Are Selfies to Blame for Lice Outbreaks?

Some doctors have reported an observed increase in lice among teenagers, but are “selfies” to blame for this alleged uptick in cases? As these types of pictures often involve head-to-head contact, it could be an opportunity for these parasites to spread; however, the National Pediculosis Association states that there is no data showing that the current outbreak is affecting adolescents who take “selfies” more than other age groups. Lice is more likely to spread via close contact in cars, during sleepovers, or from sharing headphones compared to the brief time of head-to-head contact while these pictures are being taken.

A recent study found that treatment-resistant lice with one or more genetic mutations are present in at least 25 states, but that it can be successfully treated with products containing alternative chemicals. “Selfies” are safe – for now.


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