Also called: Body lice

Lice are parasitic insects that can be found on people's heads and bodies. They survive by feeding on human blood. Lice found on each area of the body are different from each other. The three types of lice that live on humans are head lice, body lice (also called clothes lice), and pubic lice ("crabs").

Symptoms of lice may include

  • Intense itching
  • Rash
  • Visible nits (lice eggs) or crawling lice

Lice spread most commonly by close person-to-person contact. Dogs, cats, and other pets do not spread human lice. Lice move by crawling. They cannot hop or fly. If you get lice, both over-the-counter and prescription medicines are available for treatment.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Symptoms of Lice

The following features are indicative of Lice:
  • itching
  • tickling
  • small red bumps on the scalp, neck and shoulders
  • lice on scalp
  • nits on hair shafts
  • irritability
  • difficulty sleeping
  • sores from scratching
It is possible that Lice shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Lice

The following are the most common causes of Lice:
  • Head-to-head or body-to-body contact
  • proximity of stored belongings
  • sharing items
  • contact with contaminated furniture
  • sexual contact

Risk Factors for Lice

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Lice:
  • younger people

Prevention of Lice

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Lice. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid head-to-head contact
  • do not share personal belongings
  • avoid shared spaces

Occurrence of Lice

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Lice cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Lice most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 3-12 years

Common Gender

Lice can occur in any gender.

Doctor for Diagnosis of Lice

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Lice:
  • Pediatrician

Complications of Lice if untreated

Yes, Lice causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Lice is left untreated:
  • skin break
  • infection

Self-care for Lice

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Lice:
  • Do wet-combing: Helps remove lice and some nits
  • Use essential oils : Shows toxic effect on lice and eggs
  • Use smothering agents: Helps depriving the lice and incubating eggs of air
  • Keep the house clean: Cleaning helps lice survive for not more than one day

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Lice.

Related Topics

Head Lice
Parasitic Diseases

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