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This Map Shows Where Lice Has Become Resistant to Natural Treatments Reader's Digest

It’s no secret that head lice are pretty much the worst thing one can get. Let’s face it, they are gross, and scary, and sometimes unexpected. Symptoms of head lice are not just painful and itchy, unfortunately, they are highly contagious and are getting harder to eradicate. Gone are the days one can just wash our bed sheets with hot water and sterilize anything they might contaminate.

According to a report from the Journal of Entomology, there has been a high rise of treatment-resistance lice thought the years. Lice aren’t responding to the standard over the counter treatments! Yikes. It’s a lice infestation.

Don’t believe us? Check this map of the United States to see if your state has become an epidemic of treatment resistance lice.

Treatment Resistant Lice
Via Reader’s Digest

Yes, the map scared me too. It shows how there are 42 out of the 50 states that have a serious problem with headline being resistant to OTC treatments. Out of the 50, 4 have mixed results, 2 have no data, and 2 have resistance lice in 50-100 percent of the samples. According to the Pediatric Dermatology, the effectiveness of the treatments have declined by 24 percent, which is no better than a placebo! In a way, you can say these lice bugs have adapted and have managed to filter out the most common products today. These products usually contain Permethrin, such as Nix and Rid.

Scary, I know, but don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you will have lice forever. Most people don’t know there are actually prescription medications that you can take to kill those little crawlers! In fact, medical professionals actually prefer these prescriptions over at home remedies. What are these prescriptions?

  • Ovide, known as malathion lotion, usually paralyzes and kills lice. It is applied to the hair and left on for 8 to 12 house before rinsed.
  • Ulesfia, known as benzyl alcohol, is a a non toxic cream that is a pesticide used for coating the hair. The product then suffocates the lice.  It is applied to the head for 10 minutes and then is rinsed off.
  • Sklice, known as ivermectin, is a topical cream that is used for 10 minutes and is said to kill 95 percent of lice without needing to comb the hair.
  • Spinosad, known as Natroba, is usually needed only once. This is used to kill live lice and ticks, and is safe to use on children ages 4 and older.

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According to Kenneth Polin, MD, pediatrician at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, perception medication is the way to go to ensure lice are eliminated since the beginning, due to over the counter medicine not being consistently effective. By having prescription medication, there is no resistance behind it. Once you child has been prescribed, make sure and disinfect everything you think might be infected. For example, bed linens, hats, coats, or anything that your kid might be used to sharing.

If you prefer to not use any prescription, you can alway try home remedies or over-the-counter treatments, along with combing wet hair with a Fine toothed comb to remove nits. Unfortunately, this method might not be long-term. Remember, these home tremens might need to be recreated after 7 to 9 days, since they might not kill all recently laid eggs. Some other remedies one can use at home is washing anything that touched the scalp, or skin, exposing them to temperatures greater than 128.3. Vacuum all sofas, rugs, and clean floors to remove hairs that might still have lice eggs attached to it.

Read More: Florida Panhandle Beaches Infested with “Sea Lice”

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Silke  Jasso About the author:
Silke Jasso is a bilingual editor, writer, producer and journalist specialized in online media. Born in Laredo Texas, her previous works include LareDOS Newspaper where she was and editor and writer, and Entravision Communications where she was a Co-Anchor and Multi-Media Journalist for Fox39 News and Univision 27. She recently ...Read more
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