Hot air may represent a safe and effective way to eliminate head lice according to a study published in Pediatrics this month. Researchers at the University of Utah used six different methods of delivering hot air to the scalp as a means of eliminating eggs and hatched lice. While all 6 methods were effective at eliminating head lice, the custom built Lousebuster resulted in 100% elimination of eggs and 80% mortality of hatched lice. Nearly all subjects were cured of their infestation at one week follow up. The authors conclude that a 30-minute application of hot air represents a safe and effective means of treating lice.
The study was supported by the National Pediculosis Association which represents the interests of those afflicted with nits. Their claim to fame: The patent protected lice comb, the Licemeister, which was featured on CSI. Check out the clip showcasing the Licemeister’s 5 minutes of fame.
Pictured is the Lousebuster in action on a premed student. Despite a striking resemblance to the wildly popular Flowbee Vacuum Haircut System of the early 1990's, the authors suggest that the Lousebuster will have its greatest use in institutional settings.