Lice are tiny, wingless, parasitic insects that feed on your blood. Lice are easily spread — especially by schoolchildren — through close personal contact and by sharing belongings.
Several types of lice exist:
- Head lice. These lice develop on your scalp. They're easiest to see at the nape of your neck and over your ears.
- Body lice. These lice live in clothing and on bedding and move on to your skin to feed. Body lice most often affect people — such as homeless or transient individuals — who aren't able to bathe or launder clothing regularly.
- Pubic lice. Commonly called crabs, these lice occur on the skin and hair of your pubic area and, less frequently, on coarse body hair, such as chest hair, eyebrows or eyelashes.
You or your child can have good personal hygiene habits and still get lice. Unless treated properly, this condition can become a recurring problem.