Head Lice | Symptoms


What are the signs of head lice?

Because lice move very fast, they are not always easy to see. Here's what you can watch for:

  • Frequent scratching
  • Small red bumps or sores on the scalp, neck and shoulders
  • Lice eggs, also called nits, which look like tiny, oval shaped, white or clear dots. Nits usually stick at an angle on hair shafts.

If you think someone in your family has head lice, it's probably best to check everyone in the family. If you're not sure, your family doctor can help diagnose head lice.


Pediculosis and Scabies by DC Flinders, M.D., and P De Schweinitz, M.D. (American Family Physician January 15, 2004, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20040115/341.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 10/05