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Why Head Lice Are Becoming More Drug-Resistant05:39
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Chante Ballou, right, a licensed vocational nurse with The Texas Lice Squad, looks for lice on a client Friday, Oct. 26, 2007, Missouri City. Ballou uses a product called Nit Free to loosen up the glue like substance that sticks the nits to the hair and a lice comb to extract them. The process takes about three hours and has to be so tedious that she can't leave one nit or lice behind or else the search is lost. Penny Warren, The Texas Lice Squad president, says parents should check weekly for lice because you can't prevent infestation but you can control it. (Nick de la Torre/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Chante Ballou, right, a licensed vocational nurse with The Texas Lice Squad, looks for lice on a client Friday, Oct. 26, 2007, Missouri City. Ballou uses a product called Nit Free to loosen up the glue like substance that sticks the nits to the hair and a lice comb to extract them. The process takes about three hours and has to be so tedious that she can't leave one nit or lice behind or else the search is lost. Penny Warren, The Texas Lice Squad president, says parents should check weekly for lice because you can't prevent infestation but you can control it. (Nick de la Torre/Houston Chronicle via AP)
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As children get ready to head back to the classroom, many school nurses are preparing for lice. But some of these small parasites - more of a nuisance than they are harmful - have been mutating and are now resistant to many over-the-counter medications.

That's raising concerns and creating an unexpected hurdle to fighting the outbreak. Here & Now's Lisa Mullins speaks with lice researcher John Clark about what he believes is behind the new breed of "super lice" and what it means for the future of treatment.

Ways To Treat Drug-Resistant Lice

  • Prescription treatments: These are still quite effective, but they tend to be more expensive and require a visit to a doctor.
  • Essential oils: Some essential oils are effective in treating for lice. The most common is something called the terpenes - the scent in pine trees.
  • Go to a combing salon: It takes hours to comb out all of the lice, but it is effective.

Guest

This segment aired on September 2, 2015.

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