What is Lice?

Lice are parasites which live on the skin of humans. They are not able to come from animals and they are defined as insects. The lice are tiny and wingless, with sucking mouthparts which are used to feed on the blood and release their eggs onto the body, hair, or clothing of the individual. If lice have bitten the individual, it can cause a lot of itching and discomfort. There are three different types of lice which are known to feed on humans and live on various parts of the body. These include head lice, body lice, and pubic lice. These lice infestations are not dangerous or risky, but highly uncomfortable and can spread to other people in certain circumstances.


Lice is fairly popular among children because they tend to share all of their items with each other. The symptoms of lice are usually defined by itching, which is a result of an allergic reaction from the saliva of the lice during the biting process. There may be skin eruptions, scratching, hives, or other types of wounds around the area. Swelling is a fairly common experience. Those who have body lice may experience red, sore pimples or may notice puncture marks on their skin. Rashes are common.

How is Lice Treated?

Generally speaking, the treatment for lice tends to depend on what part of the body they are affecting. Body lice is taken care of by washing the body and replacing any affected clothes. Clothes can also be washed at 140 F and then dried at a high temperature to help sanitize and kill the lice to prevent further infection. Pubic lice have to be removed with medication or an herbal treatment. Those who have public lice are recommended to be checked for sexually transmitted diseases as well. Individuals suffering from head lice are recommended to use a vinegar rinse to remove the nits, wash hair with shampoo, and use medication provided by a doctor or from an over-the-counter source.

Can Lice Be Prevented?

Ultimately preventing lice depends on how hygienic the individual chooses to be. There should not be any sharing of brushes, combs, hats, towels, bedding, or hair accessories. Hair should be checked on a regular basis, especially if sharing has been suspected or if you have come into contact with someone who may have had lice. Pubic lice is best prevented by limiting sexual partners and using the proper precautions during interaction.

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