Head Lice

  • Medical Author:
    David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP

    Dr. Perlstein received his Medical Degree from the University of Cincinnati and then completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at The New York Hospital, Cornell medical Center in New York City. After serving an additional year as Chief Pediatric Resident, he worked as a private practitioner and then was appointed Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideHead Lice Treatment, Symptoms and Pictures

Head Lice Treatment, Symptoms and Pictures

How in the world does a child get head lice?

A child can contract head lice in a number of ways.

  • Contact with an already infested person (Personal contact is common during play, school, or sports activities, and at school, home, slumber parties, or camp.)
  • Wearing infested clothing, such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, or hair ribbons
  • Using infested combs, brushes, or towels
  • Lying on a bed, couch, pillow, carpet, or stuffed animal that has recently been in contact with a person with lice (though there is evidence that the risk is very low if more than 48 hours has passed since the exposure) Continue Reading
Reviewed on 11/5/2015
References
REFERENCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics. "Pediculosis Capitis (Head Lice)." Red Book, 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2009.

Chosidow, O. "Oral Ivermectin Versus Malathion Lotion for Difficult-to-Treat Head Lice." New England Journal of Medicine 362 Mar. 2010: 896-905.

Devore, C., and G. Schutze. American Academy of Pediatrics. "Head Lice. A Clinical Report: Guidance for the Clinician in Rendering Pediatric Care." Pediatrics 135.5 May 2015: e1355-1365.

Feldmeier, H. "Pediculosis Capitis: New Insights Into Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Treatment." Eur J Clin Microbiolo Infect Dis. Mar. 2012.

Frankowski, Barbara and Joseph A. Bocchini Jr. "Clinical Report: Head Lice, a Policy Update." Pediatrics 126.2 Aug. 2010: 392-403.

Gunning, K., K. Pippitt, B. Kiraly, and M. Sayler. "Pediculosis and scabies: treatment update." American Family Physician 86.6 Sept. 2012: 535-541.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Head Lice." Sept. 24, 2013. <http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/>.

IMAGES:

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4. "Male human head louse" by Gilles San Martin

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6. "Bugbuster" by Thanks for the polite permission of the Community Hygiene Concern, Joanna Ibarra

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10. Getty Images

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