Heated Air Kills Super Lice

Many U.S. parents now choosing heated-air treatments over traditional head-lice remedies

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 19, 2015 // GLOBE NEWSWIRE // -- Head lice are becoming more and more resistant to the most popular lice-treatment products in the United States. As a result, these "Super Lice" are becoming more difficult to kill, increasing frustration and anxiety among parents. In contrast, AirAllé treatments, which dehydrate lice and their eggs using heated air rather than toxic chemicals, continue to effectively kill even these super lice.

The AirAllé device, which is an FDA-cleared medical device and is manufactured by Larada Sciences, first hit the market in 2010. Using this device, 85 Lice Clinics of America locations around the United States treat thousands of lice infestations each month. The clinics provide guaranteed, one-and-done treatments without the use of pesticides.

The emergence of super lice received national attention recently as the result of a press release by the American Chemical Society. The report was created by Kyong Yoon, Ph.D., who along with John Clark, Ph.D., has been researching pesticide resistance in lice since the 1990s. The report appears to update research they published in the March 2014 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Entomology.

"We've known about Dr. Yoon's and Dr. Clark's research for years, and are aware of their desire to see multiple treatment options for head lice on the market," said Claire Roberts, CEO of Larada Sciences, which owns the Lice Clinics of America brand. "So we're pleased that this information is finally reaching a broader audience."

Clinical studies of the AirAllé device showed it to be a highly effective method of killing lice in a single, hour-long treatment. In particular, it killed 99.2 percent of lice eggs, which was important because many lice-treatment products don't kill eggs and require multiple treatments and extensive combing to remove the eggs. In comparison, other clinical studies in the past six years have shown that permethrin-based treatment products, which lice have evolved resistance to, are less than 50 percent effective even after two treatments and 14 days.

The unique method of killing lice is the reason why the AirAllé device can continue to be effective, even as other lice products lose their effectiveness.

Dr. Dale Clayton, an evolutionary parasitologist who invented the AirAllé device, said, "There's no evidence that lice can evolve resistance to desiccation through heated air."

Roberts reiterated these results. "We see a treatment success rate of nearly 100 percent in our lice clinics. And if there is a need for a re-treat, we do it. That's why we guarantee them."

The success rate and guarantees are why so many parents are now opting for non-toxic, professional AirAllé treatments.

The second time her household got a lice infestation, Amy Cornett of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida went to Fresh Heads, a clinic within the Lice Clinics of America network. She said the AirAllé treatment worked in a single treatment, she had peace of mind from the guarantee, and the cost of the treatment was much cheaper than the time and money she spent trying to treat lice at home.

"I spent weeks trying to treat my daughters the first time they got lice," said Cornett. "I tried both prescriptions and over-the-counter treatments. I just assumed they would work. But they didn't. And the whole time I was feeling horrible about putting chemicals on my kids' heads and torturing them for eight hours with a lice comb."

One reason parents haven't been aware of pesticide resistance and why treatment products aren't working well is because some of the most authoritative websites on head lice have not updated their content and still recommend permethrin-based products as the first line of defense.

Roberts said that Larada Sciences is preparing to release a campaign in conjunction with back-to-school time, when lice outbreaks spike, as well as for Lice Awareness Month in September. The campaign, dubbed "End The Ignorance," is based on the conviction that by educating more people about effective ways to kill lice, infestations will be reduced. This campaign will use videos, interactive landing pages and social media to help end the stigma of head lice, raise awareness about how head lice spread, how to effectively treat infestations and dispel the myths.

"We're doing our part to get the word out," said Roberts. "I certainly hope our friends at the CDC, Mayo Clinic and others can do the same during the next month."

With 85 U.S. clinics and 105 international clinics, Lice Clinics of America is the largest network of professional head-lice-treatment centers in the world. Lice Clinics of America and AirAllé are brands owned by Larada Sciences, Inc.

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