Lice Clinics of America Knoxville, TN Blog

Lice Clinics of America® – Knoxville Honors Teachers and School Nurses with Free Screening Postcards

May 7-11 is Teacher Appreciation Week and Nurse Appreciation Week. To support teachers and school nurses in Knoxville, Lice Clinics of America Knoxville will deliver postcards good for free head lice screenings for teachers and school nurses to provide to families that may be struggling with head lice.

“Teachers and school nurses are often on the front lines of educational, social, and health challenges that families face,” said Jen, owner of Lice Clinics of America – Knoxville. “They’re often the ones that have to bear the uncomfortable news to a family that a child has head lice, which can be very stressful for everyone involved, so we want to make that a little easier.”

Studies have shown that head lice are often misdiagnosed, and a professional head lice screening can be an invaluable first step in confronting the situation. Also, many parents don’t initially want to believe their children have head lice. A professional screening can answer both questions.

“It’s important that families know that it’s actually head lice that are found in children’s hair before undergoing treatment,” Jen said. “Our certified technicians are experts and can quickly determine if dandruff or dry skin have mistakenly been identified as lice—much to the relief of everyone.”

Head lice screenings at Lice Clinics of America – Knoxville usually cost $25, but we’re providing certificates for free screening that teachers and nurses can give to families to eliminate the stress of uncertainty.

If head lice are found, don’t worry. Treatment can usually be performed on the spot using our  AirAllé® medical device, you will  leave the clinic lice-free. The AirAllé is an FDA-cleared Class I medical device clinically proven to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of eggs (nits) in a single treatment that usually takes about an hour. 

Head lice have become more difficult to treat in recent years as lice have developed a resistance to the pesticides used by the most popular over-the-counter lice products. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology found that 98 percent of lice in most states are now immune to the active ingredients in these products.

“Most of the people that come to our clinic have already tried and failed to get rid of lice with over-the-counter products,” Jen said. “Many have been struggling with head lice for months, and they are so relieved to know that we have a fast, safe, guaranteed solution.”

The AirAllé was developed by researchers at the University of Utah. It works by applying carefully controlled warm air to the scalp and hair to dehydrate lice and eggs. There are no pesticides or chemical used during our treatment process. 

Head lice treatment using the AirAllé medical device is available exclusively at Lice Clinics of America professional lice treatment centers. With more than 300 clinics in 33 countries, Lice Clinics of America is the largest and fastest-growing network of professional lice clinics in the world. Close to 400,000 cases of head lice have been successfully treated using the AirAllé device, with a success rate better than 99 percent

Our clinic also offers home lice treatment and prevention products. For more information visit LiceClinicsKnoxville.com.

Lice Prevention

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There are many old wives tales concerning lice prevention, but we have your best options! We work with lice every day, and have some tips and tricks to avoid catching it yourself.

Wear your hair up! It takes THREE SECONDS for a louse to crawl from someone’s head to yours. This means a hug, picking up a child, selfies, or even standing close to people on public transportation is enough to catch lice. Every loose hair is an opportunity to a louse. Buns and braids will keep your hair tight to your head and prevent flyaways. If you have crazy curly or frizzy hair like me, some gel, mousse, or hairspray will help eliminate those escaping fuzzies.

Pinterest or YouTube are your friends. You can learn to do many simple hairstyles in only a few minutes!

While they don’t have to be this elaborate, any type of tight braid will reduce your chances of getting lice.

Peppermint is your new signature scent. Lice avoid peppermint or menthol, and our Preventive Spray has both! Simply spray this on your hair before you leave the house to encourage lice to find a different place to live. If you like essential oils, put a few drops of peppermint oil into a spray bottle full of water, and shake it. The oil and water will separate so make sure to shake your homemade version every time! Tea Tree Oil has been talked about a lot, but it doesn’t work anymore. Maybe at one time it helped, but now it will only cost an arm and a leg and leave your hair soft for the lice to happily cavort around in.

This spray gets a good workout here at the clinic! We all use tit multiple times a day to help stay lice free in an environment full of lice.

For only $20, you can help keep your family safe!

Hair cuts are important! Everybody thinks they should cut their hair, but you don’t have to go that route. In fact, for women, hair should be at least shoulder length so you can pin it up appropriately. For men, a buzz cut is not enough. Lice can live in an eighth of an inch of hair! If you want to be lice free, you need to shave your head to the scalp and rock that Mr. Clean shiny head bald.

My personal favorite trick is simple: hoodies. I wear carry a jacket with a hood almost everywhere, so when I sit on an unholstered seat, I can flip the hood up to cover my hair. Lice can fall off heads and cling to fabric while they wait for an unsuspecting victim. Movies theaters, classrooms, and airplanes are my most feared seating right now. The hood over my hair gives me peace of mind that I am protecting myself.

I hope this has educated you on lice prevention! If you got itchy reading this, that’s normal. If you think you need a head check, please give us a call or email! We love telling people they’re lice free and sending them back into the sunshine. If you do have lice, we can get you lice free quickly and completely. Our goal is to get and keep our community lice free, and we are more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

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Differently Abled and Lice Treatment

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Lice is a huge problem for every family, but differently abled families have different concerns. Since we opened, we’ve had several new experiences and our staff has made each person comfortable while we got rid of their lice.

For our non-verbal clients, we explain the procedure and book the appointment via text. They are able to communicate with our clinician using texting on their phone without a problem.

Our sensory clients, or those who are non-verbal and too young to text, generally play on a tablet during treatment. We provide Amazon Kindles that are child locked to age appropriate games. Parents, guardians, or siblings are encouraged to stay close by and talk or hold hands with them while we work together to make sure treatment is as fast and comfortable as possible. We take as many breaks as the client needs. If an AirAlle is too much, we transition right into a comb out and teach the parents or guardians how to do it at home, for maximum success.

For infants or toddlers, we generally let a parent or guardian hold them on their lap during a head check or comb out. They feel safe on someone’s lap, and we are able to do our job quickly and completely without anyone having a melt down.

Our parking lot has a handicapped space, and none of our furniture is bolted down. We can adjust our clinic to your needs, ensuring you get the best possible environment.

Our main goal is to get and keep our community here in Tennessee lice free, and we are willing to do whatever it takes to fit the needs of that community. If you have a disability, or any general concerns about you or your loved ones, please call us and let us know.

Great Lice Egg Hunt

The Great Lice Egg Hunt – Free Lice Treatment offered to the community of Knoxville!

It’s that time of year again—for lilies, chocolate bunnies, marshmallow chicks, and, of course, egg hunts. Every spring, parents bring their children to places like Market Square, where kids rush around filling their baskets with delightfully colored eggs and other treats.

But there are some eggs no parent or child in Knoxville wants to find at Easter or any other time of the year—nits, precursors to head lice. When you find these eggs, you want to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

Lice Clinics of America – Knoxville held its annual Egg Hunt on March 24, 2018, when we provided free head screenings and lice treatments for anyone with an active case of head lice and provided 26 FREE lice treatments!

The Knoxville Egg Hunt began in 2016 to call attention to the fact that some 12 million people contract head lice each year in the United States alone, to debunk the myth that head lice are related to poor hygiene, and to show that safe, effective treatment options are available.

“Every year, people line up at our clinics to get checked and treated for head lice, for free,” said Jennifer Tippens, owner of Lice Clinics of America – Knoxville. “We hold this event as a service to our community to reduce the stigma associated with head lice and to show that there is a revolutionary treatment available that make lice treatment faster, easier, and safer.”

The Knoxville clinic is the area’s exclusive provider of treatment using the AirAllé, an FDA-cleared Class I medical device, clinically proven to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of eggs using warm air to dehydrate lice and nits. No pesticides are used, and the entire treatment process takes about an hour.

Head lice have become tougher to treat in recent decades as they have become immune to pyrethroids, the pesticide used in the most popular over-the-counter lice products. The most recent study found that 98 percent of lice in most U.S. states are resistant to pyrethroids. Pyrethroids have also been linked to behavioral and developmental problems in children, including poor attention and early puberty in boys.

“We want everyone to know that there is no need to use dangerous pesticides on your children,” <clinic owner name> said. “Science and medicine have made safer alternatives available to families.”

The Knoxville clinic also offers a line of home treatment products that prevent and kill head lice without toxic chemicals or The home treatment products are used over a 10-day period to eradicate lice.

Developed by scientists at the University of Utah, the AirAllé has treated nationally more than 350,000 cases of head lice with a success rate of better than 99 percent. With more than 300 clinics in more than 30 countries, Lice Clinics of America is the largest network of professional lice treatment centers in the world.

Do Lice Letters and No-Nit Policies Work?

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They are two of the most common questions among frustrated parents; why don’t schools send lice letters home, and why are students with lice allowed in school?  While some school districts in East Tennessee continue to send students home, as well as notify other parents, when lice infestations are discovered within the classroom, many area districts have changed their policies when it comes to head lice.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school, and both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) advocate that “no-nit” policies should be discontinued.  When a child gets head lice, parent frustration is understandable; dealing with head lice can be overwhelming.  But there are numerous reasons why no-nit policies and letters home ultimately make no difference when it comes to preventing head lice infestations.

In order to identify head lice infestations in school, all students would need to be screened on a regular basis, and most, if not all, schools simply do not have the staff or resources to dedicate to frequent screenings.  Routine screenings would be necessary because not all students with lice infestations are symptomatic.  1 in 20 children have head lice at any given time, and of those children only 40% experience the tell-tale itch, which is an allergic reaction to the saliva from head lice.  So while the school may identify some children with lice, it’s likely there are others in school with active infestations who show no obvious symptoms.

Early on in an infestation lice and eggs are often missed, especially when only a visual screening is conducted.  A female louse lays approximately 3-5 eggs per day, and eggs take another 7-10 days before hatching, so an infestation may not be obvious one week, but much easier to spot the following week.

Even if schools send letters home encouraging parents to check their children for head lice, many parents do not know what to look for or how to identify head lice.  Debris, dandruff, and hair product are often mistaken for lice eggs.  Actual viable lice eggs, which are grayish-brown and close to the scalp, are often missed upon visual inspection, and are difficult to see in darker hair.  Parents may miss lice infestations on their own child, and send them back into the school setting untreated.

Lice egg on hair shaft

So what are parents to do?  A parents best defense against head lice is to conduct routine screenings at home, because lice letter or not, there are always children in school with head lice.  Effective screenings require just a few simple tools.  Parents are encouraged to invest in a good lice comb, like the Terminator Comb carried by Lice Clinics of America-Knoxville.  Parents should comb the hair behind the ears, at the nape of the neck, and at the crown. Start at the scalp and comb to the ends of the hair shaft looking for small grayish-brown eggs, or live lice.  For parents who want to be absolutely sure, Lice Clinics of America provides screenings and instruction.  Lice doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and routine at-home screenings are one of a parent’s best defense against the continued spread of head lice. We also suggest wearing hair in buns or braids to give lice fewer chances to cross over, and avoiding selfies or sharing brushes, hats, and coats, as all can spread lice. Our Preventive Spray encourages lice to find another head to land on, and it is a good addition to your morning routine.

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Pets and head lice

We get a lot of people asking about their pets and head lice. Don’t worry, your pet cannot get head lice! Head lice are a completely human problem. Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, horses, or any other member of the animal kingdom: none of them can catch lice. Your fur babies are safe 🙂

Lice only live on humans, they aren’t found anywhere in the world except on people’s heads. That’s part of why it is always “lice season.” Those tiny monsters are passed from person to person around your community forever. Head lice have certain requirements to survive, which include a human food source, as well as a certain temperature and humidity to hatch eggs and support the newly hatched lice. Your pet can’t provide these things, so lice won’t live there. Thank goodness! Can you imagine brushing a sheepdog with a nit comb?

Once your family has been professionally treated and your laundry is done, you are all done! You can go ahead and love on your dog or cat as much as you want, and know that you can’t catch lice from your pet.

Happy New Year! We had a great five months.

We’ve only been open for five months, but let me give you some great numbers about us. So far we have:

  • 169 days of operation
  • 589 head checks
  • 314 Signature AirAlle clients went home lice-free!
  • Many more helped by comb-outs, express treatments, and products and information

I am personally most proud of the families. Not just the numbers, but the actual people we have saved from head lice. We have seen:

  • Foster children
  • Special needs children
  • College students
  • Teachers
  • Parents
  • Nursery workers
  • Adoptive families
  • Blended families
  • Multigenerational families
  • Three children and one entirely grown man threatened to get lice on purpose to come back
  • Hugs from grateful children
  • Colored many pictures while Mom and Dad were treated
  • I am a master at several childrens’ games on our tablets now

We all love our jobs here, and we love the opportunity to help you and your family. Our biggest goal is to get you lice free, and we will do anything we can to help you get (and stay!) that way. We are so lucky to have this chance to make our community a better place!

Thank you all for letting us into your lives for a short time. We are so glad you came here.

Happy New Year!

Jennifer, Carissa, and Jamie

Lice Treatment Myths 101

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We get a lot of people on Facebook asking about lice treatments, and there is a lot of misinformation on the internet! Here are some myths I’ve seen lately:

  • Listerene – doesn’t help. You’ll smell minty fresh, but it dries out your scalp and won’t kill many hatched lice.
  • Mayonnaise – while this a great hair moisturizing treatment, it won’t kill anything.
  • Olive/coconut oil – you’ll have shiny hair, but it doesn’t kill anything.
  • Saran Wrap over any of the above – keeping Saran Wrap over mayo or oil overnight is uncomfortable and can ruin your sheets, but won’t kill anything on your head.
  • Rid/Nix/prescriptions – include harmful pesticides and only kill unevolved lice (not “super lice”).
  • Kerosene – this one is the most dangerous. Not only will this not kill lice, but it can easily set on fire and cause permanent damage or death to you and your loved ones.

The only real way to get rid of lice without our FDA cleared nit killer is to comb out every single nit. This can take hours of work every day for weeks. Between work, kids in school, extra curricular activities, and the inability to properly comb out your own head, this means a simple lice problem can last for months and interfere with every aspect of your life.

Our FDA cleared AirAlle device kills 99.2% of nits in about 30 minutes, leaving you free to live your lice-free life. Feel free to check out other sections of our site to learn more! We are also on Facebook, Instagram, and answer emails and phone calls within 24 hours. We are committed to getting and keeping our community lice free.

Over 100 AirAllés given in just two months!

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We’ve been open for two months now, and business is booming! Over one hundred AirAllé treatments have been performed, and several hundred head checks as well. Head lice are out in full force in Knoxville! A few highlights are:

  • The family who showed me pictures of their pet fox.
  • The family on vacation who brought in everyone in the cabin. We had three generations of people in our office and helped nine people that Saturday.
  • Two different families evacuating from Irma who can go home lice free.
  •  The eight year old who said she wanted lice again because she loves the treatment so much.
  • Several families who had been struggling with lice for years and walked out free from lice.

It is truly an honor to be able to help so many people and their families. When people walk in, they’re in crisis. We can fix that. The relief on peoples’ faces when they realize the problem is over is worth so much to all of us who work here.

We look forward to meeting and treating your family! Come on in, let us make your day better.

Lice Clinics Knoxville is OPEN!

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Lobby

We are just so excited to be open and able to help!  Check out our new clinic!  The lobby is comfortable, we offer wi-fi and refreshments, and we have things for kids to do while they wait for treatment.  Treatments can feel like a long time to sit still for a child, so we have kid-friendly tablets, books, coloring, and fidget spinners to make the time pass quickly.  Before you know it, everybody is lice free!

If you are dealing with head lice, know that you don’t have to go it alone.  We are here to help.  One treatment, One time, One hour… and Done!

Kerosene for Head Lice?

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Child with shampoo suds in hair and on face

As I’ve been getting ready to open, I’ve been striking up conversations all over town — about Lice!  More than just a couple of folks I’ve talked with lately have shared a family recipe including the use of kerosene as a major ingredient in a home lice remedy.  This is a very, very bad idea.

Please do not use kerosene on yourself or on your children!

  • Kerosene is extremely toxic to lung tissue.
  • Kerosene damages mucous membranes on contact.  Delicate eyes and mouths are located on precious heads — a drip of kerosene can cause lasting, permanent damage.
  • Kerosene can cause chemical burns on skin.  It causes “defatting” of the skin, and painful irritation.
  • A spark could cause a horrendous accident leading to severe burns or death.

Here is a link to a short and very informative article on kerosene poisoning: Kerosene Poisoning – NY Times Health Guide

There are better, more effective and safer ways to get rid of head lice.  Lice Clinics of America has non-toxic, effective solutions.  We can do a thorough head check to see if you need any treatment at all (because sometimes it isn’t lice).  We have solutions starting at $25 for a do it yourself, active-rinse home treatment, on up to $185 for our signature 3-step AirAlle’ treatment that takes care of it all, very safely, in a single 60-90 minute sitting — once and done!

We are close by in Knoxville.  We plan to open on July 15th.

Getting Ready to Open

We are getting close to opening!  Our original opening date was targeted for August 1st, but things have gone so swimmingly that we plan on seeing patients starting July 15th!

Our new clinic is cute.  It’s ‘pinch its cheeks’ kind of cute.  It’s in Bearden, in a cute little brick house that was converted into an office.  It’s on a street with other cute little houses that have been turned into other cute little offices.  More importantly, it is practical for our use.

Things I love about our location:

  • There is ample parking to the side and rear of the building.
  • Parking is not overtly noticeable from the street.
  • The property is wheelchair accessible.
  • The rooms are filled with light from the windows.
  • It is in a central location, with everything you could need nearby.
  • This place has character!  Rounded plaster ceilings, built in nooks, a fireplace, doorway arches…  It looks like a storybook house.
  • The flow is great and clients will be comfortable during their visit.

Progress:

  • We refinished the original hardwood floors and they are easy to clean and beautiful too.
  • We painted the walls bright white and now the rooms are even more filled with light.
  • The electricity has been upgraded to allow for the safe use of the AirAlle’ medical devices.
  • The waiting area chairs arrived and have been put together.  Both adult sized and kiddie sized.
  • We have our new telephone numbers, and they work!
  • Our email address, info@LiceClinicsKnoxville.com is live – try it, say hello, and I’ll email you back!
  • Our website is live (you are here)!
  • The AirAlle’ devices are here, tested and ready!
  • Misc. other furniture is here and ready to be installed.
  • Lots of supplies are on order or already here.
  • Business licenses, all that tax stuff, etc, all done!

Still to do:

  • Signs!
  • Internet is being installed on Friday, the 30th.
  • I have a lot of the furniture still in my personal garage and I need to move it over to the shop.
  • There is still more furniture to purchase.
  • Inventory and display shelves to be set up.
  • The salon treatment chairs are selected, but not here yet.
  • A lot of supplies are ordered but not here yet.
  • Need to purchase tablets for client entertainment.
  • Need to set up office equipment – Mac, printer, CC machine, etc.
  • Need to set up all the business software.
  • Need to decorate!

And that’s where we are so far.

I am so excited to be getting closer to serving Knoxville and the surrounding areas (you know who you are)!  Here’s a shout out to Oak Ridge, Pigeon Forge, Newport, Sweetwater, Ft Louden, Lenoir City, Clinton, Gatlinburg, Claxton, Harriman, Maryville, Alcoa, Seymour, Solway – in no particular order!!

Loving life and can’t wait to serve our community and help families.

Sincerely, Jen

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