People Scratching Their Heads From Super Lice - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

People Scratching Their Heads From Super Lice

Students are back in school, and many parents are learning their children are bringing home more than homework - some are bringing home head lice. But today's bugs can be resistant to traditional medicines, earning the name "super lice".\r\n\r\nAbout the size of a sesame seed, they crawl from head to head and latch onto hair follicles so they can feed on tiny droplets of blood. These bugs are usually found on the nape of the neck, or around the hairline. It makes your skin crawl just thinking about head lice, but today's head lice have earned the reputation of super lice.\r\n\r\nDoctor Sheila Friedlander, section chief for pediatric dermatology at Rady Children's Hospital, says the small parasites are getting harder to kill, because they have grown resistant to drugs.\r\n\r\n"Those bugs get smart and they become a little resistant, but that doesn't mean there's nothing around to treat them," Dr. Friedlander said.\r\n\r\nThe most common treatments for head lice are over-the-counter and prescription shampoos and cream rinses that include pesticides. Doctor Friedlander likes Cetaphil cleanser used with a blow drier. \r\n\r\n"With that method you use two different things that help you kill both the bugs - the live bugs and the eggs or knits," Dr. Friedlander said.\r\n\r\nA recent study found hot air is effective in killing head lice.\r\n\r\n"You use a blow dryer for 30 minutes, you section off the hair into 10 to 20 sections, blow each area for 30 to 60 seconds," Dr. Friedlander said.\r\n\r\nIf your child has an itchy, red scalp, inspect the hair close to the scalp for any signs of lice or eggs. Children in daycare centers and elementary schools are at risk for head lice because they are in close contact with one another.\r\n\r\n"There are about 6 to 12 million cases a year in the United States, so there are a lot of head lice around," Dr. Friedlander said.\r\n\r\nEven though she says head lice aren't dangerous and don't spread disease, there's a stigma about having head lice.\r\n\r\n"Kids are Harvard get head lice, and kids all over the world get head live, and it doesn't mean that you're poor. It's nothing to do with how much money you make or what your dad does for a living," Dr. Friedlander said.\r\n\r\nIf you don't want to put pesticides on your child's head to kill head lice, there are some old home remedies found right in your kitchen. \r\n\r\nThe goal of the treatment is to smother the bugs, and to get rid of the eggs or nits. One solution: mayonnaise. You have to smear it on the scalp, and it has to stay on the head for about 2 to 4 hours, comb it through, and wash hair. Olive oil is also recommended, and again, you have to leave it on for at least two hours.\r\n
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