Super Lice

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    Super Lice spreads across Tennessee and nation

    Super lice sounds like a big bug with an “S” on its chest, but the fact is, super lice, or mutated lice, are a parasite now hitting all across Tennessee and 47 other states. They are called super, because over-the-counter treatments don’t work on them, as they have literally mutated themselves over the years.

    Lice are tiny little creatures that live on the heads of unsuspecting children. The bugs lay eggs, called nits, which they actually “glue” in place on the hair. These parasitic creatures can even survive under water for six hours.

    Many over-the-counter treatments include the ingredient Pyrethroid, which is an extract found in, of all things, chrysanthemums. This extract paralyzes the lice by getting into their nervous system. Now, however, the super lice have evolved and are more and more resistant to the Pyrethroid.

    Health care professionals still advocate using the over-the-counter medications, stating they they can still be effective, and that many time parents simply aren’t using them according to the directions. Some common mistakes parents make is not applying the second application, as the first application only kills the active lice, not the eggs; and not leaving the application on long enough for it to do its job is another mistake parents make. A fussy child that don’t like the treatment left in their hair is easier to deal with than a household full of lice.

    After giving it all you’ve got, you may have to take your child to see a doctor for prescription treatments, which will include different ingredients that the lice are not resistant to, at least for now.

    Most health care providers do not recommend using household remedies like mayonnaise and vaseline. They even say there is no proof that the nit combs work, at least outside of the treatments.

    Mom and Dad, don’t forget, if your child has lice, you are also at a higher risk of getting them. Make sure to check everyone in the household when one of your young ones has lice in their hair.

    To help prevent head lice, www.licesquad.com offers these tips:
    Keep long hair tied up in ponytails or even better, braids or a bun
    Use a little hairspray to keep stray hair contained
    Use tea tree oil either by adding a few drops to your regular shampoo, or by make a sprint by adding a few drops to water in a spray bottle and applying to hair

    Other tips include not sharing brushes, combs, hair accessories, hats and helmets, and no playing that leads to head-to-head contact.

    Melissa Brown

    Pic: Lice