A new study conducted by Kyong Yoon, a Southern Illinois University assistant professor, found out that lice are already resistant to the usual over-the-counter (OTC) treatments in most parts of the country.
Results from the 2015 study
The results from the 2015 study showed that lice have a 100% resistance to the pesticide treatments in over 25 states and a partial resistance in over 4 states which includes New York. The study also revealed, more specifically, that the “super lice” undergo genetic mutations which give them protection from permethrin, a chemical against parasites that is commonly found in famous OTC lice treatment brands.
According to WebMD, prescription medications with stronger chemical components like malathion, ivermectin, spinosad and benzyl alcohol still remain effective.
A stand against chemical treatments
A lice treatment expert Renee Garcia, who is also Three Blind Lice’s district manager, is against these chemical treatments especially if it involves children. According to Garcia, the information coming from the Pesticide Research Institute regarding the risks involved with chemical treatments include:
- Exposure of eyes, skin and lungs to possibly dangerous chemicals
- Chemicals getting less effective after lice become resistant to these insecticides
- Risk of getting poisoned when products are misused or overused
Eradicating lice using three elements
A way on how to remove lice is to use this combination of 3 elements, according to Three Blind Lice. These 3 elements are organic shampoo, a comb that gets every nit and bug, and a combing technique, which ensures hair strand is thoroughly cleaned.
This approach is also supported in the 2015 treatment suggestions created by the American Academy of Pediatrics which mentioned that the ideal lice treatment should be free of dangerous chemicals, safe, prescription-free, effective, inexpensive and easy to use. Garcia said that organic shampoo and combing are the treatments that do not include dangerous chemicals.
For Garcia, there are 2 treatment choices, either homeopathic or harsh. With OTC options no longer working on super lice, she added that she will choose homeopathic especially if that were her child. Above everything else, head lice should not be treated, if there is no confirmed diagnosis.