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Is lice a type of parasitic skin infection?

Yes, lice is a type of parasitic skin infection. Caused by tiny insects that do not have wings, lice live on the blood of their hosts. Because they cannot walk or fly, lice can only be spread by direct contact with a person who already has lice, their personal infected belongings, infested furniture, common items that are shared amongst family members, and through sexual contact.

There are three types of lice. Head lice live on the scalp near your ears and the base of your hairline along your neck. Body lice live in clothes and on bedding and only live on people when they need to feed. And pubic lice live in the skin and hair of your pubic area. Lice need to be on the skin to feed off your blood and cause symptoms such as severe itching and small, red bumps. Lice can be treated with an over-the-counter shampoo. If that doesn't work, your doctor can prescribe something stronger.

Continue Learning about Lice

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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.