the bed clothing, as well as personal clothing, should be thoroughly boiled, or baked in an oven, as this is the only means of destroying the insects and their eggs. In cases of body lousiness, the seams of the clothing should be ironed with a flatiron as hot as can be used without scorching. If this plan is not successful, the seams may be saturated with a solution of carbolic add, twenty drops to the ounce of water.