Font Size
A
A
A

Head Lice


Picture of head lice

Illustration copyright 2002 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com

Adult head lice are approximately the size of a sesame seed [2.5 mm (0.1 in.) to 3.5 mm (0.14 in.)] and can vary in color from white to brown to dark gray.

Louse eggs (nits) are much smaller [1 mm (0.03 in.)] and look like light gray or brown oval cylinders glued to individual hair shafts.

Head lice spread easily from one person to another through close bodily contact or through shared clothing or personal items such as hats or hair brushes.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Last RevisedNovember 23, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit Healthwise.org

© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.






Medical Dictionary