Lice - body; Pediculosis
Body lice mainly live in clothing. Destroy or carefully wash infected clothing in hot water (at least 130 degrees F), then machine dry using a hot cycle.
Your doctor may also recommend a prescription cream or wash containing permethrin, malathione, or benzyl alcohol.
However, hygiene and washing clothes, bedding, and towels are most important and are usually enough.
Click here to see a video about getting rid of lice in the home.
With effective treatment, the lice can be completely eliminated.
Another (secondary) skin infection may occur from scratching. In rare cases, body lice may carry uncommon diseases, such as relapsing or trench fever. Because body lice is contagious, other family members may want to be treated.
Call your health care provider if you have lice in your clothing or persistent itchiness.
Diaz JH. Lice (pediculosis). In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 293.
Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2009: pp 590-594.
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