“Super Lice” Exist — Here’s What You Need To Know

Photographed by Brayden Olson.
Worrying about lice is an unfortunately routine part of heading back to school. But this year, parents and kids are concerned about the rise of so-called "super lice," NBC News reports. This new strain of lice is resistant to permethrin, the active chemical in most over-the-counter treatments. And according to a recent study, these little monsters have now been detected in 25 states. The lice are able to resist these chemicals thanks to a genetic mutation. Unfortunately, that same mutation has also been shown in houseflies and (eeeeep) bedbugs. Luckily, there are prescription treatments available that can beat the lice. But experts also suggest making sure you're doing all you can to beat normal lice, too. That means using those OTC treatments (usually repeatedly), learning how to effectively comb them out, and washing your clothes in hot water (at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit). And it's also good to remember that even though they may cause itchiness and creep you out, head lice don't spread disease. So while we're sure you'd rather not have them, if you do get 'em, it's not a huge health emergency. Good luck out there.

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