South Florida Hospital News
Saturday September 19, 2020
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April 2006 - Volume 2 - Issue 10
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Lice Source Services Known for Louse Removal, Research

Each year, children are sent home from school because they have lice in their hair. While some parents are able to solve the problem themselves, others look to companies like Lice Source Services to help them identify and remove the flat, wingless insects.

"A lot of people come to us for removal, because once you have head lice, it is very difficult to take care of," said Lidia Serrano, owner of Lice Source Services in Plantation, Florida, and Lice Cleanique, a new office opening in Delray Beach. "Once a child has it, it is easily passed on to others, and schools won’t allow students to come to school who have head lice. This can be extremely frustrating to parents."

When clients visit Lice Source Services, the lice are not only removed, but each person is educated on what the insect looks like, and how to deal with the issue themselves. "If found in time, lice can be removed before it becomes a problem," said Serrano. "If parents know what to look for, they can go through their children’s hair after they receive a note from the school about an outbreak, and prevent lice from spreading."

A very common problem, up to 12 million people worldwide get head lice each year. The insect, which can take the form of nits, nymphs or adult insects, causes mild to intense itching, and can cause dermal infections. In severe infestations, people may suffer from swollen neck glands, fever and irritability.

Though there are many stereotypes about the type of people who get head lice, Serrano says that it is not an uncommon condition. "There is no truth at all to the rumor that people get head lice because they are dirty or have bad hygiene," she said. "It can happen to anyone. People can get lice from going to a beauty parlor where the brushes are not sterilized between clients, or from sitting in a seat at a public theater where the chair is infested with lice."

"Lice is most often seen in the schools because kids tend to share their personal belongings and play closely together," she continued. "These kids can also pass the lice on to their parents."

For years, head lice were treated with Nix® or RID®, two over-the counter products approved by the FDA. "Now lice has become resistant to permethrin, the active ingredient in these products, so you can use them over and over, but they won’t work," said Serrano. "Lice has also adapted to different textured hair, like that of African-Americans, who weren’t susceptible to head lice before."

At Lice Source Services, technicians use Lice Cure, made by Health Enterprises, which kills lice within 10 minutes. They also use a nit comb, which is specially designed to separate the hair into sections in order to remove the bulk of lice and nits. Technicians then go back through the hair strand by strand to remove any eggs.

In addition to helping clients at their offices, Lice Source Services’ staff also travels to schools to perform screenings on a quarterly basis. "Lice is a problem year-round in most schools," said Serrano, who adds that approximately five percent of children seen during these screenings have head lice. "And with one school nurse serving about 1,000 students, there isn’t any way for her to take care of the problem."

Pediatricians and dermatologists often refer patients to Lice Source Services, and the company’s expertise is also used by pharmaceutical companies that perform research in this field. "The University of Miami used to go to Panama to get lice for research, until the pharmaceutical companies began questioning whether that lice was the same as lice found in the U.S.," said Serrano of one discovery that came from these research efforts. "Because they don’t use Nix or Rid in Panama, that lice was different. Those products will work in Panama, but not here."

In March, Serrano opened her second office in Florida, which is called Lice Cleanique and is located in Delray Beach. She plans to open a third location in Miami in 2007, and has future plans to open a location in each Florida county.

For more information, visit www.licesource.com or call (954) 791-0711.
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