Body lice feed from the blood of human skin and are larger than other types of lice. These insects and their eggs live in clothing and other contact items of the infested person. They are quite similar to head lice that these insects feed off of humans, except that body lice can live in the clothing and other items for up to 30 days. The practicing of good hygiene along with the washing of the infested items in hot soapy water are normally enough to stop the infestation. Spraying the carpets and floors, pillows, bedding and mattresses with disinfectant will usually work. These little insects and its contaminations are contagious, so it is important to treat other infested family members also.

Lice Treatment

Normally, medication treatment is not necessary for body lice. If the cleansing of the individual and disinfecting of the infested objects does not work, then the same medical treatments as head lice should be followed. When the itchiness persists and traditional methods are not giving enough relief, there are medical treatments for head lice that may be used for body lice.

It is important to follow the instructions carefully with these types of solutions as they can be powerful. Complications can occur if the medicated lotions are repeated too often. If the problem with the body lice continues, it is best to contact the physician for further instructions and recommendations. If an infection develops, antibiotics may be necessary.

Important Information

Lice drugs and medications should never be used for a child that is under 2 years of age. Premature infants could experience seizures, coma or even death. Instead, remove the nits and eggs and wash the infested individual and items thoroughly. Also, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consider safe alternative natural home remedies.

1. Rid

Rid contains permethrin and is a shampoo-type cream rinsing agent. It is available over-the-counter. Permethrin is considered safe and effective to kill the lice and their eggs (nits). Because it is milder than most of these types of solutions, it is normally tried as the first method of treatment. It continues to work for a period of time after it is used and rinsed off of the body. 

2. Nix

Nix also contains permethrin and is a rinse cream. It is 1 percent in strength and is also one of the first types of treatments that should be tried for lice.

3. Ovide (Melathion)

This lotion needs to be prescribed. This may be used if the other types of treatment did not offer results. On occasion, over-the-counter lotions may not succeed in ridding the lice, but over-the-counter types should always be tried first, as normally they will rid the infestation in a milder way.

4. Ivermectin

Ivermectin is in pill form and is by prescription only. It is normally used when other over-the-counter attempts failed to correct the problem.

5. Lindane

This prescribed lotion can cause irritation to the skin and eyes, and even numbness.

6. Ulesfia (Benzyl Alcohol Lotion)

This shampoo needs to be prescribed. It contains 5 percent benzyl alcohol. Because side effects may be severe such as pain, itching and irritation and numbness, it is only prescribed as a last measure for treating lice.