Body Lice


What are body lice? Body lice are tiny bugs that hide in soiled clothes and bedding. They crawl onto your body to bite you and feed on blood. Body lice like to bite soft skin areas where clothes fit tight to the body, such as the groin, waist, or armpits. Body lice are light gray and about the size of a sesame seed. They lay eggs in the seams and folds of clothing and bedsheets.

How are body lice spread? Body lice are spread in crowded or unclean living areas. You can get body lice if you touch the skin of someone with lice. You can also get body lice by wearing clothes or lying in beds infested with lice.

What are the signs and symptoms of body lice? Severe itching and rash are the most common symptoms of body lice.

How are body lice diagnosed? Your caregiver will ask you about your signs and symptoms and examine you. He can usually see that you have lice by looking at your skin and clothing.

How are body lice treated?

What are the risks of body lice? You can scratch your skin so much that it becomes raw or breaks open. This can lead to a skin infection. If you are infected with body lice for a long period of time, you can develop thick, dark skin patches.

When should I contact my caregiver? Contact your caregiver if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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