5 things you need to know about head lice

The kids are back to school and so are those itchy little bugs. Saea Vivian of Lice Clinics of Canada gives you some lice advice to help.

1. It’s not a seasonal problem

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Some people think of lice as a school issue, but that’s not the case. “Kids can catch them any time they are mixing with different groups, like at day-camp or on vacation, and with a new class at the start of the school year,” explains Vivian. “It’s a year-round problem.”

 

2. They do prefer clean hair but any hair will do

It’s not an oldwives’ tale – it’s harder to lay eggs on an oily surface. But, says Vivian, it doesn’t make that much difference, so that’s no reason to skip showers. “Lice will go to anyone. Like mosquitos, they like certain blood types and certain body temperatures, but that won’t stop them from moving to a new head.”

 

3. Keep your hair tight to the head

“Don’t make a highway for them to travel on. It’s best to tie long hair up – ballerina buns and tight braids are ideal,” says Vivian. “Also, brush your hair daily. They like un-brushed hair because they don’t like to be agitated. Bug them, brush often.”

 

4. Standard treatments don’t work that well

Chemical treatments like pesticides and insecticides were the only treatment for decades, but they’re not ideal. “Lice have become resistant to them like antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” Vivian says. “They’re really irritating to scalps that are already sensitive, and you need to repeat them every week because they only eradicate live lice.” Combing nits is an option but it is time-consuming, stressful, and can be frustrating because even if you do it for at least an hour, every day, it can still take months.

 

5. Alternative treatments are available

Vivian is the owner of two Lice Clinics of Canada offices, which use the AirAllé. This FDA- and Health Canada-cleared medical device uses microprocessed heated air to dehydrate lice and their eggs, killing them completely in a single session. Prices for an AirAllé session start at $165. All treatments take place in Lice Clinics of Canada’s clinical setting, which use salon-standard hygiene and sterilisation to ensure no cross-contamination. You can also buy at-home treatments that are toxin-, pesticide- and insecticide-free starting at $25.

Lice Clinics of Canada has clinics in Langley and New Westminster. To find out more, visit Lcclangley.com

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