There is a new medically proven lice-removal product that uses heated air to dehydrate and kill both lice and eggs. It’s fast. It’s easy. It’s safe. There are no chemicals involved, no weeks-long comb out period, and no human error to worry about. The entire process only takes about an hour, and the results will be the end of your lice infestation – we promise!. A detailed description of the process can be found here: https://lcasacramento.com/we_do_it/
The product is a medical device developed by scientists at the University of Utah and branded as the AirAlle’ and offered exclusively in Sacramento through Lice Clinics of America. Researchers observed that it was difficult to keep the insects alive in the arid desert climate, which led to the discovery that heated air can kill lice and eggs through dehydration. Fast forward a few years of product design, clinical trials and the FDA regulation process, and the result is the AirAllé medical device—a scientifically proven, FDA-cleared medical device that kills live lice and eggs in a single treatment. Click for more details: https://lcasacramento.com/about-airalle/
This stands in stark contrast to the traditional method of lice removal that involves treating the hair and scalp pesticides, and then carefully combing out the lice and their eggs (nits) for several weeks. That’s a tough process for parents, teachers, nurses and anyone else involved in the lice-removal process.
And success is never assured, for two reasons:
First, pesticides are losing their effectiveness. Recent studies show that the majority of head lice in the United States have become resistant to the pesticides. These are the so called Super Lice.
Second, even if the pesticides work, the pesticides will NOT kill egg (nits), and eggs are the primary challenge in lice removal. Live lice are relatively easy to remove. Nits are much more difficult. Nits look like tiny specs glued to hair follicles so strongly that they must be manually removed. This means that someone has to search through the hair, follicle by follicle, searching for and removing nits. Any missed nits will hatch, and the whole process will start over. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends combing out hair every 2-3 days for up to three weeks to make sure that “reinfestation” does not occur.
Three weeks of near-daily inspections is difficult for parents and children alike. For parents, it is stressful and time-consuming. For children, it is uncomfortable and time-consuming.
Therefore, the introduction of medically sound, technologically advanced solution is welcome news to anyone involved in the lice removal process.
The makers of the AirAllé device have also started the world’s largest network of professional lice treatment clinics in the world – Lice Clinics of America —now available in more than 100 locations in the U.S. and in 20 countries, and growing fast. A map of all locations can be found here: http://www.airalle.com/treatment-locations/
Although most people’s first impulse upon learning they have lice is to run to the local drug store or their doctor, the perfect prescription for head lice removal isn’t available from either. That’s because the perfect solution to a lice infestation isn’t a prescription at all; the perfect solution is hot air. Read on to see how hot air can cure you of lice. But first, what’s so wrong with the products you can get from the drug store? The problems are three.
First, most over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription products don’t work anymore. Virtually all lice in all 50 states have developed resistance to the toxic chemicals in OTC and prescription lice shampoos. These are the so called Super Lice. The result is that the effectiveness of the most common OTC products such as Rid and Nix have been reduced to as low as 25%. More information about Super Lice resistance and the study behind the findings can be found on our blog https://lcasacramento.com/2016/05/
Second, these chemical-based treatments containing Permethrin may not be safe. Permethrin is a neurotoxin that kills lice by shutting down their central nervous system. Products containing this chemical have been deemed safe when used as directed; however, panicked parents often over apply the product, which may cause serious health problems. Richard Clapp, an environmental health expert and professor emeritus at Boston University, warns that Permethrin, especially when combined with other problematic chemicals, can cause seizures and, down the road, behavioral problems. A 2009 memo from the EPA described Permethrin as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” in some conditions.
Third, these products don’t kill lice eggs, or nits, which is the most challenging aspect of treating head lice. The chemical in these products only kill live lice, not unhatched eggs (nits), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If eggs/nits cannot be killed while on the head, the only way to effectively treat lice is to manually REMOVE every louse and egg/nit from the head because; if every nit is not removed, you’ll simple get a new case of head lice a week or so after the treatment is applied. Our blog about nit-pickers provides more information about the manual removal process. https://lcasacramento.com/lice-facts/nit-pickers-hate-airalle-new-lice-treatment-tech-renders-another-industry-obsolete
Here’s how hot air can solve you lice problem. It’s a medical device (rather than a shampoo) that uses heated air to dehydrate and kill head lice and lice eggs. It has been clinically proven to be safe and effective and has been cleared for use by the FDA. It is called AirAllé, and treatment using this device is available exclusively in the Sacramento area at Lice Clinics of America – Sacramento. In most cases the head lice are removed in a single 60-minute treatment, and the treatment is completely effective when done in a clinic. The treatment is also pesticide-free. You can find more information about how the process works on our web site: https://lcasacramento.com/we_do_it/
New summer activities = new interactions = new opportunities for lice
If you thought that the end of the school year meant that the threat of lice was over, you might want to think again. All those new summer activities bring with them tons of opportunities for your kids to interact with folks that they haven’t interacted with during the school year. And the TYPE of activities during the summer tends to bring kids into closer physical contact with each other. AND on top of that, if your kiddos do get exposed, they are probably getting exposed to Super Lice. AAAARRRGGHH!! So, what to do? Well, assume the worst, and then take the following defensive steps.
- Drill into your kids head that they are to NEVER share anything that has touched someone else’s head (that’s kind of a pun :). And, of course, try not to actually touch their head to someone else’s head. Obviously, the probability of them ignoring this advice varies inversely with their age, but you must try as hard as you can to get this into their head (in order to keep the lice off their head…..you see the pun now?)
- Keep hair up and tight as possible anytime the kids are in high-risk situations, which is pretty much any time they are around other kids. This could be a math-teachable moment about surface area. “You see my little pumpkin, if you leave your hair down how much more surface area there is for one of those gross, disgusting bugs to latch onto your hair. But if you put it a tight braid, how much less surface area there is? So do this every day, or else Mommy will….” Try to keep calm when imparting this valuable lesson.
- Inspect. Frequently. Get yourself a good nit comb (you can buy them from us or get the Terminator comb off Amazon) and use the following technique.
- Run the comb along a short section of the scalp – once – and then pull the comb out to the end of the hair
- Place the comb over a clean white surface and rake through the tines of the comb with your fingernail. Get as much out of the comb as you can
- Repeat the first 2 steps for another section of the scalp, and then another, and another…until you cover the entire head.
- Look at the entire contents of what came out of the comb. You are looking for nits/eggs or, if you are really lucky (or unlucky) a live louse, but live critters are harder to find than nits. Nits can be extremely small, but have a distinctive and consistent shape. See the picture below, or Google to your heart’s content for more images of lice and nits.
So, what to do if you find something? First, assume the worst, which is that they have SUPER LICE. I know the “assume the worst” posture may seem a bit dramatic, but talk to some of our customers who have been battling lice for months and they will tell you that a little more drama at the beginning of their lice saga would have been helpful.
Now, consider your options:
- Chemicals from the drug store or pediatrician. Unfortunately, the term “Super Lice” was coined as a result of their resistance to these chemicals, so you are rolling the dice as to whether these products will work. And super lice are now everywhere. See an earlier blog about the prevalence of super lice: https://lcasacramento.com/super-lice/super-lice-much-worse-previously-thought-according-new-study/
- Nit Pickers – folks that will come to your home and painstakingly remove every nit and louse from your head. When done correctly, this is a multi-hour process; the actual time required depends on the length and thickness of the hair, as well as the severity of the lice infestation. However, these days many nit pickers are taking an “express” approach, which is that will do a quick comb out (1 to 1.5 hours) and then tell you that you yourself must continue to comb many more times over the following weeks (in other words, you are not going to get rid of the lice in a single day). See another earlier blog about nit pickers: https://lcasacramento.com/lice-facts/nit-pickers-hate-airalle-new-lice-treatment-tech-renders-another-industry-obsolete/
- Call us, because NO KIDDING, we will completely eliminate your lice problem in
100% LICE FREE
The AirAlle’ technology is new to Sacramento (we switched from being nit-pickers ourselves a year ago), and it is truly a revolutionary advancement in lice treatment. No other treatment option even comes close to the effectiveness of our process. And, BTW, we are the exclusive provider for the Sacramento area.
An updated and expanded study of “super lice” in the Journal of Medical Entomology confirms every parents’ worst fear: super lice are everywhere, and almost completely resistant to standard OTC products. Super lice are those that are resistant to chemical-based lice treatments such as RID and Nix; the result is higher failure rates for these products than ever before.
Here are the highlights from the study (the actual study is linked below):
~ Super lice have been found in 48 states (no samples were taken from Alaska and West Virginia).
~ The resistance rate is 100% in 42 of the 48 states.
~ The average resistance rate for all 48 states is 98.3%
~ Current effectiveness of permethrin -based products (the chemical used in RID and Nix) is shown to be as low as 25%. Since 1998, the effectiveness has gradually decreased from essentially 100% to current levels.
New Lice Treatment Technology Renders Nit-Picking Industry Obsolete
Our competitors in Sacramento & all over California are feeling quite threatened by the AirAlle’® technology, and for good reason: AirAlle’® is a vastly superior method of treating lice. We are finding that some competitors are willing to say almost anything in order to prop-up their increasingly out-of-date business. So, right here, right now we want to clear up the distortions that are being propagated about our treatment method. And we are going to do it with verifiable information so you don’t need to “just take our word for it.”
The AirAlle’® technology is a revolutionary advance in lice treatment, and is relatively new to California. Before the arrival of AirAlle’®, the only treatment options were: 1) Do it yourself – home remedies or chemical products like Rid/Nix/prescription. 2) Comb-out services – manually removing lice and nits from the head. Comb-out services (otherwise known as nit-pickers) have been around for a long time, so it is understandable that the “old guard” may be fearful of a new technology that threatens their livelihood. Understandable, but you deserve to know the benefits available to you with the new AirAlle’® technology.
Distortion #1: Kids have been burned by the AirAlle’® device.
I want to call this a damnable lie, but I also want to maintain a professional composure. The temperature of the air coming out of the AirAlle’® device is a very carefully controlled 138 degrees Fahrenheit 1. This is the same temperature of most hair dryers, and below the temperature at which skin burns 2. In addition, we follow a very precise process that balances a customer’s comfort with an effective treatment protocol. To be certain, the treatment can feel hot – that is part of the dehydration process – but to insinuate that we have burned children is absolutely incorrect.
Distortion #2: It’s not possible to be completely effective with a single treatment
Well, our competitors are correct in one sense: USING THEIR METHOD, it isn’t possible to possible to be completely effective with a single treatment! To support their assertion, they point to the clinical studies showing that the AirAlle’® device KILLS 99.2% of nits/eggs 3. Their argument is that leaving even one nit alive can lead to re-infestation. While that is true, what they fail to mention is that Lice Clinics of America employs a 3-step process, and that the AirAlle’® treatment is only the first of three steps. The other two steps are a comb-out and an application of an oil-based silicone 4. Between all three of these processes, we assure you that eggs/nits and lice (everything) on the head are dead at the end of the treatment. No follow-up treatments are necessary because we have KILLED everything on the head.
Distortion #3: The AirAlle’® treatment isn’t effective because there may still be egg/nits in the hair
This gets a little technical, but, please, follow along as best you can, will you? First, some facts:
- If live lice and eggs/nits cannot be killed while on the head, the only way to effectively treat lice is to manually REMOVE every louse and egg/nit from the head. Comb out services that do not use chemicals (and I don’t know any that do) have no way of killing live lice or eggs/nits. Therefore, they are completely dependent on manual removal as a treatment method.
- Lice lay their eggs on hair shafts right at the scalp line (within 1-4 mm of the scalp 5). The eggs stay glued to the hair shaft and grow out with the hair. Eggs hatch within 7-10 days of being laid 6, and hair grows approximately ¼ inch per week, meaning that eggs/nits that are more than ¼” from the scalp have hatched already and are just empty egg casings 7. Therefore, the only eggs/nits that need to be treated are located very close to the scalp.
As mentioned earlier, the focus of our treatment is to KILL lice/eggs on the head. The AirAlle’® device directs its heated air right at the scalp in order to achieve maximum effectiveness (99.2% of egg/nits). When we do our comb out, we are concentrating our efforts on the eggs/nits near the scalp. What we don’t emphasize is getting every egg/nit out of the hair, and that’s because eggs/nits off the scalp are already “dead.” Of course, we COULD spend the hours necessary to remove every dead egg/nit on the head, but taking the extra time doesn’t translate into increased effectiveness; it just translates into more time. Our customers appreciate that we can solve their lice problem in much less time than any other option; for them, a 1-hour treatment is much more appealing than a multi-hour treatment – provided it is equally effective, which it is…..WE PROMISE.
1, 3. Journal of Medical Entomology, 48(1): 67-72 (2011): Efficacy of the LouseBuster, a New Medical Device for Treating Head Lice (Anoplura: Pediculidae)
- BMC Pharmacology 2009, 9:3 (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2210/9/3): The mode of action of dimeticone 4% lotion against head lice, Pediculus capitis
The Fascinating History Behind the AirAllé® Head Lice Treatment Device
The concept behind the AirAllé® device was launched in the laboratory Dr. Dale Clayton at the University of Utah when a chain of lice-related events converged on the poor doctor. As a professor of Biology, Dr. Clayton was already familiar with lice because he was using bird lice for basic research, but when his kids contracted lice at school and he couldn’t eradicate them using traditional treatment methods – and being the good scientist that he is – he wanted to invent a solution. The first prototypes were Frankenstein-like hair dryers, but after much tinkering and testing evolved into clinically tested and FDA-cleared, commercially-viable devices. The first iteration of this device was called the LouseBuster. When it was decided that the device needed a cosmetic facelift (it still looked like something only a scientist could love) the name of the updated model was changed to AirAllé®.
The genesis of all this lice-related activity started in the 1980’s and early 1990’s in England where Dr. Clayton was studying basic aspects of the biology of birds and their feather lice. For reasons of basic research, Dr. Clayton successfully cultured lice in birds. However, when he moved to the University of Utah in 1996, he found that it was very difficult to keep lice alive in the same species of birds that he was using in England. It turns out that the arid climate of Utah was killing his lice. He determined that the large surface to volume ratio of these flat insects makes them highly vulnerable to desiccation. Once he added steam to his culture rooms, the lice thrived.
Around this same time, Dr. Clayton’s school-aged children contracted head lice, which he tried to treat with traditional OTC chemicals. The OTC products were not very effective, and drawing on his experience with the bird lice, he theorized that it might be possible to control head lice by reducing the level of humidity near the scalp. He kicked into high tinkering mode and over the next several years devised a variety of methods, ranging from the use of chemical desiccants, to heat caps fitted with electrodes, to rice bag caps heated in a microwave, to various hair dryers and blowers up to the size of a leaf blower. Testing was performed on student volunteers – including Clayton’s own children – many of whom were temporarily infested with head lice.
These tests showed that it is not feasible to control head lice using existing hair dryers – handheld or bonnet style. A combination of heat and high-volume airflow is required to dehydrate the lice. The air in the bonnet-style hair dryers is static and cannot kill lice unless the temperature is much hotter than a person can tolerate. Conventional blow driers are dangerously hot and can cause burns when directed at one location for a long enough time necessary to desiccate lice. They also tend to mat the hair, effectively protecting the lice from the effects of the moving, hot air.
Eventually is appeared possible that lice and their eggs could be killed on the head with a custom-built device that combines fast-moving heated air, a precise angle of application, and the right duration of treatment. This version of the device was the LouseBuster. In 2006 a paper was published in the journal Pediatrics comparing the success of the different kinds of hair dryers relative to the LouseBuster device for killing head lice and their eggs.
Larada Sciences, Inc., which incorporated in 2006, formed to take the LouseBuster product to market.
A follow-up study was published in the Journal of Medical Entomology in 2011 that showed the LouseBuster was highly effective at killing lice and eggs, even in the hands of novices.