Back-to-school means sniffles, germs… and lice. This year, there’s another type of lice spreading across the country, called super lice. Super lice are treatment resistant meaning they don’t respond to over-the-counter lice treatments. Unfortunately the majority of lice are this type.
Before you panic, get the facts. Dr. Mia Finkelston, who treats patients using LiveHealth Online, answers some of the questions you may have around super lice.
- Should I be concerned about my child’s health if they have super lice? There’s no medical danger to either lice or super lice, and there is nothing harmful that can happen to your child, besides the ick factor and a little scratching. You’ll find it’s more of a nuisance than anything.
- Does super lice spread the same way as regular lice? Indeed they do! Super lice can spread through direct contact with hair or sharing items that touch your head with infected people. Make sure your child doesn’t share combs, brushes, hats, scarves or hair clips with friends at school. They move by crawling, but cannot hop or fly. If you know there’s an outbreak at your child’s school, they should be checked for lice even if they aren’t complaining of itching their head.
- What should I do if my child brings homes lice? Check everyone in the family first because lice can spread easily. Then, treat those with active infestations with over the counter products and be sure to follow directions on the label. Use a lice comb to remove lice and their nits after each treatment and between treatments, if necessary. You also want to wash clothes and bedding in hot water and dry them in a hot dryer or seal them in extra bags for two weeks.
- How will I know if it’s super lice? If you are still finding lice or their eggs after 72 hours, you could be dealing with super lice. In this case, it may take several applications of the over-the-counter treatment. You also will need to be even more careful and pay more attention when using a lice comb to remove the nits. If you’re still having issues dealing with lice, you may want to contact a doctor. You can see a doctor 24/7 using LiveHealth Online.