A “Super Lice” Treatment That Actually Works (And Many that Don’t)

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Have you ever come across a lice infestation that just won’t budge?

If so, you may have been a victim of one of the nasty plagues we’re seeing more of these days – “super lice.” Sadly, far from being superheroes, these lice have one power, the ability to hang around and bug you and your family!

When you’ve got kids being kept out of school, it’s a real concern. They’re missing out on valuable learning, while you’re probably having to take time off from work to treat them. In fact, the 6 - 12 million cases of lice estimated by the CDC each year lead to 12 – 24 million missed school days!

One of the first things to do is to “know thy enemy.” Here’s the quick down-low on super lice, how to treat them and treatments to avoid.

What are super lice?

 Like regular head lice, super lice survive by feeding on blood from the human scalp. They lay eggs, known as nits on the hair shaft, multiplying on the heads of their human targets. Lice are most commonly found infesting preschool and elementary aged children, as these tikes tend to play closely with one another.

Just like other head lice, super lice will usually be detected when your child complains of an itchy or tickly scalp, or when someone spots the eggs in their hair.

The difference with super lice is that they are resistant to commonly used treatments. Specifically, insecticides such as permethrin or pyrethrin are ineffective for treating them. Pyrethroids have been used for many years, but studies have found resistant super lice in 48 US states.

How did this happen? Researchers believe that blame can go to over-the-counter treatments not being used properly. For example, if a treatment is not applied correctly or left on for long enough, the lice are exposed to it but not killed. They grow stronger and then spread to other people.

There is no one who is immune to the reach of super lice. They love nice, clean hair! It is not a reflection of the cleanliness of your house if your child is infested. While “super lice” sounds scary, if your child has them, they are no more dangerous than regular lice. They don’t harbor diseases and are closer to that of an irritation.

Which treatments are ineffective for super lice?

People have tried anything and everything over the years to get rid of lice. Most of these treatments are ineffective against super lice. The permethrin or pyrethrin treatments one commonly finds over the counter simply will not work.

To make matters worse, pyrethroids are a known neurotoxin, meaning that they inhibit the function of neurons in humans. Neurons are found everywhere in the human body and are responsible for a variety of tasks, including operation of the autonomic nervous system.

There is a concern that when a pyrethroid treatment doesn’t work, parents may reapply it. This means that children are in danger of being exposed to the product beyond guidelines for safety. Not only will they still have lice, but the treatment may impact their health and wellbeing.

Home remedies such as tea tree oil are also getting mixed results. While tea tree oil may be an effective repellent to the insects, it doesn’t always work to kill super lice that are already on the scalp. Super lice are an evolved species and difficult to treat! 

Which treatments work on super lice?

In some cases, prescription lice treatments may work to eliminate super lice. This may not always be the case though, as they become more resistant to available treatments. One also needs to remember that most of these treatments involve harsh chemicals. As parents, we want to avoid the risk of exposing our kids to chemicals that may cause harm.

A search for natural lice treatments will turn many results, but many are unproven. They do not have any scientific backing for claims of safety or efficacy. For example, treatments such as slathering hair with mayonnaise may only make your child smell like a sandwich!

One treatment that has been clinically proven to work in treating super lice is an electric lice comb such as the RobiComb®. This is a non-toxic, chemical-free treatment. It works by zapping lice with an electric charge, stunning or killing them. Lice and eggs can then be combed out of the hair without any nasty chemicals. The comb protects children and users from being zapped with specially-designed comb tips which protect the scalp.

Electric lice combs are a cost-effective and more environmentally-friendly option defeating super lice. One comb can be used to treat your entire household, and it can be easily cleaned and used again as needed.

With up to 98% of lice being treatment-resistant super lice, it’s important to consider how you will treat them safely and effectively. An electric lice comb such as the RobiComb® gets the job done without mess or chemical exposure.

If your household is struck by the super lice scourge, take a deep breath and know that you have options. Your family can be treated without nasty chemicals or unintended side-effects.

 

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