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What do adult lice look like?

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Adult lice are about 2 to 3 millimeters long, about the size of a sesame seed. They’re tan or grayish-white. The color can be lighter or darker, depending on the shade of your hair. Adult lice have six legs with claws at the end that allow them to latch tightly to your hair. Typically, adult head lice live 30 days when stuck to your head. If they fall off, they die within 1 to 2 days.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: “Head Lice: Overview,” “Head Lice: Tips for Managing.”

CDC: “Frequently Asked Questions,” “Body Lice,” “Parasites-Lice-Head Lice,” Parasites-Lice-Head Lice: Biology.”

KidsHealth: “Head Lice.”

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on March 02, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: “Head Lice: Overview,” “Head Lice: Tips for Managing.”

CDC: “Frequently Asked Questions,” “Body Lice,” “Parasites-Lice-Head Lice,” Parasites-Lice-Head Lice: Biology.”

KidsHealth: “Head Lice.”

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on March 02, 2019

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What skin conditions are related to HIV/AIDS?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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