Lice combing using ultrasound

Created on 12.11.15

A new preclinical evaluation investigating the use of ultrasound during nit combing has revealed that in the presence of a suitable lubricant, ultrasound reduces the peak force required to start moving louse eggs along the hair.

The study by Burgess et al., published in the November 2015 edition of the Journal of Medical Entomology investigated the use of ultrasound, applied through the teeth of a nit comb.

Ultrasound alone had little effect to initiate sliding but once the egg started moving it made the process easier. The study revealed that some head louse treatments made removal of eggs more difficult, requiring approximately twice the peak force to initiate movement compared with dry hair in the absence of ultrasound.

The findings revealed that following application of ultrasound, the forces required to initiate movement increased for an essential oil product, remained the same for isopropyl myristate and cyclomethicone, and halved for 4% dimeticone lotion.

The study indicated that fixing the nit comb at an estimated angle of 16.5° to the direction of pull gives an optimum effect to improve the removal process when a suitable lubricant was used. 

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