Treatment for Lice vs. Superlice

You may have read the title of this article and thought, “What the heck are superlice?” Hearing that word “super” makes the lice seem like villains in a movie where a lab experiment went wrong and they grew to ten times their normal size. But, in this case, these bugs are called “superlice” because they are resistant to certain pesticides found in some treatments.

The Problem with Superlice

When you compare lice vs. superlice, they look exactly the same...and that’s the problem. If your child brings home lice, unless you know there is an outbreak of superlice in their school or amongst their friends, you probably won’t know whether the bugs are lice or superlice.

The problem with this is that you won’t know they’re superlice until the first line of treatment doesn’t work. Lice have been evolving for many decades to develop a resistance to certain ingredients that are meant to kill them. Two of these ingredients are permethrin and pyrethrin, which are found in many over-the-counter lice treatments.

A Better Superlice Treatment

The good news, however, is that Nix and other lice treatment products are evolving too, with different ingredients that lice are not resistant to. For example, our Nix® Ultra products are pesticide-free lice treatment products that are safe to use and quickly and easily kill lice and superlice.

What to Do If Lice Treatment Doesn’t Work

Anytime you use a lice or superlice treatment product and it doesn’t kill all the lice or eggs in the stated time, it’s often wise to try another round if you see there has been progress.  That being said, it is critical to read and follow all instructions for any lice treatment product and take great care when combing through the hair after treatment. Lice and superlice are so tiny, they can be difficult to see and remove.

If you’ve tried a lice treatment and are seeing no results, you might want to try a product that uses a different main ingredient. Superlice and regular lice only differ in their response to treatment. If lice are still present after treating with a traditional over-the-counter product containing permethrin or pyrethrin, you may be dealing with superlice. It is recommended to try a product, like Nix®Ultra, which is highly effective for killing lice, superlice and their eggs.  

Keep Superlice from Spreading to the Rest of the Family

Just like regular lice, superlice spread quickly and easily through head to head contact. Contrary to popular belief, lice cannot fly or jump but rather simply crawl onto clothes, hair accessories, and other people’s heads. This is what makes them very contagious in settings such as school and camp.

Whether your child has brought home regular head lice or superlice, you’ll want to read 7 Ways to Protect Your Family When One Kid Brings Home Lice for more tips on dealing with a lice or superlice outbreak.