DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
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Head lice are a very common problem, affecting millions of people each year — especially preschool and elementary school-aged children and their close contacts. Head lice are tiny, wingless, parasitic insects that live and feed on blood from your scalp.
Getting head lice isn't a sign of bad personal hygiene or an unclean living environment. This itchy infestation, also called pediculosis capitis, most commonly spreads through close personal contact and by sharing personal belongings.
Both over-the-counter and prescription medications are available to treat head lice. Following the directions properly and taking necessary steps at home are important to prevent head lice from recurring.
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