The headlines were alarming: "'Indestructible' headlice now resistant to over-the-counter remedies, researchers warn", said the Daily Telegraph last year. Huffington Post UK reported: “Super nits resistant to treatment.”
Based on research from a reputable journal, these stories were worrying enough for health professionals, let alone parents. The only problem is that the media coverage was a tad exaggerated. The original study, published in The Journal of Medical Entomology, did indeed find that most headlice studied showed evidence of genetically developed resistance to the insecticide permethrin.
But the study was carried out in the US, and in any event, permethrin is not recommended by the National Institute for health and Care Excellence (Nice) as a headlice treatment in the UK. The only