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‘Super Lice’ Plaguing Some Schools

September 19, 2008 09:42 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
A new form of “super lice” affecting school children has adults looking for answers on how to get rid of them.

Lice Treatment Losing Effectiveness

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Lice, a problem common to elementary schools and day care centers, are getting a little tougher to handle. Over the years, they’ve grown increasingly resistant to the pesticide shampoos used to eliminate them, prompting some people to call them “super lice.”

“Super lice” are nothing new, Arizona “Lice Lady” Michele Earl told KTAR.com. Earl, who runs a lice shampoo and comb-out service, said the pesticide shampoos used to treat lice have been around for 30 to 40 years, giving the bugs plenty of time to adapt and become more immune to treatments. In fact, Earl estimated that shampoos today are about 50 percent effective.
 
Fall is an especially common time to see a lice outbreak, according to the New York Daily News. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that between 6 and 12 million kids get head lice a year.

Dr. Eric Siegel, a dermatologist, recommends coating a child’s hair in the thickest hair gel possible and then have the child sleep overnight in a tight-fitting shower cap to get rid of lice. Leaving mayonnaise or vegetable oil in a child’s hair for a few hours can also alleviate the problem. This type of treatment suffocates the bugs.

Experts say it’s also important for adults to make sure they follow the instructions on lice treatments carefully. Following a treatment, they must perform a nitpicking session, and then treat for lice again several days later.

Reference: Types of lice; lice prevention

Related Topic: Avoiding germs at school

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