Some medical problems seem minor until the side effects flare up. This is the case with head lice. Usually considered little more than a minor annoyance,head lice are easily curable and relatively harmless. They cause scalp itching and are very contagious, but they usually do not cause serious sickness or discomfort. However, there are instances when a seemingly minor head liceinfestation could turn into something serious. The best way to avoid this is to avoid a head liceinfestation in the first place, but should one occur, you need to treat it as quickly and safely as possible.
Natural Health News Most head lice found in North America now carry a gene mutation that makes them resistant to standard over-the-counter treatments, a new study cautions.
Head lice infestation is a major public-health issue and resistance to commonly used treatments means the problem is set to grow.
Years of relentless exposure to a narrow range of pediculicides (insecticide) treatment options has given rise to a surviving head lice population that is armed with what geneticists call knockdown resistance, in the form of the TI genetic mutation.
This gives most of todays head lice the ability to withstand exposure to pyrethroid compounds such as permethrin and other ingredients found in most non-prescription head lice drugs.
Pyrethroids are by far the most widely used commercial treatment. They kill lice by essentially short-circuiting their nervous system. In spite of concerns over the health implications for children, such drugs became the standard of care.
Untreated, head lice continue to itch and irritate the scalp. If the infected person scratches and picks at the scalp it can break the skin, making him susceptible to infection. This is especially true if the infested person is a child with fingers and nails that are not always clean and free of germs. While a simple antibiotic would be all it takes to clear up the infection, why let the problem get that far? If the lice were prevented or treated early, the subsequent infection from scratching would have never occurred.
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