New treatment for lice comes to the shoreline

Male human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis. Technical settings : - focus stack of 57 images - microscope objective (Nikon achromatic 10x 160/0.25) directly on the body (with adapter ~30 mm)

ORANGE, Conn. (WTNH) — If you’ve had lice yourself or had it in your home you know how uncomfortable it can be. Not to mention a nuisance.

“There’s a stigma that’s been attached to lice for a very long time and that, of course, has shamed a lot of people so when people get it they don’t want to talk about it,” said Melissa Parker, general manager of Lice Clinics of America.

Lice is spread by close contact with someone who has it. Lice do not jump or fly, they crawl very fast. They also like clean hair. Getting rid of it usually involves an over-the-counter or prescription treatment. Once in your hair, lice lay eggs. It then takes those eggs 7 to 10 days to hatch, so treatment takes time and can be frustrating for parents. To complicate matters, Connecticut is one of 25 states with super lice that is resistant to the over-the-counter treatments.

Lice Clinics of America has an office in West Hartford and just opened another location in Orange along Boston Post Road. They use a controlled hot air system as a one-time treatment for both kids and adults.

“We do a treatment on the head in a specific pattern for a specific amount of time and that’s over 99% effective to kill the eggs in one treatment,” said Parker. “It also kills the bugs, but the eggs are very important since they are the hardest things to kill.”

Before treatments, the person is screened. It’s recommended other people living in the home get screened as well since they may also have lice. The hot air treatments last about 30 minutes, possibly longer depending on the length and texture of the hair. Developed by a professor at the University of Utah, the hot air treatment essentially dehydrates the eggs and lice.

After the treatment the lice and eggs are then combed out. The entire treatment takes anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes and also involves some education for the patient.

This type of treatment is not covered by insurance. However, the price is often less than the cost of several over-the-counter treatments.

For more information on Lice Clinics of America, visit their website by clicking here.




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