National Selfie Day is June 21, and Lice Clinics of America – Omaha wants families to know that while selfies can be fun, they have also been linked to an increase in cases of head lice.
“A pediatrician recently coined the term ‘social media lice’ because she was seeing so many teenagers with head lice, and she linked the cases to taking selfies,” said David Florsheim owner of Lice Clinics of America – Omaha.
The Omaha clinic is seeing more cases of head lice among teenagers, a significant change in clients. Historically, lice outbreaks typically slow as children get older, as teens don’t do as much sharing of clothing or sleep close together as younger children do. The selfie phenomenon is changing this at a rapid rate.
“The problem comes when kids taking photos of themselves crowd their heads together in order to fit in the picture together,” David said. “Head-to-head contact is the primary way head lice spread, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
When heads touch it’s a lot easier for lice to crawl from one head to another. Contrary to popular belief lice can not jump and spread mostly by crawling from one host to the next. Female lice that can lay eggs are the only lice that can infest a new host.
“Lice don’t fly or jump, so the only way that they can spread is by physical contact with another human’s hair or head,” David said. “Kids also get head lice from sitting close together in a car, hugging, or when they share hair utensils and accessories.”
“When taking selfies, be careful not to let heads and hair touch,” David said. “We know kids want to be spontaneous, but no one wants to get head lice.”
In addition to avoiding head-to-head contact, wash and sterilize combs and brushes that may have been shared. Any clothing that is suspected of carrying lice should be placed in a dryer on high heat for at least 20 minutes. Lice can live on these items for a time and it’s best to cleanse them and keep from sharing.
Lice Clinics of America – Omaha is the area’s exclusive provider of lice treatment using the AirAllé® medical device. AirAllé is FDA-cleared and clinically proven to kill live lice and 99.2 percent of eggs through dehydration. Treatment takes about an hour and is guaranteed to be effective. The AirAllé device uses no pesticides or chemicals, it is a fast, safe, and effective lice treatment.
The Omaha clinic also offers a line of preventive products in the form of sprays and shampoos that service as a kind of lice repellent. The products are non-toxic and approved for daily use.
“We don’t want anyone to get head lice from selfies or anything else,” David said. “But if you do, come to our clinic and you will be lice-free in an hour, and we can help you stay that way, too guaranteed.”
Lice Clinics of America – Omaha is one of 330 clinics in the Lice Clinics of America network in 33 countries. AirAllé has treated more than 700,000 cases of head lice worldwide with a success rate better than 99 percent.
Lice Clinics of Omaha is here to help with all of your head lice needs. We are located at 8424 West Center Road, Suite 212 in Omaha, NE. We serve Omaha as well as the areas surrounding Papilion, Fort Calhoun, and Valley. For more information or to book an appointment visit us at www.liceclinicsomaha.com or call us at 402-810-7525.