Pediculosis - Body Lice

(body, pubic/crab lice infestation)

Pediculosis is an infestation of lice.

Body lice infestations occur primarily on clothing, especially along the seams of inner surfaces and the adjacent area of the skin.

Pubic/crab lice (Phthirus pubis) infest hairy parts of the body including the groin, eyebrows, eyelashes, and facial hair.

Both body lice and pubic/crab lice feed on human blood and can cause severe local itching.

Symptoms of body lice include intense itching (“pruritus”) and rash caused by an allergic reaction to the louse bites are common symptoms of body lice infestation. When body lice infestation has been present for a long time, heavily bitten areas of the skin can become thickened and discolored, particularly around the midsection of the body (waist, groin, upper thighs).

As with other lice infestations, intense itching can lead to scratching which can cause sores on the body; these sores sometimes can become infected with bacteria or fungi.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Information for Providers

CDC - Information for Health Care Providers

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Last Revised: September 2, 2021