(WTNH/WRIC) – The pesky parasites have been around for thousands of years and over time, strains of head lice have become super resistant to over the counter and ‘prescription’ treatments. But there’s a new way to kill them off and it’s FDA approved.
One louse can jump start an outbreak of head lice.
“All you really need is one louse, a female louse. They just have to mate once and then they lay eggs for the rest of their life and they lay a few eggs a day on their head,” says Registered Nurse Melissa Parker with Lice Clinics of America in West Hartford, Connecticut.
The clinic is one of many that now offers AirAlle, an FDA cleared medical device to kill off the annoying lice. Click here to check out where you can snag AirAlle.
“Really what it is is controlled heated air. Our device delivers controlled heated in a specific pattern on the head. We start at the back of the head.”
She explains, “And what it does is it rapidly dehydrates the egg therefore killing them and it’s over 99 percent effective to kill the eggs. We don’t use chemicals. We don’t use insecticides. We don’t use harsh toxins that your put in your child’s head.”
It may appear to act like a vacuum, but that’s not the case.
“Instead of actually sucking the lice or eggs up, it’s blowing out the controlled heated air to dehydrate the egg and the lice.”
A recent study shows Virginia is one of 25 states where lice have “knock-down resistant mutations” — a triple whammy of genetic alterations that render them immune to over-the-counter treatments.
“What can happen is they do cause an irritation. About 80 to 85 percent of people have an allergy to basically the saliva of the lice. So when people itch, that’s what they are talking about,” Nurse Parker says.
The re-treat rate for AirAlle is less than one percent. The total treatment can cost up to $195 and can take up to an hour and half to get it done. It is not covered by insurance.
Doctors do point out that traditional treatments may not appear to work because parents don’t always follow the recommended directions.
If you have questions, be sure to talk to your doctor.