Author: Selena Belisle, Owner/Instructor, CE Institute LLC, Miami FL
Body lice are parasitic insects that live on clothing and bedding used by infested persons. Body lice frequently lay their eggs on or near the seams of clothing. Body lice must feed on blood and usually only move to the skin to feed. Body lice exist worldwide and infest people of all races. Body lice infestations can spread rapidly under crowded living conditions where hygiene is poor (the homeless, refugees, victims of war or natural disasters). Infestation is unlikely to persist on anyone who bathes regularly and who has at least weekly access to freshly laundered clothing and bedding.
Body lice eggs usually are seen in the seams of clothing or on bedding. Occasionally eggs are attached to body hair. Lice found on the head and scalp are not body lice; they are head lice.
Body lice can spread epidemic typhus, trench fever, and louse-borne relapsing fever. Although louse-borne (epidemic) typhus is no longer widespread, outbreaks of this disease still occur during times of war, civil unrest, natural or man-made disasters, and in prisons where people live together in unsanitary conditions.
Body lice are spread through direct physical contact with a person who has body lice or through contact with articles such as clothing, beds, bed linens, or towels that have been in contact with an infested person.[i] As such, massage, spa or salon services should not be provided while an individual is infected with body lice.
Author Selena Belisle is the Founder of CE Institute LLC in Miami FL. She is a retired professional athlete and has been practicing massage therapy for over 30 years. Selena is an approved CE Provider with NCBTMB & the Florida Board of Massage. She now teaches full time for the Complementary and Alternative Health Care Industries. You can learn more about Selena’s training and CE classes at www.CeInstitute.com
[i] Global Health – Division of Parasitic Diseases. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). (2013, September 24). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/body/gen_info/faqs.html