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What do I need to know about lice?

ANSWER

When these tiny mites infect the scalp and skin, they trigger intense itching.

There are different types of lice. The type you have depends on the part of your body that’s affected:

  • Head lice affect the scalp.
  • Pubic lice (also called “crabs”) affect your genital area.
  • Body lice affect other areas of the body and are often found in seams of clothing.

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 2, 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 2, 2019

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How do kids get head lice?

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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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