Traditionally there have been three options when it comes to head lice treatment: drugstore DIY lice products; nit-picking, or home remedies recommended by other parents.
There are challenges with all three of these lice treatments. First, many drugstore head lice products use pyrethroids to kill live lice which is a class of pesticides. Head lice in 48 states in the United States as well as some other countries, have developed resistance to pyrethroids. Since pyrethroids have been linked to behavior problems in children, do you really want to be washing your child’s hair with a pesticide?
“Many parents have come to us after weeks of battling lice with over the counter DIY lice treatments, some have spent hundreds of dollars on treatments that don’t work and have spent countless hours cleaning their house and washing bedding” says Sherman of Lice Clinics of America – Bakersfield.
Home remedies are completely unproven. Common recommendations include smothering a child’s head with mayonnaise or petroleum jelly overnight. Mayonnaise? Petroleum jelly? These approaches are meant to suffocate live lice. “Natural” treatments recommended like tea tree oil can actually prove toxic if over-applied.
These methods, even if they were to be effective with killing live lice, do not kill lice eggs. Killing lice eggs (nits) is the most difficult part of a lice treatment. Nits are extremely hard to see and remove, and if you miss just one, the egg will hatch, and you’ll have a fresh case of head lice on your hands.
“We have seen countless parents come in after trying to treat lice at home with these home remedies, but all they’ve gotten is more frustration” says Sherman.
This brings us to combing and nitpicking. This is a long and tedious process.
As Health.com points out, “It’s best to approach lice as a war on many fronts: You need to use a variety of techniques to kill not only adult lice, but also their tiny eggs (called nits), which are glued to the hair shaft. The nits can survive treatments that kill the adults and vice versa (These bugs have evolved over a millennium to live in hair, so they’re tricky).”
What’s a parent to do? “It’s best to steel yourself for weeks or months of vigilance since lice can reappear due to repeated exposure or a missed nit.”
Fortunately, scientists at the University of Utah have come to the rescue with a revolutionary medical device called the AirAllé that kills lice by applying carefully controlled heated air to the hair and scalp, dehydrating live lice and eggs in a single treatment that takes a 60-90 minutes.
AirAllé Lice Treatment
The AirAllé® has been through the lengthy FDA-clearance process where in clinical trials it was found to kill live lice and 99.2 percent of eggs.
The FDA-cleared medical device, the AirAllé is operated in clinics by certified technicians who deliver treatments that last 60-90 minutes in most cases, and results are guaranteed when all family members are checked for lice and treated in the case of an active infestation.
Because the AirAllé device only uses heated air to kill lice and eggs, there are no harmful pesticides involved and no lengthy nitpicking process is required. This sounds a lot more pleasant than pesticides or sleeping with a head full of mayonnaise.
“It’s amazing to see the relief on a happy mom who is able to leave our clinic lice free after having tried everything to get rid of lice” says Sherman.
Let’s leave pesticides in farms (maybe not) but keep them out of our hair. Let’s leave mayonnaise on sandwiches, which can be quite delicious. Let’s use science and medicine to treat head lice.
With 330 clinics in 35 countries, Lice Clinics of America is the world’s largest network of professional lice treatment centers. The AirAllé medical device has treated more than 750,000 cases of head lice around the world with a success rate better than 99 percent.