Symptoms of Body Lice
There are three kinds of lice: head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Lice infestationis also referred to as pediculosis. In particular, body lice are lice that live on the human body. They are usually found in clothing and feed on blood in the mid-section part of the body. Unlike head lice, they can spread disease.
How Do Body Lice Look Like?
Body lice are flat, wingless insects that feed on blood. In contrast to the myth, all kinds of lice cannot fly. They are about 2mm – 5mm in size which are greyish to brown in color. They prefer to live in your clothing rather than staying on your body. They are mostly found at the seams; armpits and waistline areas.
Body lice undergo three stages: lice eggs (nits), nymph and adult lice. Lice eggs are laid by adult female louse in seams or hair shafts. They are protected by the gluey substance called chitin. They are yellowish in color. Lice eggs would hatch 5 – 14 days depending on the heat of the host’s body. Empty lice eggs are called nits turns to white as they fall. Nymphs are new born lice. They actually look like adult lice but are smaller. They feed on blood for a week and become adult lice. Adult lice are about the size of a sesame seed. They can live for up to 45 days feeding on blood and 10 days outside their living environment.
How do They Spread?
Body lice can be transmitted through clothing such as shirts and pants. They can also infest others through physical contact. Body lice can be spread mostly in unhygienic areas such as rehabilitation centers during war, floods, and the likes.
What are the Symptoms of Body Lice?
When you are infested with body lice, symptoms would usually appear. Common symptoms are the following:
- Itching. Body lice feeding on blood will irritate your skin which can cause itching. They secrete saliva which reacts on your skin resulting to itchiness.
- Rashes. Rashes would generally appear if you are infested with body lice. It is often resulted to frequent scratching. However, rashes would even appear without scratching which is due to frequent sucking of blood on the same area.
- Sores. Sores are small cuts on the skin which is caused by frequent scratching. It appears to be reddish. It becomes itchy over time and can lead to infections.
- Red dots. Lice bites would feel like small bumps in your skin that is red in color and the area becomes inflamed.
- Appearance of lice. The main manifestation that you are already infested with body lice is when you can see lice and nits your skin.
Sores, rashes and red dots would usually appear in your waist, groins, upper thighs and armpits.
Why Do Body Lice Should Be Treated Immediately?
Unlike head lice, body lice can spread diseases. It can cause vagabonds disease. It is body lice infestation over time. The skin would appear dark and feel thick due to frequent biting of body lice. Body lice are also known to be associated to epidemic diseases such as typhus, trench fever, and louse-born relapsing fever which usually occur during unhygienic areas.
If you can observe the following symptoms, you should treat body lice immediately to prevent infections and epidemic disease. Be vigilant againts body lice and prevent them from spreading.