As if it weren’t bad enough to find out that you have head lice, now there’s a new strain to worry about. Coined “super lice,” this new type has been reported in 25 states and it’s resistant to common over-the-counter treatments.
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Just like regular lice, super lice can be found in the scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes where they feed of the human’s blood supply. And, like the lice you know from your childhood, this version is super contagious and spreads when the lice crawl from an infested area of hair to another area of hair, be it on the same person or a different person. But, unlike traditional lice, the new super lice strain aren’t easily killed with pyrethroids, the insecticide ingredient found in most OTC anti-lice treatments.
“Although researchers have identified a strain of lice that are resistant to the available over-the-counter treatments (specifically medications that contain pyrethroids), there’s no reason to panic. Lice and not dangerous and most are still easily treated by the conventional methods,” explains Houston dermatologist Elizabeth Geddes, MD.
“If an OTC product isn’t working to combat your lice, seek help from your physician who can prescribe a number of other effective treatments,” she says. But most importantly, keep the lice controlled by not sharing your hair brushes, accessories or hats with anyone else.
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