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Some lice resistant to over-the-counter meds

Posted at 3:13 PM, Sep 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-06 16:13:32-04

The mere thought of head lice is enough to make a person itch. And it's something that tends to be on the rise with school in session.

The CDC estimates there are 6-12 million infestations every year among children ages 3-11. 

SUPER LICE FOUND IN U.S. 

No parent wants to hear this: "there have been some reports that there are some super bugs in a sense, lice that are resistant to tradition over-the-counter medications," says Dr. Emily Bendlin with Methodist Physicians Clinic Hawthorne Court Pediatrics. 

She says the tradition lice-fighting drug called permethrin which is found in products like Nix and Rid may not work. She says you'll want to do more than one treatment and pick out all the nits if you are going to try products with this ingredient. 
 
That is why, Dr. Bendlin recommends getting a prescription if your little ones gets lice. The drug is called Sklice and there are generic versions. She says you only need one treatment and will not need to pick out the nits. 
 
DO ESSENTIAL OILS AND TEA TREE OIL WORK? 
 
We found many parents on social media saying they use essential oils to prevent and/or treat lice infestations. Dr. Bendlin says there have been studies that show they work. However, they are not FDA approved so she says the safety profile isn't there and since there are so many different formulations it's difficult to know if they will do the trick. 
 
WHAT ABOUT OLIVE OIL AND PETROLEUM JELLY? 
 
Other parents told us they wanted to know about suffocating the lice with a thick petroleum jelly or olive oil. Dr. Bendlin says studies show those do not work. 
 
IT'S NOT ABOUT HYGIENE 
 
Sure, they're gross and a pain to deal with, but Dr. Bendlin would like people to remember this, " although lice are a nuisance and they have that certain yuck factor, they are not a health hazard, they are not associated with poor hygiene, and lastly they don't spread diseases."
 
"I'VE FOUND LICE, WHAT DO I DO ABOUT CLOTHING, BEDDING AND OTHER PEOPLE IN THE HOME?"
 
Here are links with helpful information about stopping the spread of lice and identifying them in the first place: