Traditional head lice treatment is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s because lice grow in three stages—egg (nit), nymph, and adult louse. Female adult lice lay eggs, which hatch in 7-10 days. The nymph phase takes another 10 days or so. This is a period where the lice are actively feeding (biting the scalp) but not yet capable of reproducing. Adult lice will continue to lay more eggs that will in turn produce more lice.
Traditional lice-treatment products primarily kill live lice only, so that means viable eggs are left behind. The recommended protocol is to apply the medication a second time after the remaining eggs have hatched, and before the new batch of head lice are mature enough to lay more eggs.
Unfortunately, it possible that even multiple treatments won’t kill all of the live lice. It is well known that many head lice are now resistant to the most popular over-the-counter lice products. The most recent study found that 98 percent of lice in 48 states carry a genetic resistance to pyrethroids, the class of pesticides used in most drugstore lice products.
Pyrethroids have also been linked to health problems, and many parents don’t realize that in applying traditional lice medications they are dousing their children’s hair with pesticides.
The good news is that newer and faster treatments are now available. Consider the revolutionary AirAllé medical device. Developed by researchers at the University of Utah, the device uses warm air to dehydrate lice and eggs, killing them all in a single treatment that takes about an hour. AirAllé has been cleared by the FDA and is clinically proven to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of eggs.
Treatment using AirAllé is available at Lice Clinics of America treatment centers—there are more than 300 of them in some 34 countries, and new clinics are opening every month. More than 750,000 cases of head lice have been treated using the device with a success rate better than 99 percent.
The same company has developed new types of home lice-treatment products that are more effective than traditional products pesticide-based products. The Lice Remover Kit, for example, includes a “no-mess” applicator, lice comb, and a non-toxic and non-pesticide gel that is guaranteed to eradicate a lice infestation in two treatments when used as directed. The Lice Remover Kit and a companion product, the Lice Preventer Kit, are available online and at major retail outlets.
Lice treatment is getting easier, faster, and safer. You don’t need to spend weeks battling head lice and you don’t need to put pesticides on your children’s hair and scalp. New products, both home and clinic-based, are available that make the process easy.
For more information about Lice Clinics of America, the AirAllé medical device, and lice treatment and prevention products, visit www.liceclinicsofamerica.com.