Fleas are tiny bugs without wings that move around by jumping from one place to another. Fleas infection mainly occur on animals but it can bite and infect humans as well. Eliminating fleas from your home can be a daunting task as it can survive for more than 100 days without a host.
Flea bites are very common, with the presence of bites that appear as small, red bumps especially around the ankles or legs. Flea bites are very itchy, and the skin around each bite may become sore or painful. You may even experience hives or develop a rash near the site of a bite.
Managing the itchiness caused by flea bites is very important to avoid scratching which eventually may lead to other serious conditions. Fleas are known to defecate when they feed, and scratching can irritate the skin and introduce bacteria deeper into the skin, causing an infection.
To relieve the itch caused by a flea bite, there are many home remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) medications that might be effective.
What should you do if you are getting flea bite? First, you need to wash the flea bites area with warm soapy water and apply an antiseptic to the bite. Then try the following to relieve the itch caused by flea bites:
You can apply an ice pack to reduce the swelling and itchiness. Place the ice on the affected area for 10 minutes followed by 10 minutes gap before repeating it. Do this over the course of an hour. If you don’t have an ice pack, use a bag of frozen vegetables or wrap some ice in a plastic bag.
Calamine lotion and cortisone
Over-the-counter itch relief product like calamine lotion or hydrocortisone can be helpful to manage itchiness. Both act as topical antihistamines and can help ease itchiness and decrease irritation of the flea bites. Calamine lotion uses ferric oxide to treat mild itchiness while hydrocortisone is a mild steroid cream.
Oral anti-histamine medications
If the condition is severe, you may need to take an oral antihistamine. Diphenhydramine provides quick relief for most itchiness but often makes users drowsy. You can opt for other non-drowsy antihistamines.
If none of the available OTC antihistamines can help you, you may need to ask for a prescription from your doctor. Hydroxyzine is a prescription-only antihistamine that works by reducing the natural histamines in the body.
Aloe Vera Gel
Apply some aloe vera gel to the bites. You can either break apart an aloe vera leaf and rub the gel onto the bites or use a commercial aloe vera based lotion, skin cream or gel to relieve the swelling and redness.
Take a lukewarm oatmeal bath. You can make it by yourself by grinding one cup of raw, unflavoured oats into a blender or you can buy a ready-made product at your local drugstore. Use lukewarm water instead of hot water as hot water has a tendency to dry your skin out.
In most cases, fleabites will resolve without treatment. However, to avoid a secondary infection, it is important to abstain yourself from scratching. Treating the bites will help reduce the itching and consequently avoid other skin complications.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.