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Title:
HEAD LICE APPLICATOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/161433
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
There is described an applicator for treating surfaces to control head lice comprising: a cloth configured to apply said treatment to said surface; a formula configured to be absorbed within said cloth comprising a viscous element for suffocating said head lice and nits upon contact; wherein the cloth comprises a mixture of viscose and polyester and the formula is absorbed within said cloth such that the cloth has a wetness ratio of between 150 - 250%.

Inventors:
LAWLESS, Michael (7 Sharan Place, Forestville, NSW 2807, AU)
Application Number:
AU2019/000022
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
February 21, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MICHAEL LAWLESS ATF THE LAWLESS FAMILY TRUST (7 Sharan Place, Forestville, NSW 2807, AU)
International Classes:
A01N55/00; A45D24/40; B08B1/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DOHERTY, Gavin, Peter (mdp Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys Pty Ltd, Level 4 91 William Stree, Melbourne Victoria 3000, AU)
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Claims:
The claims defining the invention are as follows:

1. An applicator for treating surfaces to control head lice comprising:

a cloth configured to apply said treatment to said surface;

a formula configured to be absorbed within said cloth comprising a viscous element for suffocating said head lice and nits upon contact;

wherein the cloth comprises a mixture of viscose and polyester and the formula is absorbed within said cloth such that the cloth has a wetness ratio of between 150 - 250%

2. An applicator according to claim 1 , wherein the viscous element is a natural or synthetic oil.

3. An applicator according to claim 2, wherein the viscous element is a silicone-based polymer

4. An applicator according to claim 3, wherein the formula comprises around 1% by ratio of silicon-based polymer; around 1% by ratio of peppermint oil; around 1% by ratio of preservative and around 97% by ration of purified water.

5. An applicator according to claim 4, wherein the silicon-based polymer is dimethicone.

6. An applicator according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cloth is configured in substantially rectangular pieces and the pieces are packaged together within a sealed package.

7. An applicator according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cloth is configured to clean hair care equipment to control any lice present thereon.

Description:
HEAD L1CE APPE1CATOR

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present invention claims priority from Australian provisional patent application No. 201890056 filed 21 February 2018, the entire contents of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF I VE TION

The present invention relates generally to an applicator for the eradication of head lice, and in particular, to a wipe applicator for applying to hair care equipment to exterminate any lice present thereon.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Head lice is a problem experienced by humans throughout the world. Head lice are small, wingless, parasitic insects that typically infest the hair and scalp of humans and are difficult to treat and eliminate. Due to their very small size, the lice are very difficult to notice until the infestation becomes significant in number.

There are generally three stages in the life-cycle of head lice. The first stage relates to the lice eggs or nits which, when laid, take around 7-14 days to develop into the second stage, called nymphs. Nymphs represent immature lice that are incapable of laying eggs and a nymph can mature in around 7 - 14 days into a louse, which is the final stage of development, and the stage where the mature louse can lay eggs. Head lice are true parasites and survive by sucking blood from the scalp. If a louse is deprived of blood they can survive for 1-2 days but in the presence of blood and other favourable conditions such as humidity and food supply, they can live up to 4 days.

Head lice are relatively mobile and can transfer from head to head through hair contact. In situations such as schools where children are in close regular contact, lice infestation amongst the students is common. Whilst the lice are not particularly dangerous to the health of the individual, they are uncomfortable and cause scalp itching and related problems, and are generally considered as a condition requiring treatment. As such, most schools have programs for dealing with head lice infestation amongst students, typically requiring the student to undergo treatment and to not return to school until the problem has been treated and controlled.

As a result, there exist a large number and variety of treatments for eradicating the presence of head lice. Most popular treatments involve shampoos and other chemical treatments that are applied directly to the individual’s hair to kill the lice and loosen the eggs or nits from the hair strands so that the nits can be removed by combing.

ln this regard, it is common for wire combs to be used comprising long cylindrical teeth with no or very minimal gap between such that when the comb is passed through the hair it is able to remove the nits and lice present therein. As the nits and lice are captured, they are removed from the comb and the comb is passed through the hair again until the hair has been fully treated or combed.

One problem with such a system of treatment is that cleaning of the comb is difficult to achieve between strokes and there is often the fear that collected nits or live lice that are not detected and removed from the comb are merely placed back into the hair for reinfestation. As the lice and nits are generally small, it is possible that they may not be removed from the comb at the end of each stroke, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the treatment program.

Thus, there is a need to provide a means which enables a user to treat the equipment being used to remove the head lice and nits that acts to kill any nits and/or lice present thereon prior to reuse in the infected hair.

The above references to and descriptions of prior proposals or products are not intended to be, and are not to be construed as, statements or admissions of common general knowledge in the art. In particular, the above prior art discussion does not relate to what is commonly or well known by the person skilled in the art, but assists in the understanding of the inventive step of the present invention of which the identification of pertinent prior art proposals is but one part.

STATEMENT OF INVENTION

The invention according to one or more aspects is as defined in the independent claims. Some optional and/or preferred features of the invention are defined in the dependent claims.

Accordingly, in one aspect of the present invention there is provided an applicator for treating surfaces to control head lice comprising:

a cloth configured to apply said treatment to said surface;

a formula configured to be absorbed within said cloth and having a viscous element for suffocating said head lice upon contact;

wherein the cloth comprises a mixture of viscose and polyester and the formula is absorbed within said cloth such that the cloth has a wetness ratio of between 150 - 250%

In one embodiment, the viscous element is a natural or synthetic oil. In another embodiment the viscous element is a silicone-based polymer.

The formula may comprise around 1% by ratio of silicon-based polymer; around 1% by ratio of peppermint oil; around 1% by ratio of preservative and around 97% by ration of purified water. The silicon-based polymer may be dimethicone. The cloth may be configured in substantially rectangular pieces and the pieces may be packaged together within a sealed package.

The cloth may be configured to contact hair care equipment such as Lice Combs to control any lice present thereon by way of wiping the hair care equipment with the cloth so as to capture and kill the lice.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention will be described below in relation to an applicator for use in the treatment of equipment for removing head lice from human hair. However, it will be appreciated that the present invention could be equally employed to treat any number of lice or anthropods that are capable of infecting humans as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art. Whilst the applicator of the present invention will be described below in relation to a wipe, it will be appreciated that the form of the applicator may vary as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art.

In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the applicator is preferably provided in the form of a cloth or wipe made from a piece of treated cloth or fabric. The cloth or fabric may be made from semi- synthetic fibre, such as viscose combined with a synthetic polymeric material, such as polyester. In a preferred from the cloth or fabric is formed from between 20 - 40% viscose and 60 - 80% polyester, and more particularly around 30% viscose and 70% polyester. The cloth or fabric may have a weight of around 60 gsm. The material is preferably formed from a spunlace process that employs jets of water to entangle fibres to improve fabric integrity, rather than traditional woven processes. The surface of the material is preferably finished to have a textured or dimpled surface to maximise fluid retention of the cloth/fabric and also aid in removing lice and nits from the comb. The cloth/fabric may be cut into rectangular pieces of around 200mm c 150mm, for use in the manner as to be described in more detail below.

The cloth/fabric of the applicator is impregnated with a formula designed to kill the lice and nits on contact and also capture the lice and eggs to clean the comb thereof. In order to avoid the use of toxic chemicals for this purpose, the formula of the present invention is designed to be safe during use so as not to require the user to wear protective gloves and equipment to prevent contact with the formula. The formula is non-toxic and non pesticidal. In this regard, the formula of the present invention employs a silicone base organic polymer, preferably dimethicone, which acts to capture and suffocate the lice and nits by forming a coating over the lice/nits which is impermeable, thus blocking the breathing pores in the side of the louse and nit.

The formula preferably comprises around 1% dimethicone, around 1%

peppermint oil, around 1% preservative and around 97% purified water. Due to the nature of the silicone based dimethicone, the formula has a high viscosity and is able to be absorbed by the cloth to a wetness ration of around 150% - 250%. When the cloth is dosed with the formula it is stored in a re-sealable pack to retain cloth wetness. Whilst the formula of the embodiment described above includesfor the present invention includes dimethicone, it will be appreciated that the dimethicone could be replaced for any synthetic or natural oil that has the potential to attach to the lice and nits and suffocate them. This could include stearic acid, glycerol and any other synthetic oils as well as natural oils such as Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Pymethrin or any Pyrethroid , Neem, Maldicide. Neem, Peppermint, Benzyl Alcohol, Coconut Oil, Enzyme Proteins, Permethrin, and Pyrethrums

To use the applicators, a user can simply take a cloth from the re-sealable pack and wipe a comb or other equipment that has been in contact with the lice/nits. This will release the dimethicone to any lice or nits present on the comb, acting to suffocate the lice/nits upon contact. This way, even if the comb is returned to the user’s hair with nits/lice present thereon, the nits/lice will be in a state of suffocation and have a limited life span where they will be incapable of hatching or further breeding.

Following application, the cloth can be simply disposed of and the package resealed for future use.

It will be appreciated that the applicator of the present invention has been described above on relation to the treatment of combs and the like used in the treatment of nits/lice infestation. This primary use is designed to stop the transferral of lice back into the head during the treatment process and achieves this via a textured - dimpled wipe extracting lice out of the comb teeth and the dimethicone killing the live lice and ensuring they cannot survive off the host and stay on the wipe not back to the hosts head. However, the applicator could be used to treat and equipment used for this purpose, including pillows and other surfaces, such as couches, hats, school bags and the like, where infected contact has been made.

Throughout the specification and claims the word“comprise” and its derivatives are intended to have an inclusive rather than exclusive meaning unless the contrary is expressly stated or the context requires otherwise. That is, the word“comprise” and its derivatives will be taken to indicate the inclusion of not only the listed components, steps or features that it directly references, but also other components, steps or features not specifically listed, unless the contrary is expressly stated or the context requires otherwise.

lt will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that many modifications and variations may be made to the methods of the invention described herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.