Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care itching warning signs Prevention Outlook Underlying Cause Transmission

Lice Overview

What are lice?
A person with lice has an infestation by a tiny insect, called a louse. Lice are about the size of a pinhead. They live on shafts of hair, where they bite the skin, feeding on blood. Female lice lay eggs, called nits, along the hair shafts. The three types of lice include body lice, head lice, and pubic lice.

What are the symptoms of lice?
Symptoms of lice depend on location of the infestation. Symptoms of lice include intense itching and tiny gray-white insects visible in the hair or on clothing. There may be nits, hard, white eggs firmly attached to the hair shafts.

How does the doctor treat lice?
Treatment for lice depends on the location of the infestation. Treatment for lice may include insecticide shampoo, insecticide cream, or oral medications. Clothes and bedding must be washed in hot water every day.

Continue to Lice Incidence

Last Updated: Jul 31, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Lice References
  1. Fournier PE, Ndihokubwayo JB, Guidran J, Kelly PJ, Raoult D. Human pathogens in body and head lice. Emerg Infect Dis. 2002 Dec;8(12):1515-8. [12498677]
  2. Venna S, Fleischer AB Jr, Feldman SR. Scabies and lice: review of the clinical features and management principles. Dermatol Nurs. 2001 Aug;13(4):257-62; quiz 265-6. [11917782]
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