Body Lice – Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment

Body Lice

Small, oblong insects referred to as body lice feed on human blood. Body lice bites cause tiny, discolored bites and itchy, inflamed skin. By taking a daily shower and cleaning your clothes and bedding at least once a week, you may both treat & prevent body lice infestations. Severe body lice infestations may benefit from medication treatment.

Body Lice

Humans are susceptible to three different forms of lice: body lice, head lice, and pubic lice (crabs). Lice on the body are tiny, flat insects. As they are parasites, they reside all over your body and consume your blood.

They have six legs, a lengthy abdomen, and powerful claws on the bases of their legs. This enables them to grab a host (you), and sharp mouthparts that can penetrate your skin in order to feed on your blood. They move by crawling since they are unable to fly or jump.

Symptoms of Body Lice Infestation

  • Pruritis, or severe itching
  • An allergic reaction to body lice bites can cause rashes.
  • Skin lumps that are red
  • When lice have been present for a while, thickened or darker skin, generally along the waist or groin, will appear.


While body lice and head lice are similar, they behave differently. In contrast to head lice, body lice often reside in your clothing and mattress. Each day, they make many trips to your skin to ingest blood.

Body lice most frequently lay their eggs (nits) along the seams of your garments. If you have close contact with someone who has body lice or gets an infection from clothing or bedding, you might have a body lice condition.


Examining the skin and clothing, as well as keeping an eye out for eggs and crawling lice, is usually enough to determine whether someone has body lice. The insects resemble sesame seeds in size. Although a magnifying glass may be used to locate them, they are large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Moreover, the eggs, or “nits,” are typically discovered in garment seams.

Treatment for Body Lice

There is rarely a need for medication to treat a body lice infestation since body lice live in clothing and bed linens rather than on the person. In its instead, try these things:

Visit your doctor’s office to treat skin irritations

Wash or buy fresh mattresses and clothing. Body lice may survive for up to 10 days without a blood meal in clothing, bedding, and towels. Thus, persons who are infested must replace or disinfect their clothing, towels, and bed linens by washing them in great detail and drying them at high temperatures. The minimum settings for the dryer and washer are 149 degrees F and 130 degrees F, respectively. As body lice cannot be killed with only soap and water, the temperature is crucial.

Dry-clean or wrap the rest of the clothes

It is possible to dry clean clothing and other objects that cannot be washable in a machine. Moreover, store them for two weeks in a plastic bag that has been firmly closed.

Utilize an iron as well

To remove body lice eggs from the seams of mattresses and upholstered furniture, utilize hot ironing or lice-killing solutions. Also, for two weeks, stay away from these infected goods.

Boost your hygiene

An individual with body lice must be able to bathe at least once a week and be able to change into clean clothes on a frequent basis. Any person who frequently bathes and has access to recently cleaned clothing and bedding has a very low chance of developing a body lice infection.

The Bottom Line

Body lice are a bothersome and irritating bug. These are often not dangerous. There is no need to treat them with medication. Thus, eliminate body lice & their nits by bathing, washing your clothes and bedding thoroughly in hot water, and changing your linens.

You should not itch body lice bites. Numerous over-the-counter or homemade therapies might help you ease the symptoms of body lice bites. If you have a serious infestation of body lice that does not go away after taking a bath & washing your clothes, call your doctor.