Flea bites on Humans

Fleas are flat, wingless, small insects with sharp jaws and a piercing mouth. They are  harmful to both humans and pets. They survive on the blood sucked from humans and animals. When they bite, an anticoagulant substance present in its saliva is injected in blood which prevents the blood from clotting. This provides the fleas the convenience of blood sucking till they desire and are fully satiated.

The flea bite symptoms become visible because the harmful anticoagulant causes skin reactions. Some serious diseases such as murine typhus and bubonic plague are transmitted from one person to another through the flea bites.

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Flea bite symptoms

Some of the signs and symptoms of flea bite are as follows:

  • The symptoms of flea bites are visible after a few hours of flea bite and generally have a sudden onset.
  • The flea bites are identified as cluster of small red bumps on skin with a red halo around them, and with a small hole in center through which the blood was sucked. The fleas have an inclination to move about restlessly from one part of the skin on the body to another. Hence, fleas do not bite just once, but several times leaving quite a few flea bite marks in its wake.
  • The bumps caused by flea bites are discomforting and give rise to a feeling of continuous itching over a period of several days. Sometimes, the powerful irritation may lead to scratching of skin resulting in open skin or tiny wounds. This increases the vulnerability to serious exposure to bacterial infection which may then cause the spread of skin rash onto other regions of the body.
  • The symptoms tend to become more visible and serious for infants and children than adults. People who are sensitive to flea bites get severe allergic reactions that lead to the formation of papular urticaria or development of hives.
  • The hives that result from flea bite allergic reactions, occur in large numbers and sometimes develop into fluid filled blisters.
  • Generally, the flea bites occur on the lower areas of the body such as ankles and legs, as well as the waist area and other areas that have skin creases such as body joints, knees, armpits, and elbows.
  • As a rule, it is believed that the pets are normally the main source for the transfer of fleas. Contact with pets infested with fleas results in them to pass onto humans, and this leads to flea bites.

Flea bite treatment

There are many ways to treat flea bite. Some of the treatment methods are discussed below:

  • The aim of the treatment is to provide rapid relief from the symptoms of flea bite. As soon as the bumps appear, the affected portion should be washed with cold water and antiseptic soap. Apply ice on the flea bite, to get relief from itching and swelling.
  • Hot or warm water should not be used as it may aggravate the itching leading to the breaking of skin and thereby aiding the risk to infection. The irritation can be brought down by applying hydrocortisone creams that are available over the counter.
  • A doctor may be consulted if these home treatments do not provide relief.
  • Generally doctors prescribe antihistamine medicines for allergic reactions and calamine lotion for applying on the itchy flea bites.
  • A few days after a flea bite, infants and children may experience severe infection for which doctors may prescribe antibiotics.
  • Along with the medical treatment for flea bites, efforts should be initiated to eradicate fleas from the house. Normally they enter the house through their pets and hence they need to be taken to a vet doctor for flea control. A professional can be hired for ensuring flea control home remedies.

Control of fleas

  • Treatment of flea bites on humans is not complete until the root causes of flea bites are eliminated from the house. If the parasites are still present in the house, then they may bite again, leading to repetitive cases of flea bites
  • The vet may recommend topical application of certain creams over the flea bite on pets for alleviate the pain and bother. Apart from this, one can resort to applying aloe vera gel or neem oil on flea bites, as they are considered as a natural treatment for preventing the entry of fleas
  • The key solution lies in preventing the entry of fleas inside the house and hence cleanliness is the basic requirement for control of flea bites. Complete and regular vacuum cleaning of all corners, use of pesticides, sprinkling diatomaceous earth around the house to dehydrate the fleas are some of the best available ways to control the parasites.
  • For pets, use of herbal collars, bath with prescribed oils and providing improved diet of natural food may keep the pesky pests away from the pets.

Flea bites can be handled at home, provided if one can resist the itching and the scratching which leads to infection and serious complications and consequences.

Flea bites on humans pictures

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