Super Lice Are Back! What to Do?


Lice have always been a bane of parents and teachers alike, but now things are even harder with the outbreak of super lice. These mutant creatures are lice that have become immune to the typical ingredients of over the counter lice treatments. These chemicals called pyrethroids, have been used for years, so it's not surprising that resistance has developed.

Initial symptoms are the same for any type of lice. Lice feed several times a day, often more active at night. What begins as a tickling sensation graduates to an allergic reaction caused by repeated biting. This can turn to severe itch, and too much scratching can cause sores, so act fast!

The first step in treating any lice problem is to call a pediatrician. The doctor will know which areas are plagued by super lice. If there are no mutated lice, an over the counter remedy will work. If necessary, the pediatrician can prescribe a stronger treatment with effective combatants the lice can't survive.

There are also natural remedies which don't depend on insecticides to kill the pests. One home-made solution is garlic. Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, it not only kills the bugs and stops re-infestation, it helps the inflammation on the scalp and fights infection. Wash, peel, and mash ten to twelve cloves of garlic, mix with a few drops of lime juice or tea tree oil, and apply to the scalp. Rinse after ten minutes. This should be repeated for a week or until no lice are found.

Another readily available and inexpensive fix is white vinegar. Wear eye protection against the strong odor! Hair and scalp should be soaked thirty minutes in the white vinegar to kill the lice. After soaking, comb aside a small section of hair at a time, coat with a thick conditioner, and comb again after fifteen minutes. Typically, two or three rounds of this process are effective.

If initial treatment doesn't work, don't panic. The Center for Disease Control stresses that treatments can fail if instructions aren't carefully followed. A missed step, or insufficient time can mean a few lice left alive to reinfect. Be thorough! Brush out all eggs, which can hatch after treatment. Then, disinfect any area of contact with the carrier - including clothing, beds, and furniture.

Super lice sound monstrous, but they aren't a great danger. Remember your various options, and adhere to all steps of your chosen method of treatment so that the first attempt is the last!


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