Lice can be killed by sufficient application of heat and by the drying conditions that result from certain heated devices. The hot dry air produced by standard hand-held hair dryers may suffice to kill lice and their eggs on a person's hair. Hair dryers vary considerably in their heat and air output, and users may risk scalding the hair and scalp by over application of hot air. A specific louse treatment device is now marketed that permits trained users to treat infested persons with a regulated flow of tempered air. Such a device would offer a significant safety margin compared with standard hair dryers. Heated curling or hair irons or similar devices may kill some lice and eggs, but may not safely be applied to hair nearest the skin where viable eggs are most abundant. Inanimate objects, such as clothing, toys, combs, brushes, hats and other hair accessories are of little to no significance in the spread of head lice. Although few head lice or eggs should be expected on clothing or linens, a clothes dryer set a high heat or a hot pressing iron may effectively kill any lice or their eggs on pillowcases, sheets, nightclothes, towels and similar items that will not be damaged by this process. Combs, brushes, hats and other hair accessories used by an infested person may simply be washed in hot water each day to dislodge any lice or nits. Such items need not be boiled.
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