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Signs and symptoms of lice include:

  • Intense itching.
  • Tickling feeling from movement of hair.
  • Lice on your scalp, body, clothing, or pubic or other body hair. Adult lice may be about the size of a sesame seed or slightly larger.
  • Lice eggs (nits) on hair shafts. Nits resemble tiny pussy willow buds. Nits can be mistaken for dandruff, but unlike dandruff, they can't be easily brushed out of hair.
  • Small, red bumps on the scalp, neck and shoulders.

When to see a doctor

Usually you can get rid of lice by taking self-care steps that include using nonprescription shampoo that's specifically formulated to kill lice.

However, see your doctor if:

  • Nonprescription shampoo doesn't kill the lice — your doctor can prescribe a stronger, prescription shampoo
  • You're pregnant — don't use any anti-lice shampoo until you talk to your doctor
  • You have any infected hives or skin abrasions from scratching
May. 22, 2012