After one lice removal expert’s recent claims about head lice and selfies went viral, other experts are stepping forward to give their opinions.
According to the CDC, 6 to 12 million U.S. children ages 3 to 11 suffer with head lice annually with an untold number of teens and adults adding to that. Now after one lice removal expert’s recent claims about head lice and selfies went viral, other experts are stepping forward to give their opinions.
Marcy McQuillan, operator of two lice-treatment centers, said in a recent press release that she’s noticed a dramatic increase in head lice among teens and attributes it to direct head contact in the ever-popular selfies. According to McQuillan, “Every teen I've treated, I ask about selfies, and they admit that they are taking them every day.”
After these claims contributed to some widespread panic, news updates are now sharing other thoughts.
Vanessa Mor, lice-treatment center supervisor, said she too noticed the increase, but did not tie it to selfies.
Dermatology resident Dr. Nick Celano doubts lice could spread in the short time required to take a photo, but echoes McQuillan’s advice to not let heads touch during pictures.
The Harvard School of Public Health’s Dr. Richard J. Pollack says he’s not noticed any increase and warns parents against overusing toxic insecticides. He explained, “Wherever these louse salons open a new branch, there always seems to be an epidemic. It's good for business.”