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Getting rid of lice is no head-scratcher, new clinic says AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS WRITER

It’s the note or phone call every mom dreads receiving from the school nurse, and there’s really not much point in going beyond the words “head lice.” Almost everybody knows the drill. Brothers and sisters and both parents have to be checked out. There’s the frantic trip to the drugstore to buy an over-thecounter topical product. A second treatment usually has to be timed nine or 10 days later to kill any newly hatched lice before they can produce new eggs. In between, there’s a lot of nitcombing, a lot of laundering and a lot of vacuuming going on. “It just puts your whole life on hold,” said Martell Deines, a mother of four and owner of the new Lice Clinics of America office in Gilbert, which promises a better way. On a recent visit, Deines and her assistant were treating a Chandler mom and daughter who’d driven to the clinic directly from school. As a first step, Deines performed a head check to confirm the presence

of eggs and live head lice on the daughter and mother. Next, the patients were treated with a tool called the AirAlle, an FDA-cleared device that kills lice and their eggs with heated air. At 138.5 degrees, the AirAlle is cooler than a hair dryer, Deines explained, and the process takes 30 minutes or so to ensure that the lice and eggs thoroughly dry out and die. It’s 99.2 percent effective, she said. For the 0.8 percent chance that even one viable egg or louse might be left, Deines does a thorough comb-out with a mousse designed to loosen eggs from the hair, then applies nontoxic dimethicone oil, which quickly dispatches adult lice by clogging their breathing pores. The mother, who asked not to be identified, admitted she wasn’t exactly thrilled to be spending an afternoon at the lice clinic. But she was very pleased to be lice-free and in possession of the certificate her daughter needed to return to school the next day. “It felt like I was getting my hair done,” she said. Patients leave the clinic after about

an hour with a 30-day guarantee, Deines said, which applies as long as all other members of the family have been screened. Deines said the clinic works by appointment or as urgent care. The full, guaranteed AirAlle treatment costs $175 per person, or $195 per person after 6 p.m. on weekdays, weekends or holidays. For $125 per person, you can get the Express Treatment, which includes the full AirAlle and dimethicone rinse, but you do the nit comb-out at home. The Gilbert lice clinic at 3303 S. Lindsay Road, Suite 109, can also provide parents on a budget with a DIY kit for $65. It consists of topical treatments, which are more effective than over-the-counter products, Deines said. “I think once the word gets out,” she said, “nobody will ever try to do this themselves again.” For more information, visit www. liceclinicschandler.com, or call 602309-5468. – Reach Mike Butler at 480-898-6581 or at mbutler@ahwatukeecations.com.

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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2016 | Ahwatukee Foothills News | ahwatukee.com

(Will Powers/AFN/Staff Photographer)

By Mike Butler

Martell Deines demonstrates how she uses a tool called the AirAlle. At 138.5 degrees, the AirAlle is cooler than a hair dryer, but it’s lethal to lice and their eggs.

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Ahwatukee Foothills News - Aug. 24, 2016  

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