Lice Clinics of America (LCA), headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, reported that clinics across their U.S. network saw an average increase of 25 percent in lice activity from April to May of this year. Infestations of lice affecting the entire family have been more severe during the pandemic, likely due to the fact that families have sheltered at home together.
“We’ve been hearing from customers who’ve said they tried to use home remedies to remove head lice but due to the severity of the infestation, it’s just not feasible,” said Claire Roberts, CEO of LCA. “Traditional over-the-counter remedies aren’t working. Lice, or ‘super lice,’ have developed resistance to the pesticides and chemicals used in them.” LCA’s network of clinics use AirAllé®, an FDA-cleared medical device that uses temperature-controlled heated air to desiccate lice and lice eggs, in about 30 seconds. A full treatment takes about an hour and is 100 percent guaranteed. There’s no 10-day waiting period to do another treatment to make sure all the lice are gone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Head-to-head contact with an already infested person is the most common way to get head lice. Head-to-head contact is common during play at school, at home, and elsewhere, such as sports activities, the playground, slumber parties, and camps.” The CDC estimates 6-12 million infestations occur each year in the U.S. among children 3-11 years of age.
Dr. Krista Lauer, medical director of LCA, states, “If you have children who are elementary and middle-school ages, it’s important to take some immediate steps to either prevent your children from being infested or to properly treat and kill the lice before they spread to others in your family and social group.”
Dr. Lauer says, “First, don’t panic, and second, don’t be embarrassed. A head lice infestation has nothing to do with personal hygiene or the cleanliness of your environment. In fact, with recent shelter-in-place orders, head lice infestations more easily spread to everyone in the household due to close proximity.” She recommends the following to make sure lice aren’t living in your child’s hair:
- Inspect your own head and your child’s, especially if your child has an itchy scalp. Look for eggs, nymphs, and adult lice. One adult louse can lay about a hundred eggs during her life span. That’s a lot of new lice.
- Call the parents of your child’s friends and have them check for head lice, remembering that earlier intervention can help to reduce the infestation level. With shelter-in-place orders being lifted, kids are playing together again, and summer camps are in session.
- If you see lice—or if you are unsure whether you have lice—visit a professional lice treatment center such as Lice Clinics of America for a screening.
- Traditional over-the-counter treatments contain pesticides that are ineffective. Lice have evolved into “super lice” and have developed resistance to those pesticides. Find a treatment that is safe and effective. Lice Clinics of America has several options to choose from.