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HEALTH Q&A: Head lice

Q Are head lice becoming resistant to medications?

A Reports of the resistance of head lice to conventional treatments began in 1970s, and concern continues to grow. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, resistance accounts for only one of many causes for treatment failure, including misdiagnosis, noncompliance, failure to follow directions correctly, inadequate quantity of pediculocide applied and reinfestation. Although most discourage the use of Lindane because of toxicity, other conventional therapies are still a good first-line treatment. For best and safest treatment, follow the directions exactly as written. Several nonpesticide treatments, such as wet combing and head shaving, provide some treatment efficacy.

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