Lice and fleas are small wingless insects. Lice are parasites that can crawl and infest the human skin and scalp. Although they can bite people, fleas are parasites that mainly feed on non-human hosts and can jump from one host to another. Lice infestations and fleabites are treatable and typically do not cause long-term problems with proper treatments for home, people, and pets. Read more: Lice vs. Fleas Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Lice & Nits: How to Get Rid of Head Lice
Learn how to get rid of head lice. Head lice attach themselves to the scalp and feed off of human blood. Discover head lice...
Picture of Crabs (Pubic Lice)
Parasitic insects found in the genital area of humans. See a picture of Crabs (Pubic Lice) and learn more about the health topic.
Picture of Head Lice
Pediculus humanus capitis, parasitic insects found on the heads of people. See a picture of Head Lice and learn more about the...
Picture of Body Lice
Scattered nits seen on the seams of clothing. See a picture of Body Lice and learn more about the health topic.
Picture of Flea Bites
Some people are very sensitive to flea bites -- but scratching can cause a wound or infection. See a picture of Flea Bites and...
Pet Health Pictures Slideshow: What You Need to Know About Fleas and Ticks
Watch this pet health slideshow to see the warning signs of flea and tick infestation and the best treatments for dogs, cats, and...
Related Disease Conditions
Flea Bites (In Humans)
Flea bites are caused by the parasitic insect, the flea. The most common species of flea in the US is the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. Signs and symptoms of flea bites in humans include itching, hives, a rash with bumps, red spots with a "halo," and swelling around the bite. Treatment for flea bites includes over-the-counter medicine and natural and home remedies to relieve and soothe itching and inflammation. The redness of a flea bite can last from a few hours to a several days.
Head lice infection is called pediculosis. Lice are parasites that feed on blood and can be found on the scalp and hair of infected people. Signs and symptoms of head lice infestation include a tickling sensation, itching, and sores on the head. Head lice may be eliminated with various over-the-counter shampoos and washing all clothing and bed linens in the hot water cycle. Combs and brushes should be disinfected, and the floor and furniture should be vacuumed.
Head Lice vs. Dandruff
Dandruff is a condition that causes dry flakes on the scalp. Lice are parasites. Head lice infestations are very contagious. Both head lice and dandruff have similar signs and symptoms: scalp itching and tiny white material on the hair shafts. Lice treatment involves the application of over-the-counter shampoos that contain permethin or pyrethrin followed by nit and louse removal with a fine-toothed comb. Dandruff treatment incorporates the use of anti-dandruff shampoo.
Pubic Lice (Crabs)
Pubic lice (crabs) are parasitic insects found in the genital area, and are primarily spread through sexual contact. Symptoms of crabs include itching and visible nits (lice eggs) and crawling lice. Treatment includes using lice-killing shampoo and washing bedding and clothing in hot water.