New head lice treatment is highly effective - - Jackson, MS

New head lice treatment is highly effective

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Just hearing the words "head lice" is enough to make you start itching. But now a new medication appears to be highly effective and allows parents to forego combing through every strand of hair looking for tiny nits.

Head lice latch onto kids' hair and lay eggs called nits.

Getting rid of lice requires doing multiple loads of laundry, buying a special shampoo -- and then keeping kids still while you painstakingly comb through their hair looking for nits.

"If you don't get those off, they will hatch out, and then you've got live lice again," said Dr. Jamie Sattlefield with Carolinas Healthcare System.

Now a study shows a relatively new lotion called ivermectin is safe, effective and kills nits. No combing necessary.

"It's an easier treatment to use for the parents, and they don't have to sit there and pick out all the little nits," Dr. David Pariser, with Eastern Virginia Medical School.  

Ivermectin is powerful stuff historically used to de-worm cattle. The formulation meant for children is only available with a doctor's prescription.

Experts say lice are increasingly resistant to over-the-counter chemicals used to treat them.

"The currently available agents are the ones that the lice have had repeated exposure to for many years in come cases," Dr. Pariser said.

While these creepy crawlies may continue to make your skin crawl, this new weapon may make them a little less scary.

The study was funded by the company that makes the ivermectin lotion.

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