National Selfie Day is June 21, and Lice Clinics of America – Spring Grove and Vernon Hills 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, which is typically thought to be an elementary school issue, and she linked the cases in teens to taking selfies,” said Nick Hawn owner of Lice Clinics of America – Spring Grove and Vernon Hills.
The Spring Grove and Vernon Hills 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.
“The problem comes when kids taking photos of themselves and friends/group crowd their head together to fit in the picture,” Hawn 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.
“Lice don’t fly or jump, it’s actually anatomically impossible for them, so the only way they can spread is by direct physical head to head, or hair to hair, contact,” Hawn said. “Kids can also get head lice from sitting close together in a car, hugging, or occasionally by sharing hair tools and accessories.”
“When taking selfies, be very careful not to let heads or even hair touch,” Hawn said. “We know kids want to have fun with friends, 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 Clinics of America – Spring Grove and Vernon Hills 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 Spring Grove and Vernon Hills 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 to see anyone getting head lice from taking selfies or anything else for that matter,” Hawn said. “But if you do, come see us and you will be lice-free in about an hour, and we can help make sure you stay that way too.”
Lice Clinics of America – Spring Grove and Vernon Hills is one of 330 clinics in the Lice Clinics of America network in 33 countries. AirAllé has treated more than 950,000 cases of head lice worldwide with a success rate better than 99 percent.
Lice Clinics of America – Spring Grove and Vernon Hills is located at 2503 Spring Ridge Rd Suite C1 Spring Grove, IL 60081 10 W Phillip Rd Suite 123 Vernon Hills, IL 60061 and is open seven days a week by appointment. Call (888)858-5423 or email info@LiceClinicsNorthernIL.com for more information or to schedule an appointment.