Is there a proven medical treatment for head lice? Yes!

For parents dealing with head lice, the idea of a scientifically proven, medically sound approach to head-lice removal is a welcome development, especially if it works fast! Finally there is such a device—the clinically proven, FDA-cleared AirAllé lice-treatment medical device.

The AirAllé device was developed by researchers at the University of Utah. The team was studying the behavior of animal lice, and was having a hard time keeping the lice alive in the desert climate. This led them to the realization that lice might be more easily killed by dehydration than by traditional pesticide–based solutions. Years of study later, the AirAllé device was born.

The effectiveness of the AirAllé device was first detailed in a 2010 clinical trial reported in the Journal of Medical Entomology, and has since been proven in hundreds of clinics using the device in some 20 countries around the world.

The original trial recognized the global scope and impact of head-lice infestations. “Human head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer) occur worldwide and infest millions of children and adults every year,” the report notes. “Head lice infestations, which are known as pediculosis capitis, are psychologically stressful, physically irritating, and are one of the leading causes of K-6 school absence.“

One reason for the increasing presence of head lice, now well known, is the development of strains of head lice that are resistant to the most common pesticide-based lice-removal products. “The prevalence of head lice in many countries is increasing rapidly because of resistance to chemicals used in many head lice treatments,” the study says. Researchers studied the AirAllé device to determine “the efficacy of an alternative method for controlling head lice… a custom-built medical device designed to kill head lice and their eggs using controlled, heated air.”

The AirAllé device uses warm air to dehydrate lice killing live lice and “virtually all eggs,” according to the study. “Egg mortality on the post-treatment side of the scalp was 99.2 percent.”

The AirAllé device was studied on “56 infested subjects” and “the efficacy of the treatment was evaluated by comparing the viability of lice and eggs on randomly assigned pre- and post-treatment sides of each subject’s scalp.” Tests were conducted in multiple geographical environments (humid, dry) and on all kinds of hair (long, short, straight, curly, thick, thin). “Efficacy was high in both humid and arid regions of the country,” the study found. Efficacy “is also independent of hair length, thickness, and curliness.”

The study concludes that the AirAllé device is “efficacious for killing head lice and their eggs. The use of heated air is appealing because it is a fast, safe, non-chemical treatment. Head lice are also unlikely to evolve resistance to desiccation, which is the apparent mode of action.”

Parents, healthcare providers and educators dealing with head lice have had, until very recently, few treatment options—none of them ideal. These included the pesticide-based products of the past, unproven home remedies, and painstaking nitpicking. None of them are entirely reliable unless every single live louse and egg is killed or removed.

The AirAllé device has been meticulously studied and cleared by the FDA as a safe and effective method of head-lice removal. There are no known side effects and most treatments are completed in about 90 minutes. AirAllé-based lice treatment is available exclusively at Lice Clinics of America treatment centers throughout the world.

Finally, there is a medically proven way to remove head lice safely, effectively, and quickly. Since the 2010 study, more refinements have been made to the device and it is at work relieving stressed parents and keeping kids in school, taking the uncertainty and guesswork out of head lice removal.

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