Body lice

Body lice are tiny insects, about the size of a sesame seed. Body lice live in your clothing and bedding and travel to your skin several times a day to feed on blood. The most common sites for bites are around the waist, groin and armpits — places where clothing seams are most likely to touch skin.

Body lice are most common in crowded and unhygienic living conditions, such as refugee camps and shelters for the homeless. Body lice bites can spread certain types of diseases and can even cause epidemics.

Clothing and bedding that have been infested with body lice should be laundered in hot, soapy water and machine dried using the hot cycle.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

Body lice bites can cause intense itching.

See your doctor if improved hygiene doesn't eliminate the infestation, or if you develop a skin infection from scratching the bites.

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