Super Lice Now Resistant To Common Treatments

Courtesy American Chemical Society

New research shows strains of head lice in 25 states, shown in pink on the map, are now resistant to over the counter treatments. That includes lice tested in South Carolina.

As kids walk the halls these first few days of school, a familiar threat is resurfacing.

Pediatric Hair Solutions in Greenville is already getting calls about head lice. And now with news that it’s only getting worse, parents are panicked.

“Everybody comes in and they’re very high stressed when they get here,” said Director of Operations Maureen Rable.

According to the American Chemical Society, 25 states, including South Carolina, have lice populations that are now resistant to over the counter chemical treatments. Scientists found the lice have mutated to withstand those treatments still widely recommended by doctors and schools.

Rable says they offer an alternative that works. In their four and a half years in business, she says all 10,000 treatments have been successful.

“We are attacking the egg more so than the bug. The other treatments, they will kind of attack the bug even though they aren’t 100% at killing the bug. But they don’t do anything with the egg,” said Rable. “What we do is treating the egg, killing it with the heated device and doing a comb out following that.”

Pediatric Hair Solutions offers a one-and-done treatment in the office for $185. They also offer an at-home treatment that takes about two weeks for $85.

Experts from the head lice study also say lice can still be controlled by stronger chemicals available by prescription from your doctor. But they warn, using them over and over will only make lice more resistant.

The bottom line? Talk to your doctor or call Rable.

Researchers remind parents that even though head lice are a huge nuisance, they do not carry disease.

The study is also a good reminder about how to prevent the spread of lice.

Experts say group selfies are a main culprit with kids putting their heads together for cell phone pictures.

And for your daughters, make sure their hair is tied back in a braid or bun to make it more difficult for lice to attach to their hair.


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