It‘s bad enough that parents have to watch out for head lice coming home from school with their kids.
Now, doctors say lice have become resistant to many of the drugs used to kill them.
Dermatologists believe that up to 60-percent of head lice nationally may be what the media have labeled “super lice”, or resistant to typical drug treatments according to Dr. Brian Aguilar (AG-u-LAR), a St. Vincent pediatrician in McCordsville.
The American Academy of Dermatology says up to 12 million children between the ages of 3 and 12 contract head lice each year, and Aguilar says the drug-resistant lice have shown up in Indiana.
Unlike other bacteria which some doctors believe have become resistant to antibiotics because of over-prescription, Aguilar says head lice seem to have genetically evolved over time to resist treatments, developing stronger exoskeletons and immune systems.
Head lice do not carry disease, constant itching in the area around the scalp could lead to an infection. Aguilar says they also cannot fly from person to person and can only be transmitted through head to head or head to clothing contact.
Aguilar says over-the-counter treatments such as Nix and Rid still work on some head lice. He says parents should try those treatments or use a fine-toothed comb to remove the lice and their nits first and see their pediatricians if those treatments don‘t work