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Selfies Have Led to a Head Lice Epidemic

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Selfies are so fun. You've got your cool background—ideally, a sun-soaked beach or a compelling urban environment—and you've got your cool friends. Ideally lots of them. Just flip that phone around, put your heads together, smile, and watch those Instagram likes roll in for hours. But it's too good to be true, folks.

Selfies are dangerous. California lice expert Marcy McQuillan recently went on the record to tell the world what it doesn't want to hear. "I've seen a huge increase of lice in teens this year," she told the SFist. Typically it's younger children I treat, because they're at higher risk for head-to-head contact. But now, teens are sticking their heads together every day to take cell phone pics."


This is just one expert's observation, but it makes total sense! Look no further than the 2013 word of the year, "selfie," to know that the trend is extremely popular. And when you look at the group photos, those teens are indeed pressing their skulls together—which is a terrific way to get lice.

"Selfies are fun," McQuillan added, "but the consequences are real."

Perhaps now is your chance, industrial designers of the world, to produce the year's most absurd new product: selfie caps, or legally required, shower cap-like rubber skull covers that teenagers have to slip on before they snap head-to-head photos of themselves, preventing these nasty little scalp crabs from spreading. Like California's new bartender gloves, enacted in the name of public health and safety, it would someday be illegal not to wear one.


In any case, lice sucks and teens should be more careful. To be fair, though, there are even more dangerous ways to take selfies. Much more dangerous. [SFist]