What do I need to know about caring for someone with body lice?

Angela Lowery
Family Medicine

When caring for someone with body lice you will need to use precaution. Body lice can be transmitted from one person to another by direct contact or contact of infested linen or clothing. When carrying linen to be washed wear gloves and avoid placing linen in direct contact with your skin or clothing. You can instruct the person you are caring for to bath regularly and change into properly laundered clothing at least weekly. Machine wash clothing and bedding in hot water and dry infested clothing in hot water. Clothing that are not washable may be dry cleaned.

Body lice are contagious, so be careful not to infest yourself if you are caring for someone with body lice. Help the person contact his healthcare provider to see if medicine is necessary to kill the lice. Wash the person's clothing and linens in hot water and dry them on high heat. Make sure nothing else in the person's home, such as carpets, are infested, and vacuum if they are. Help the person maintain good hygiene after the lice are gone to avoid another infestation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.