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Head Lice Resistant To OTC Treatments


Health Today reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested head lice from 25 different states in the U.S. and found that they are developing a resistance to over-the-counter treatments. 

Different areas of the country have developed differently. North and South Carolina, Arizona, California, Georgia, and Texas report lice populations with three genetic mutations that make them resistant to pyrethroids, a family of insecticides that most over-the-counter products use as the active ingredient. New York, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Oregon have only been found to contain half of the resistant genes and there were no mutations reported in Michigan.

What Does This Mean For You?

While head lice are not known to carry disease they can still be a nuisance. Assistant professor in the biological sciences and environmental sciences program at Southern Illinois University and lead study author Kyong Yoon suggests ordering prescription treatments and changing up the treatment so that the lice can’t get accustomed to one treatment. Read more about the study and findings here: Head Lice Now Resistant to OTC Treatments Found In 25 States