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Friday, 9 September 2016 (HealthDay News) – In the war against “superlice,” parents seem against the powerful enemy – and it is one they would, of course, not seen in the first place.
A new report warns that over-the-counter products have lost much of their effectiveness against the so-called superlice. The good news is that the prescription products can still get rid of these terrible creatures.
Parents should consult a doctor first instead of trying to treat yourself to your children with more-the-counter products, the report said lead author Dr. Ellen Koch. It is a dermatologist with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
“The failure rate of these products has increased dramatically in many parts of the United States. This leads to an increase in cost, days missed from work and school, as well as frustration among our patients,” she said.
Head lice usually infest the hair of children.
“In fact, if you look hard enough, you can probably find a louse on someone – the head of almost every school in the world to this day,” said Dr. – p Barbara Frankowski, professor of pediatrics at the University of Vermont Medical Center.
Why lice, like children so much? Children’s hair is finer and thinner than an adult human hair, allowing the lice more easily understand it, said Dr. Paradi Mirmirani. It is a dermatologist with Kaiser Permanente in Vallejo, California.
Contrary to popular belief, lice do not target the poor or unclean children, she said.
Lice “affects all social levels and has nothing to do with how your parents are doing or how household hygiene. In fact, lice easily grasping clean hair,” said Mirmirani.
There’s a mysterious twist, too. For unknown reasons, lice rarely attack the hair of black children in North America, says study co-author Dr. Bernard Cohen. He is a professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
Dermatologists monitor the reduction in the efficiency of a prescription head lice treatment for many years. According to Koch, these drugs have lost their destructive power, at least in part because the lice have become resistant to them.
For the new report, Koch and his colleagues examined hundreds of studies on head lice from 1985 to 2014.
According to the study, the drugs, known as pyrethrins and permethrin – available without a prescription since 1980 – sharply lost efficiency. Brand names for these drugs include Rid and Nix.
Early studies of said drugs were aged from 96 to 100 percent effective in controlling head lice. But more recent studies in the United States is estimated at 25 percent of their level of effectiveness in combination with combing “nits”. This level is no better than a placebo, according to a study.
The over-the-counter products, according to the report, are more likely to fail than succeed in the fight against lice.
The report also warns about using a prescription product called lindane, as this can be dangerous.
And, researchers said, that there is no evidence to support home remedy of olive oil, mayonnaise or Vaseline. There is also no evidence to support the use of essential oils such as tea tree oil, and there is also no data on the safety of these treatments, the study authors added.
Frankowski has warned that prescription products can be expensive.
“If you do not have insurance, the products can cost a few hundred dollars to treat several children in the family,” she said.
Insurance can be useful, but it can not cover certain products. If you are paying out of pocket to call around to check out the prices, she suggested.
Cohen criticized the “no-nit” policies that keep children out of school if there are signs of nits – lice eggs.
“If a child has been treated and did not live scanners have been identified during the week, and then the child has been adequately treated and the presence of nits does not indicate active infection,” he said.
In addition, “the organisms do not jump or fly so close physical contact is required for transmission. That is why the infection is more likely to spread at home than at school, especially in older children,” he said.
The study is published in the issue of September / October of Pediatric Dermatology .
SOURCES: Ellen Koch, MD, Dermatologist, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center 2016 Pediatric Dermatology