Body lice


Confirmation of a body lice infestation can typically be achieved through a visual examination conducted by you or your doctor. The presence of eggs and active lice on your body or clothing confirms the infestation. During the examination, your healthcare provider will assess for severe itching, rashes, and may directly observe lice feeding on your skin. Additionally, they may inspect your clothing, using a magnifying glass to scrutinize the seams for the presence of body lice or their eggs, known as nits.


Personal hygiene and cleaning: Maintaining personal hygiene is crucial to getting rid of body lice. Follow these steps regularly:

  • Bathe daily with soap and warm water until no lice or nits are visible on your body, clothes, bedding, or towels.
  • Wash clothing, bedding, and fabric items weekly, using hot water (at least 129°F or 54°C). Dry them in a hot setting for at least 30 minutes.
  • Iron clothing inside out to help kill nits and lice in seams.
  • If washing is not possible, seal infested items in a plastic bag for at least two weeks in a warm place.
  • Vacuum carpets, mattresses, and furniture regularly, disposing of the vacuum contents outside.

Treatment options: While cleanliness is often sufficient, healthcare providers may recommend medications if regular cleaning is challenging:

  • Oral antiparasite medication like ivermectin tablets.
  • Topical antiparasite powders, lotions, creams, or shampoos, such as permethrin.

Managing body lice bite symptoms: Avoid scratching to prevent infection. If skin breaks, clean with soap and water, then cover with a bandage. Over-the-counter products can help alleviate itching and pain:

  • Antihistamines (oral or topical) to counter histamine release causing itching.
  • Hydrocortisone creams or ointments to relieve itching and swelling.

Home remedies for body lice bite symptoms: While generally safe, consult your healthcare provider before trying these home remedies:

  • Aloe vera gel with salicylic acid for itch and pain relief.
  • Ice packs applied for 10 minutes, three to four times a day, to reduce inflammation.
  • Oatmeal paste (commercial or homemade) to soothe bites; apply, wait for 10 minutes, and wipe off with a clean towel.

Remember to seek professional advice for persistent issues or concerns about allergic reactions.