What is lice?

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Lice are tiny insects that live or feed on the human body. They can't jump or fly, but they can spread easily from one person to another through close contact or shared personal items.

The main types of lice that affect humans are head lice, pubic lice (crabs), and body lice.

The main symptom of lice is itching. Scratching affected areas can make the skin raw, and these areas may get infected.

Head lice in children: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has a sore on their scalp and you think it might be infected. Signs of an infection include:
    • Increased pain, warmth, and redness around the sore.
    • Red streaks coming from the sore.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You see live lice or new nits after you have followed the directions for your medicine.

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