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Lice - Prevention

Head lice camera.gif are easily spread among children because kids commonly share hats, combs, and other items. If you or your child has head lice, you can help prevent others from getting it if you avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during activities inside the home and outside the home. Also, don't share clothing, bedding, hair brushes and accessories, pillows, stuffed animals, or towels. Frequently examining the scalps of your school-age children may help you discover and treat lice before they spread to the rest of your family. Avoiding prolonged close contact with a person who has lice will also reduce your risk.

Pubic lice camera.gif are spread primarily among people who have many sex partners. Reducing the number of sex partners you have may help reduce your risk of getting pubic lice.

Body lice camera.gif may be prevented by bathing regularly and changing clothes daily. Body lice live on clothing, not on the body. Washing clothing in hot water [130 °F (54.44 °C) or higher] will usually kill adult lice and prevent eggs from hatching. Body lice that are on the skin usually go away on their own with daily bathing and wearing clothes that are not contaminated. Medicines to kill body lice are usually not needed.

To help control the spread of lice, you can also clean combs, brushes, clothing, and other personal items to kill lice and their eggs.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 23, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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