Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

You can usually get rid of body lice by cleaning yourself and any personal belongings that may be contaminated. Wash infested bedding, clothing and towels with hot, soapy water — at least 130 F (54 C) — and machine dry them on high heat for at least 20 minutes.

Clothing that can't be washed may be dry cleaned and ironed.

Items that can't be washed should be sealed in a plastic bag and stored in a warm area for two weeks. Mattresses, couches and other upholstered furniture items should be hot ironed or sprayed with lice-killing products to eliminate eggs from seams. Exposure to infested items should be avoided for two weeks.

Prevention

To prevent body lice infestation, avoid having close physical contact or sharing bedding or clothing with anyone who has an infestation. Regular bathing and changing into clean clothing at least once per week may also help prevent and control the spread of body lice.

Dec. 12, 2015
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Lice infestation. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  2. Lice (pediculosis). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic-disorders/parasitic-skin-infections/lice. Accessed Oct. 21, 2015.
  3. Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Scabies, other mites, and pediculosis. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Oct. 21, 2015.
  4. Parasites: Lice. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/body/index.html. Accessed Oct. 21, 2015.