Selfie Tips

National Selfie Day was June 21, and Lice Clinics of America wants families to know that while selfies can be fun, they’ve 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 selfies. When kids take photos of themselves, they crowd their heads together in order to fit in the picture. Head-to-head contact is a primary source of the spread of head lice, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Clinics are seeing more cases of head lice among teenagers. Historically, lice outbreaks have typically slowed as children got older—teens don’t do as much sharing of clothing or sleeping close together. The “selfie phenomenon” is changing this.

When heads touch while taking a selfie, lice can more easily crawl from one head to another.

Lice don’t fly or jump—the only way they spread is by physical contact with another human’s head. It’s also possible to get head lice from sitting close together in a car, hugging, or when people share hair utensils and accessories.”

No one typically thinks of selfies as risky, but this is one risk that children and teens alike should avoid. Try not to have direct head-to-head or hair-to-hair contact when taking pictures.

Other ways to prevent the spread of lice include washing and sterilizing clothing, bedding, and combs and brushes that may have been shared with someone that had lice. While rare, sharing personal items that contact hair can spread head lice if hair with lice falls onto the item. Any clothing that is suspected of coming into contact with head lice should be placed in a dryer on high heat for at least 20 minutes. Combs and brushes should be washed in hot water.

For families that are confronted with head lice, a cure could be only an hour away. Lice Clinics of America is the 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. The treatment takes about an hour and is guaranteed to be effective.

The company 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.

There are 330 Lice Clinics of America treatment centers in 33 countries, making it the world’s largest network of professional lice treatment centers. AirAllé has treated more than 500,000 cases of head lice worldwide with a success rate better than 99 percent.