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What are head lice?

Head lice are tiny, wingless, parasitic insects that live on humans, hiding in the scalp hair. They are transmitted from one individual to another. They require human blood for survival and do not typically live on non-human hosts. The female louse lays small whitish eggs, called nits, which are attached to hair shafts by a sort of biological glue. The eggs hatch in about a week. The newly hatched insects mature in another week or so, and the cycle continues. Lice infestation can typically be treated effectively with over-the-counter methods. Occasionally, medical evaluation and prescription medication may be required.

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Preventing Head Lice: What Works, What Doesn’t
Preventing Head Lice: What Works, What Doesn’t
Autumn’s rites of passage include that dreaded note you may receive from school: head lice in your child's class. Thankfully, shaved heads and home-sc...
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What increases my risk for lice?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Your risk for lice is increased by being in close contact with another person who is infected. In mo...
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Is lice a type of parasitic skin infection?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Yes, lice is a type of parasitic skin infection. Caused by tiny insects that do not have wings, lice...
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How to Treat Head Lice
How to Treat Head Lice

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.