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'Super Lice' Spreading, Not Responding To Some Medications

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Posted at 6:01 PM, Aug 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-08 04:42:21-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - They're creepy crawly and tough to get rid of, so when over the counter lice medication didn't work, one little girl's grandmother brought her to The Lice Place in Brentwood hoping to rid her scalp from the insects for good.

Unfortunately, what happened to this youngster has become more and more common. Vanderbilt Pediatrician Dr. Joseph Gigante said it's because of something called super lice.

"What has happened is over the years lice have mutated and become more resistant to those over the counter medicines because of that continued use," he said.

But Dr. Gigante said don't give up on over the counter treatments just yet.

"What might be the most prudent course of action might be to go ahead and treat the one time and go ahead and do that second treatment in five to seven days," he said. "Hopefully the head lice will respond with that second treatment."

Then if that doesn't work, you may find yourself going to the doctor or to a treatment center for other options. Deanna Dickerson, owner of The Lice Place said their treatment process involves looking at every strand of hair.

"We do a mechanical manual removal of the lice from the head," she said.

Even though this new super lice has been making its rounds, Dickerson said don't be afraid.

"We're dealing with tiny insects here not Godzilla," she said. "It's not a problem. It's something that can be easily taken care of. It's a typical childhood illness."

The alternatives to over the counter lice medication don't come cheap.

A prescription will cost you about $150, and treatment centers like "The Lice Place" will run anywhere from $75 to $200.

In order to prevent lice altogether, don't share hats or brushes or anything that touches another child's head. Also, if there's an infestation at your child's school, you can spray their hair with mint spray.