Are Selfies Causing Teen Lice Outbreaks?

"Some doctors have been reporting ‰ÛÓ anecdotally ‰ÛÓ that they‰Ûªre seeing more lice among teens. A few, rather dubiously, are blaming selfies. ‰ÛÏPeople are doing selfies like every day. So you‰Ûªre probably having much more contact with other people‰Ûªs heads,‰Û Dr. Sharon Rink, a Wisconsin pediatrician, said on a local television show."

Alice Park wrote in's piece, "No, Selfies Aren‰Ûªt Causing a Teen Lice Epidemic," "But there is no data showing the current lice outbreak is affecting selfie-​snapping teens, the National Pediculosis Association told the Huffington Post."

The Centers for Disease Control says 6–12 million kids, aged 3–11 years, get lice in the U.S. each year. Children and teens are more likely to pick up lice during close contact in cars, during sleepovers, or sharing headphones, than they are in the few seconds it takes to take a selfie, some experts said.

The lice outbreak is in 25 states and features lice which are resistant to the drugs usually used to kill them.

"And many of those raising the alarm have something to do with nit picking ‰ÛÓ literally," Park wrote. "De-​lousing salons have sprung up to help reluctant parents who cringe at the idea of tediously taking to the tweezers to pick out the critters, one by one. What better marketing message than to alert the public to a new population of hosts for the ever-​hungry louse?"

What better way to promote your local salons' de-​lousing services than by having the edge on Selfie Takers? AudienceSCAN knows all about these photo-​loving Selfie Takers! In the past 6 months, 16% of U.S. adults have used smartphones or tablets to take selfies and post them to social media. 27% of them are aged 18–24. 46% are renters. Selfie Takers are 54% more likely than average to use iPhones to snap those selfies. If they have a good experience at the salon, they're going to tell everyone about it (and probably post a pic of the new 'do): 64% share GOOD experiences on social media. Reach them where they spend most of their time: 41% took action from an ad on social media in the past month.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.