MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Lice experts are seeing more cases of lice than they used to, and there's a rumor going around about a type of lice, "Super Lice," that may be resistant to treatment in certain states, including the Carolinas.
Experts at the Coastal Lice Center in Myrtle Beach backed up a report saying it's true. According to the owner Catherine Collins, "Super Lice" are lice that have built up a resistance to over-the-counter treatments over the years.
"I don't remember there being this much lice, not such an epidemic," Collins said. "Back when I taught school. And I think that is because back then the treatment we could buy over the counter was still working. And so it wasn't such a problem. But nowadays you use the treatment and it doesn't work and then you just transmit it to someone else."
Collins said the over-the-counter brands have been around for decades, and they're no longer as effective on lice that have built up resistance. She said she treats patients who have spent hours cleaning and hundreds of dollars trying to find an over-the-counter fix to get rid of the itchy scalp bugs, only to end up at her facility, keeping her busy year-round.
To parents whose kids get bitten, follow treatment directions to a T, even if still opting for something over-the-counter. Collins said OTC products are pesticides, so faltering from the directions may not be healthy. Her facility uses non-toxic products and what she says is a top-of-the-line comb.
Collins said a good way to make lice stay away from your child's head is mint. Lice don't like the smell of mint, so spraying some on a child's head is a good defense. Also, parents should teach their children not to share hats or brushes with other kids.