Parents get anxious when their children have head lice—the bugs are creepy. For centuries, head lice have been associated with (incorrectly, we might add) poor hygiene, embarrassing parents and heightening the anxiety.
It’s been pointed out many times that head lice pose no real health threat to humans. Yes, the scalp itches, and yes, treating head lice can be frustrating, but as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says: “Head lice should not be considered as a medical or public health hazard. Head lice are not known to spread disease. Head lice can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.”
So, the most physical damage head lice can cause to a child is a secondary skin infection, and this is relatively rare.
But that’s not the end of the story. There are health risks associated with head lice, but not from what you might think.
Is the Cure Worse than the Problem?
According to pest control experts at IdentifyUS, “The greatest harm associated with head lice results from the well-intentioned but misguided use of caustic or toxic substances to eliminate the lice.”
In other words, the retail products and home remedies for head lice can cause more health problems than the lice alone might cause. A 2017 study in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine reports that “exposure to certain pyrethroids, at environmental levels, may negatively affect neurobehavioral development by 6 years of age.”
Pyrethroids are the chemicals used in over-the-counter lice products. A 2015 study in Environmental Health found that, “Pyrethroid pesticides cause abnormalities in the dopamine system and produce an ADHD phenotype in animal models, with effects accentuated in males versus females. However, data regarding behavioral effects of pyrethroid exposure in children is limited.”
Then there are home remedies—mayonnaise, petroleum jelly, even kerosene—recommended by well-meaning parents as fool-proof lice treatments. The idea is to smother the lice with some gooey substance that will suffocate them. Unfortunately, these “cures” usually involve wrapping a child’s head in plastic overnight to keep the substance in place. This practice has had tragic results.
A New Approach
It doesn’t have to be this way. A relatively new lice treatment removes lice quickly and effectively without the risks of pesticides and home treatments. It’s called the AirAllé device, and it’s a Class I medical device cleared by the FDA as a safe and effective cure for head lice.
The AirAllé device uses microprocessor-controlled warm air, applied by trained technicians to dehydrate live lice and eggs in a matter of minutes. It has been clinically proven to kill lice and more than 99 percent of eggs.
Treatment using the AirAllé medical device is available exclusively at Lice Clinics of America treatment centers. With more than 150 clinics in the U.S. and another 100 in 20 other countries, Lice Clinics of America is the largest and fastest-growing network of lice treatment centers in the world. Treatment using the AirAllé device takes about 60 to 90 minutes, and is guaranteed to be effective.
To learn more or to find a clinic, visit www.liceclinicsofamerica.com.
An article in the Daily Mail found that 8 percent of UK parents had tried to use Vodka to cure their children of head lice. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. People have tried all kinds of kooky, sometimes dangerous methods for lice removal.
Why? Because they are desperate.
“The mothers are at their NITS end!” The article says. “As head lice become more resistant than ever, parents reveal they’ve tried mayonnaise and even VODKA to banish the bugs.”
As the article mentions, head lice are becoming harder and harder to defeat. “Scientists have warned that lice are becoming increasingly resistant to products – leaving parents with fewer options than ever.”
That’s true. Traditional head lice treatment products are nearly completely ineffective as most lice are now resistant to the chemicals they use. The most recent research found that 98 percent of lice in 48 states in the U.S. are immune to pyrethroids, the class of insecticide used in traditional lice products.
Parents turn to the Internet for lice treatment advice and find recommendations for everything from mayonnaise (which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is unproven) to kerosene. You can also find recipes for petroleum jelly, olive oil, and peanut butter.
But You Don’t Have To
Fortunately, there has been a wave of innovation in the world of lice treatment over the past dozen years. One company stands out—Lice Clinics of America. The company has brought to market a medical device developed by researchers at the University of Utah that uses carefully controlled warm air to dehydrate lice and eggs. Called AirAllé, the device has been cleared by the FDA and clinically proven to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of eggs in a single treatment that takes about an hour—guaranteed.
The AirAllé device is a dream come true for parents that have battled head lice for weeks, months, and even years. Their families can now be lice-free in an hour. It’s no surprise that Lice Clinics of America has quickly become the largest network of professional lice treatment centers in the world with nearly 300 clinics in 33 countries.
For those without access to a treatment center or prefer to treat head lice at home, the AirAllé team has developed a new generation of home lice treatment products: the Lice Remover Kit and the Lice Preventer Kit. Both are self-contained packages that include everything needed—a non-toxic gel, easy applicator, and comb—to remove or prevent lice faster, easier, and more effectively than traditional lice treatment products.
The Lice Remover Kit kills lice and eggs and is guaranteed when used as directed. The Lice Preventer Kit can be used as a kind of lice repellent with a once-a-week application for ongoing use, or for occasions when children are at a higher risk of head lice such as at sleepovers or camps.
The AirAllé medical device, the Lice Remover Kit, and the Lice Preventer Kit bring the latest science and medicine to the battle against head lice with safe, fast, effective products. So far with the AirAllé device and non-toxic gel, Lice Clinics of America has treated more than 350,000 cases of head lice with a 99 percent success rate.
To learn more, visit www.liceclinicsofamerica.com.
When marketing professional and 15-year youth soccer coach Wade Huntsman was looking for a new business, he was immediately drawn to Lice Clinics of America. “’I’ve always loved kids and getting to help them is by far the coolest part of my new clinic,” he said.
Even so, he was in for some surprises when he went into the lice treatment business in Tulsa. “It has been amazing to me since I started this business how many friends have whispered to me, ‘I wish you had been around a year ago, our whole family had lice and it was terrible,’” Wade said. “It seems like everyone has the same secret.”
He knows the need is great. “I have heard of a number of schools in South Tulsa that have had outbreaks,” Wade says. “I have heard a lot of complaints about over-the-counter products failing to work and the hours and hours of combing required. I am excited to be able to offer a solution that is 99.2 percent effective and is completed in one 90-minute treatment.”
Wade is referring to lice treatment using the AirAllé medical device, available exclusively at Lice Clinics of America treatment centers. The AirAllé is an FDA-cleared medical device that has been clinically proven to kill live lice and 99.2 percent of eggs in a single treatment. It uses carefully controlled and applied warm air to dehydrate lice, with no harmful chemicals and no painstaking nitpicking required.
Over-the-counter lice products use pesticides called pyrethroids to attack the central nervous systems of head lice. Studies have shown that most head lice in the United States and North America are now resistant to pyrethroid-based treatment. Many health experts and parents have expressed concern about using pesticide-based products on children and about the even harsher prescription medications that are often used when over-the-counter products don’t work.
“It is great to be able to treat lice with modern medical devices that are not only faster and nearly 100 percent effective, but also completely pesticide-free,” Wade said. “You just should not be rubbing pesticides into your child’s scalp.”
With 250 clinics in 20 countries, Lice Clinics of America is the largest and fastest growing lice treatment network in the world. The growth can be attributed in large part to the breakthrough nature of the AirAllé device. Previously, lice were treated with pesticide-based products and required weeks of checking and nitpicking to make sure every louse and egg were removed.
Families tend to keep their head lice experiences secret, as Wade found, which often compounds the stress because people feel they have to go it alone. Lice Clinics of America provides a professional clinic setting with certified operators of the AirAllé device, and guaranteed treatment that gives parents and children alike peace of mind that they will leave the clinic lice-free.
“Kids and parents don’t have to suffer through discomfort, stress, long and uncomfortable combing, and multiple re-treatments any more,” Wade said. “There is a fast, safe, effective solution that can make the whole problem go away in 90 minutes or less.”
For more information or to find a Lice Clinics of America treatment center, visit www.liceclinicsofamerica.com.
When your child is sent home from school because he or she has head lice, the first thing you should say is, “You didn’t do anything wrong.” (You should say this to yourself as well!)
If your child comes home from school and says that another kid in school has lice, you can say the same thing. That child (and its parents) didn’t do anything wrong.
The myth that lice happen because of poor hygiene or subpar living conditions has been chipped away at over the years, but the myth and the stigma that follows it are still alive. Kids get lice from hair-to-hair contact with other kids. Period. There are certainly things you can do to help prevent lice from landing on your child’s head—keep long hair pulled tight; discourage sharing hats, brushes and anything else that touches hair—but no amount of hair-washing will prevent a live louse from crawling from one kid’s head to another if the opportunity arises.
Unfortunately, “you didn’t do anything wrong” may not be the message your child has already received at school or day care. School officials and other children may have reacted with fear or alarm that could be interpreted as blame or judgment.
Tell your child that “catching” head lice is like catching a cold. You get it from someone else, who got it from someone before that. No one did anything wrong. There is no morality involved.
You can also tell your child that head lice aren’t dangerous and that, like a cold, they will go away with appropriate treatment. No big deal. While you’re treating it, you’ll have to be careful not to let is spread to others—repeat the hats and brushes advice.
You can also make a lice encounter a learning experience. Tell your child that lice have been “bugging” people for thousands of years (see our blog post, A Brief History of Lice). Cleopatra had a lice comb in her tomb. Lice have influenced our vocabulary: A “louse” (singular for lice) is someone who behaves badly; “lousy” is defined as “very poor or bad;” a nitwit is someone or something stupid; and a nitpicker is someone who is overly critical. And remember, every time you decide to go through something “with a fine-toothed comb,” you are referring to lice treatment!
Know that you are not alone. There are 6-12 million cases of head lice in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Fortunately, they are getting easier to treat with the advent of the AirAllé medical device. Offered by Lice Clinics of America, AirAllé is an FDA-cleared medical device that kills live lice and eggs in a single treatment that takes about 90 minutes. Know that there is a safe, fast and effective solution available can go a long ways to reducing fear and stress.
Head lice are a growing problem in the United States. Many parents confronted with an infestation have never dealt with head lice because they never had lice as children. But as many as 12 million children between the ages of 3 and 11 get head lice each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number is rising, as the most popular over-the-counter lice medications are no longer effective. Approximately 98 percent of lice in 42 U.S. states have a genetic mutation that makes them immune to the chemicals used in lice shampoos.
As a result, when a child comes home from school or camp with head lice, parents are often flummoxed. What? How? What do we do?
While they may seem sinister and scary, head lice are a common problem. If your child has head lice, he or she got it from another person. Lice spread primarily by head-to-head contact. Lice don’t fly or jump. They won’t even venture very far from the scalp unless another scalp is close by. They cannot survive on any other host besides humans. Lice tend to afflict children and spread among them because children tend to have closer physical contact than adults do.
So how did your child get lice from one of his or her friends? A close hug, a selfie, or a sleepover with their heads next to one another are all opportunities for lice to move from one head to another. Though, more rarely, lice can also spread through a shared hairbrush, hat, or scarf. Lice can’t live long off a human body—about a day or so.
The important thing to know about head lice is that you and/or your child didn’t do anything wrong to cause the infestation. It has been proven time and again that there is no correlation between head lice and hygiene. In fact, some studies show that the opposite is true—lice actually prefer and prosper on clean hair and a clean scalp because they are able to grip clean hair and move more easily.
It can be helpful to think of lice like any other minor contagious condition—like the common cold. Children get colds from other children most of the time. It is no one’s fault—just bad luck.
The good news is that getting rid of head lice has gotten much easier in recent years—even easier than getting rid of a cold. Lice Clinics of America offers treatment using an FDA-cleared medical device, the AirAllé, which is clinically proven to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of eggs. The entire treatment takes about an hour, and results are guaranteed.
The AirAllé device uses carefully controlled warm air to dehydrate lice and eggs. Most drugstore lice products use pesticides, which is what lice have become immune to, but the AirAllé treatment uses no pesticides—the treatment process is also fast, safe, clean, and very effective. With more than 170 clinics in the United States and more than 120 clinics in 33 other countries, Lice Clinics of America is the largest network of professional lice treatment centers in the world. More than 300,000 treatments have been delivered with a better than 99 percent success rate
If your child has lice, don’t panic. You didn’t do anything wrong, and treating head lice is about as easy as getting a haircut! To learn more or to find a clinic, visit www.liceclinicsofamerica.com.