MIDLOTHIAN

There is now a doctor’s office in Midlothian dedicated to the extraction of lice.

Dantia and Chris Tate have lived in Midlothian for the past seven years and found themselves regularly treating children for lice. Now, they have established The Lice Place, a franchise that devotes its services to removing lice and helping the community prevent it.

In fact, on July 31, the day before they opened, the Tate family treated a family of 17.

“That was kind of our confirmation that this is what we are supposed to be doing. It’s a ministry, and that’s what makes this place different,” Dantia expressed.

“When you leave here, you won’t have to worry about this. We are taking care of you. It’s helping people, helping parents because you can’t control this on your own,” Dantia added.

She relayed how tackling lice issues are mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. These reactions are evident when the parents are stressed as they make an appointment or walk in the door. Chris pointed out that the patients are affected just as much. So far he has observed the patients enter the facility with their heads down.

“Seeing the several kids since we’ve been open they’ll come in, and I’ll tell them, ‘look at me, look at me. It’s not your fault. It’s an equal opportunity parasite. All you have to do is be at the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s not your fault.’ It usually lifts their spirits up, and they feel better about themselves when they leave. That’s the main thing,” Chris relayed.

The Lice Place offers several packages, all with a 30-day guarantee. On average, a girl takes one hour and 30 minutes to treat, and boys take 30 to 45 minutes.

Treatment begins with an enzyme solution applied to the scalp, which loosens the glue that holds lice eggs to strands of hair. The hair is then sectioned off and combed through until no more lice can be removed from the hair. Once that is complete, the hair is blown dry. Then, strand-by-strand the hair is combed again by a different person to ensure a thorough search. The person is equipped with magnifying goggles and utilizes a bright light to deep into the scalp.

During the treatment, the patient sits in a comfortable chair with the entertainment of a flat screen TV and fire stick.

“You can’t kill lice, you have to remove it manually,” Dantia emphasized.

After the end of the treatment, the patient is given a TLP Terminator Comb and TLP shampoo and conditioner, which contains mint, tea tree oil and neem oil.

The life cycle of head lice

Day 1: The egg is laid on a strand of hair. This is called a nit.

Day 7-8: The louse emerges from the sack.

Day 9-14: There are three stages of growth before reaching adulthood. Those stages are nine to 14 days after the egg is laid.

Day 15-16: The female and slightly smaller made begin to reproduce. The female will initially lay one or two eggs. Females only mate once in their lifetime. Also, there are approximately five female lice for every male.

Day 15-33: The female can lay anywhere from two to 10 eggs per day.

Day 30-33: The louse dies.

Information provided by theliceplace.com.

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS

Chris boldly stated, “Over the counter products do not work anymore.” He explained there is “super lice” now. Olive oil or mayonnaise treatments are common to try and suffocate the parasite. When this treatment is applied, lice can breathe internally, which means the bugs could still lay eggs.

Dantia shared how over the counter chemical products are not as efficient since they only kill the adult bugs, leaving the eggs to hatch. She emphasized how applying a prescription will not be the end all be all.

The couple reviewed some more misconceptions about the annoying bugs.

First, Dantia clarified that lice cannot jump from one head to another — they don’t have hind legs. They can crawl extremely fast and prefer a warm environment with plenty of food. Lice feast off of human blood every two to three hours. She explained how lice would not leave a scalp to attach to a couch or pillow.

“People go to movie theaters. Can they crawl off? Yes, they can. But do they want to leave your head? No,” Dantia said.

Head-to-head contact is how lice are spread.

Dantia explained that lice are more common on females since they are more touchy, do sleepovers, share hair utensils and take selfies.

Another misconception is that there’s a need to have the entire house cleaned and fumigated after a lice breakout. She said some people would pay hundreds of dollars for a service like this. She noted stuffed animals could be thrown in the dryer on high heat for 20 minutes or set aside for 24 hours, as lice cannot live off a human host for more than eight to 12 hours. For the safe side, 24 hours is encouraged.

Chris mentioned that the cleanliness of the hair does not matter either. Wherever there is a food source, lice will go there. Head lice do not discriminate toward any socio-economic group and are not related to bad health or hygiene habits.

“Over 50 percent of people do not have a sensitivity to the saliva that they use to feed. You may have it, and if you’re not allergic to the saliva, you might not feel it. So some people don’t itch, and they’ve had it for a year,” Dantia said.

Dantia said she’s been told that summer and winter are the prosperous seasons for head lice, but are around all year. The Lice Place as several packages and also offers head checks for $12.50 and the TLP Terminator Comb for $24.95.

The Lice Place in Midlothian is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.—5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.—2 p.m. During these times walk-ins are welcome and appointments can also be made after 5 p.m. To make an appointment call 469-290-4222 or email, Midlothian@theliceplace.com. The Lice Place is located at 2220 Bryan Place in Midlothian.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450