Dr. Damian Dhar, of North Atlanta Dermatology, answers a reader’s question about lice.
Lice are going around my child’s school. What should I know about them?
Lice are tiny parasitic insects that reproduce by feeding on your blood. You can get lice by coming into contact with either lice or their eggs. Lice can’t fly or walk on the ground, but they are easily spread – especially by schoolchildren – through close personal contact (sleepovers, athletics) and by sharing belongings like hats, helmets and brushes. Lice can live for one to two days off the body. Despite good personal hygiene, you can still get lice and unless properly treated, lice can recur. Usually you can get rid of lice by using nonprescription shampoo that’s specifically formulated to kill lice.