If you have fleas in your home, you know that the most irritating part of the infestation is the itchy bites. Flea bites are unsightly and uncomfortable. Luckily, there are some things you can do to treat flea bites and relieve the itching. This can help you avoid scratching, which can prevent a bacterial infection.
In this article we will go over a variety of methods to treat fleas bites, including products you can use.
Flea Bite Symptoms
Before you start treating flea bites, it can be important to identify them. However, this is not extremely important, as most insect bites can be treated in the same way. Flea bites are red in color and will mostly occur below the waist. You will find them on such places as the waist, feet, ankles and between skin folds. Find out more details about flea bites on humans.
Why Do Flea Bites Itch?
Flea bites are very similar to mosquito bites. When fleas bite, they will inject a small amount of saliva into their host. This saliva has proteins that will prevent blood from clotting in the area, allowing it to freely flow into the flea. Unfortunately, this saliva is also what causes the itchiness. Your body will detect it, identify it as an intrusion, and then send out histamines as a defense. Histamines will make the area swell as an attempt to try to contain the intrusion. The swelled blood vessels is what causes the itchy sensation.
Some people are allergic, with even more severe reactions to flea bites. If you are allergic to the the flea saliva, your body will overreact with more histamines than necessary.
Clean the Bite Area
The first step towards treating flea bites is to wash the area in warm water and a mild antiseptic soap. This will help to remove any dirt and bacteria that may be around the bite area. If you do not clean the bite, you may end up scratching your skin. Then bacteria can get into the bite area and start an infection.
Apply Ice to the Bite Area
When bitten by fleas, there is going to be swelling as histamines take action. To bring down the swelling, press ice onto the area for about ten minutes. Apply again if necessary. This works because the cold temperatures will slow down blood flow in the swelled blood vessels.
If you want to relieve the itchy sensation caused by flea bites, try calamine lotion. Calamine lotion is commonly used as an anti-itch remedies in all kinds of situations, ranging from eczema to insect bites. It also hasantiseptic properties which can help to prevent infection. Calamine works as it dries. It creates a cooling effect, and forms a protective cover over the bite. Apply calamine lotions by dabbing it on your flea bite with a cotton ball. You can re-apply it as needed.
Hydrocortisone cream is a steroid that is often used to stop the itching from insect bites. This treatment works as an anti-inflammatory agent. When hydrocortisone cream is absorbed by the skin, it will constrict blood vessels. This causes swelling to go down. When swelling goes down, itchiness subsides as well. So, this topical treatment has two benefits, it reduces redness and itchiness. You can apply hydrocortisone cream directly to your bite. Try not to use it more than four times a day.
This oil comes from leaves of the Australian Tea Tree. Tea tree oil can be used as a 100% all natural remedy to treat flea bites (just one of the many uses)! Soldiers in Australia even keep it in their med kits. Tea tree oil has healing, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. All of this adds up to a great flea bite treatment. It will reduce swelling, ease itching, speed up healing, and kill bacteria. To use it simply apply a few drops onto a cotton ball, dab your skin, and then apply a bandage on top.
If the itching is too much, and the above remedies do not seem to help, you may consider taking an oral anti-histamine. This will help to reduce the your body’s defensive reaction to the flea bite. Antihistamines will block the histamine receptors. When these receptors in cells do not acknowledge the histatmines, it will stop the associated symptoms. This includes itching, swelling, and redness. There are a variety of anti-histamines that you can find over-the-counter. Some of these are Benadryl, Clartin, and Zyrtec.
Stop Fleas from Biting You
Obviously it can be beneficial to stop fleas from biting you. No flea bites = no need for treatment. To prevent fleas from biting you, use a flea repellent. These will effectively keep fleas away. Depending on ingredients, they can be used on either clothing or skin. Common ingredients are permethrin, eucalyptus oil, and DEET. Read more about flea repellent for humans.
When to See a Doctor
It is rare that the above remedies will not work. However, some people may experience serious and life threatening reactions from flea bites. These may include shortness of breath, swelling on the face, or continued discharge from the bite after several days. In such cases, it is advised to consult a doctor immediately.