An estimated 6-12 million children acquire head lice every year. Odds are that people you know have dealt with this—pardon the expression—pesky condition. Yet it is also likely that few people volunteer this information within their social circles. Why? Because they are embarrassed. There is a stigma around head lice.
With so many cases of head lice every year, you would think that the silence and stigma of head lice would be gone by now.
Think about it this way. Children get head lice from head-to-head contact. It doesn’t come from animals. And head lice don’t fall out of the sky. It is passed from person to person through physical contact with people or from sharing brushes or clothing. There are no significant long-term health effects from head lice. Traditional treatments are supposed to take about two weeks. Most over-the-counter treatments in reality take several weeks to completely remove the lice. These medications don’t “cure” head lice, and in fact they only kill live lice. The eggs must be removed by hand.
Consider the common cold. Head lice have about the same life cycle as a cold. You get it from other people, and it often starts with children at school or day care “catching” a cold from other children. There are medications available to treat the symptoms of the condition, but of course there is not a cure for the common cold.
So why the hysteria when a child comes home with lice in his or her head? Why the drama over where it came from? Why the argument over whether children should be sent back to school? Or maybe the question is, why isn’t there similar concern about sending kids to school with contagious colds?
Most experts believe that lice became equated with lower classes and poor hygiene sometime in the 17th Century. Robert Burns’ poem, “To A Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady’s Bonnet at Church,” is viewed by many as the historical smoking gun that indicates a cultural stigma against those with the condition (for more on this see A Brief History of Lice). It could be argued, though, that the spread of colds has more to do with hygiene than the spread of lice does. Hand washing and mouth covering can do a great deal to reduce the spread of colds. Research shows that head lice, on the other hand, are happier on a clean head than on a dirty one.
At Lice Clinics of America, we are dedicated to easing the fears and reducing stress for families dealing with head lice. We’re also dedicated to getting the lice out of your hair, so to speak, as soon as possible. With the only FDA-cleared, single-treatment lice-removal product available, we are fully equipped to do both. Our clinics are staffed with experts in lice removal, and they have the solutions people need to make rational, effective and successful treatment decisions.
We want to bring the treatment of head lice out of the cold, and dispel the misinformation spread by stigma or fear. Too many people suffer unnecessary mental turmoil for something that isn’t really a serious health problem and isn’t their fault.
Thankfully, head lice are more treatable now than ever, and there is a fast, safe, effective solution. If you have a lice infestation, our clinics can take care of it in a single treatment that typically takes no longer than 90 minutes.