Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.
Your Location is set to Change My Location
Cone Health wants to help you get well and stay well. This section provides tools and information to achieve good health and maintain your well-being.
Learn what community resources are available to help you get well and stay well.
View health and wellness news you can use from Cone Health providers on
View Advanced Search OptionsView All Doctors
View All Locations
Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Body Lice
NOTICE: For the safety of our patients and employees, masks are still required at all Cone Health facilities.COVID-19 Info: Vaccine Scheduling | Visitor Guidelines | COVID-19 Testing | More
Body lice are tiny insects that can make a temporary home in the seams of your clothing or bedding (sheets, pillows, and blankets). They're most often spread by contact with a person who has body lice or with that person's clothes, bedding, or towels.
Body lice are usually found only among people who can't wash their bodies or their clothes regularly.
Body lice can cause very bad itching, especially at night. They can also cause sores in the armpits, waist, or torso. These are places where the seams of clothing can press against your skin.
It's hard to see body lice on your body. It's much easier to see lice or their eggs (called nits) on clothes.
Most people can get rid of body lice by washing personal items and their bodies regularly. Clothes, bedding, and towels should be machine-washed in hot water [at least 130°F (54.4°C)] and dried on the hot cycle.
Try to bathe daily until there are no signs of lice on your body, clothes, or bedding. To prevent body lice from coming back, try to bathe and wash clothes and bedding at least once a week.
In most cases, you don't need medicine to kill body lice. But if these hygiene steps don't work, you can use an over-the-counter or prescription medicine to kill body lice. It's important to use any medicine correctly and to choose a medicine that is safe for you.
Current as of:
March 3, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineJohn Pope MD - Pediatrics
Current as of: March 3, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.