Resistant Lice or Why Lice are Challenging to Eliminate

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Many parents start the treatment process by buying and trying drugstore head lice remedies. After following the directions and applying the medication, they are dismayed to see that bugs are still alive on the head. Some folks do not see anything following treatment but a week or two later they do. Still others are surprised to find eggs in the hair a few weeks after treatment. What has happened?

Seeing Live Lice Soon After Treatment

At LiceDoctors, we have received many calls over the years from upset and perplexed parents who have used over-the-counter and prescription lice products and report that they are still seeing live bugs several hours after treatment. We have gone into thousands of homes of children who have received at home treatment, and have seen with our own eyes live bugs crawling on their heads or down their necks. The reason for this is that the bugs are resistant to the treatment products. These head lice have mutated and the chemicals simply are not efficacious. It is not that you did anything wrong, or that you did not apply the chemical often enough, it is simply that the chemicals are no longer a viable way to kill lice. Do an online search for “super lice” and you will find plenty of corroborating evidence.

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Finding Live Lice a Week or More After Treatment

You may have used a chemical lice treatment and looked in the hair and been relieved to find no signs of lice. Just to be safe, you look again 10 days after treatment and are dismayed to find small nits or eggs in the hair. You wonder what has happened as you thought you were done with this case. What has happened is that the chemical products are not able to penetrate the shell of the nits. On the day of treatment, there were tiny nits left in the hair. These nits have grown and are now visible or they have hatched and you catch a glimpse of a live bug. The bottom line is that very often chemical lice treatments simply do not work through no human error, but simply because the lice are no longer vulnerable to them.

If you are in this boat, you have plenty of company. Here is the advice of the National Pediculosis Association in Newton Massachusetts, an advocacy organization:

“Until the treatment failure crisis is fully addressed by the scientific and medical community as well as the product manufacturers, the NPA is offering the following suggestions for those who use a lice treatment product and experience treatment failure:

If you continue to be infested with live lice after treatment, discontinue use of the products and don't use other products in the hope of killing the lice. Remember, these products are not mere shampoos, cremes or lotions, they are pesticides.

Never resort to dangerous remedies such as lindane, kerosene, or pet shampoos.

Manual removal is crucial. Beyond snipping or pulling out the nits, you should also be screening for and removing live lice. Having at least two people check an infested person is important as one person cannot see the entire scalp. Lice move quickly and shy away from light when you are checking.

Don't spend hours on end cleaning your environment. Head lice need human blood to survive. Vacuum surface areas only. Save your time and energy for what will benefit you most, delousing the individual. NEVER USE A LICE SPRAY [on your furntiure]!”

Source: National Pediculousis Association

LiceDoctors technicians have treated hundreds of thousands of cases of head lice, many of whom had been treated prior to our visit with lice chemicals. Your lice tech will employ a comprehensive treatment that includes combing and strand by strand treatment. No chemicals are ever used and the treatments are absolutely safe safe and effective and come with a 30 day guarantee. Call LiceDoctors in Portsmouth at 757-609-0509 so that you can finally get rid of the head lice….and keep them away!