Flea Bites On Humans
Treating Flea Bites on Humans
Treating flea bites on humans is not an altogether difficult process, but it helps to know a little about the flea species, as a whole. Read on to learn where fleas hide out, how to treat flea bites on humans, as well as how to prevent getting bitten in the future.
The flea. It strikes terror into the hearts of millions. Your home may not be as safe as you think! Dispensing with the (badly typed) drama… Fleas are hard to avoid because, honestly, they’re everywhere in the outdoors. Even if you live in a city environment, there’s still a chance that your pet (or indeed even you!) could pick up a flea or two in the park. Fleas are wingless insects that feed off of the blood of animals or humans. Most adult fleas won’t travel far unless they jump onto a host—and boy can these guys jump! They make a living by jumping onto “hosts” and feeding off of their blood. The places that a flea bites the skin often turn into itchy red bumps. Fleas will only live about a week or two without a food source.
Fleas are not only a nuisance because of their “thanks for your blood, here’s a present [itchy bite] to remember me by” way of life, but they can also cause infections and even spread diseases. It is not uncommon for fleas to “relieve” themselves while feeding. If you scratch the bite mark, you could very well move the fecal matter into the open bite. This can lead to a nasty infection! As far as diseases go, it all depends on the animal(s) the flea has bitten before moving on to you. Say it had a few meals courtesy of a rat carrying the plague (yes, it’s still out there!), then he hops onto you and takes a bite. It is possible for this flea to transfer the plague from the rat into your bloodstream. Scary, eh? Not to worry! We are going to teach you how to treat your flea bites and how to fend off the critters in the future.
Before treating your bite, you have to first be able to identify it. A flea bite can occur anywhere on the body, especially if you have pets. If you have been walking in the grass, it is likely that you will receive flea bites on your feet, ankles, and legs. A bite mark is a small, hard bump surrounded by redness. It is usually itchy, but can lead to a more severe reaction in children and adults with sensitive skin. Someone with an allergy to flea bites may break out into hives.
For the basic flea bite, you must first wash it with soap and cold water or flush it with an antiseptic cleanser. Try not to use hot water, as this seems to make the bites itch more. You can apply ice to the bitten areas to ease the itch, plus it will help bring down the swelling and inflammation. After the swelling has gone down a bit, apply calamine lotion to the affected areas. Calamine is cheap and very effective at soothing the itchiness that may otherwise drive you nuts! An alternative to calamine lotion is hydrocortisone cream. If you start to show symptoms of illness about two weeks after being bitten by fleas, it’s probably a good idea to go to the doctor for a checkup to determine if the flea has given you something.
To prevent getting bitten again, determine the source of your contact with fleas. Was it a one-off incident due to hiking or walking somewhere? In this case, there isn’t much you can do besides making sure that you wear pants, socks, and boots or shoes. The more of your body that is protected, the less likely you are to be bitten! If you have a pet, you are going to have a lot more work on your hands. You must not only rid your pet of any fleas they may currently have (usually by giving them a good flea bath, having them wear a flea collar afterward, and re-doing the flea bath a week later), but you will need to give the house, bedding, and furniture a thorough cleaning. All I can say is that the vacuum is your best bud during a flea infestation!