Selfie trend leaving teens with lousy lice problem

liceWe live in the age of the selfie. Love them or hate them they are having a moment and that moment may be here to stay and stay and stay. I am perfectly fine with the whole selfie craze, deoesn't bother me one bit, but if a selfie could lead to lice, well, I might rethink the whole thing. The connection between selfies and lice is being made by Marcy McQuillan who runs two lice-treatment centers in California called Nitless Noggins. According to Mcquillan, there has been a dramatic increase in head lice amoung young people and she has a theory as to what is causing it.


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"Head lice are spread through head-to-head contact. Lice don't jump or fly, so you actually have to touch heads," McQuillan said in a press release. "Every teen I've treated, I ask about selfies, and they admit that they are taking them every day."

Hmmm, I think McQuillan has found a plausible explanation, which also conveniently allows her to get some publicity for her business. Of course it is possible that teens putting their heads together while posing for selfies can facilitate the spread of lice, but not everyone is onboard with this explanation.

Dr. Richard J. Pollack, who teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health and runs a pest identification business, told NBC News that all though it is theoretically possible for teens to get lice from touching heads during selfies, lice are spread through "direct and prolonged head-to-head contact" and that the notion of selfies causing a widespread lice problem is "ridiculous."

I want to agree with Dr. Pollack because it gives me one less thing to be paranoid about, but it doesn't hurt to take McQuillan's advice and tell your kids not too touch head when taking selfies.

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: parenting  health  lice