Arizona among states with ‘super lice,’ more resistant to treatments

Researchers say a new wave of lice in Arizona is become resistant to over-the-counter medicine (Photo by Lauren Michaels/Cronkite News)

The CDC says there are between six and 12 million lice infestations each year (Photo by Lauren Michaels/Cronkite News)

Head lice is a health issue few people want to admit to dealing with. The truth is that it’s all too common for kids to find themselves in the chair due to head lice.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 6 million to 12 million lice infestations in the U.S. each year.

And now, over-the-counter remedies may not be working as well. The reason: so-called super lice, which have more resistance to traditional treatments.

“The term super lice does not imply that there’s something untreatable,” said Dr. Viren Bavishi, department chief for pediatrics for Banner Medical Group. “It’s still treatable; there’s prescription routes.”

Arizona is one of 25 states found to have super lice.

Many of those affected turn to treatment centers such as Lice Knowing You in Scottsdale, which uses a fine-tooth comb.

“The only real effective way to remove head lice is by combing,” said Farrell Hogenauer, sales and marketing director.