Lice populations in the states in red have developed a high level of resistance to some of the most common treatments. (Image: Kyong Yoon, Ph.D.) Head lice are freaky enough as-is, but new research has discovered there’s a strain of mutant lice that is resistant to over-the-counter treatments — and they’re found in at least 25 U.S. states. Kyong Sup Yoon, PhD, an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University, presented

Here are a few common myths: 1. You’re more likely to get lice if you’re dirty “Head lice has nothing to do with hygiene,” says Andrew Bonwit, a pediatric infectious-disease expert at Loyola University Health System outside Chicago. “It has to do with whether the person was exposed to someone with head lice.” Bonwit says a louse, which is “about the length of George Washington’s nose on a quarter,” doesn’t

1. Diagnosis Can Be Tricky The best way to confirm an infestation is to find a live louse. Use a magnifying glass and a fine-toothed comb to search. Nits more than a quarter-inch from the scalp are almost always dead, and usually the infestation no longer needs treatment. If you’re unsure, ask a doctor or health department official. 2. Lice Love Humans Head lice have claws specially designed to cling

Head lice are highly contagious and they are, in fact, passed by head-to-head contact. There is a slight, though unlikely chance that shared pillows, hairbrushes and hats can facilitate their transfer. But the human scalp is not simply where head lice prefer to live, it is required for survival. Human heads are a lifeline. The louse will hold on for dear life rather than give up a wellspring of food