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What are lice?

Lice are tiny insects that live on humans and feed on blood, infesting up to ten million schoolchildren a year. Head lice are usually found in hair or on the back of the neck or behind the ears. They spread from one person to another through direct contact or via shared clothing on which lice have laid eggs.

YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

Lice are parasitic insects that take up residence on our scalp and feast on human blood several times a day. The unhatched eggs they lay are called nits. Nits are about the size of a knot in a piece of thread, while adult lice are roughly the size of a sesame seed. While they are not known to spread disease, there’s no denying they’re a nuisance.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

There are three types of lice, depending on where they are found on the body. Learn more on this topic in this video of Dr. Oz.

Continue Learning about Lice

Up to 12 Million Children Get Lice Every Year—Is Your Child at Risk?
Up to 12 Million Children Get Lice Every Year—Is Your Child at Risk?
The kids are back to school—and back to germs and contagious conditions. Head lice are most common in school-aged children. In fact, up to 12 million ...
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What are the symptoms of crab lice or pubic lice?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
The most noticeable symptom of a pubic lice infestation is intense itching. The infestation may also...
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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.