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How to Treat Flea Bites on Human

Published by Nanni on Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Photo credit by Michael Voelker

Having fleas in the house is no fun, and being bitten repeatedly is even worse. If you suffer from flea bites, there are ways to get relief now and stop it from happening again.

If you've ever watched a dog or cat scratch for what seems like an eternity, you know that flea bites are itchy. Pets don't realize that scratching isn't a good idea. People, on the other hand, know that scratching is bad but often don't know of any other way to get relief. In addition, reactions to flea bites vary from person to person. Some don't notice the bites, while others feel an overwhelming need to scratch. Still others are fortunate enough to be unattractive to fleas and never get bitten, even when everyone else in the home is in misery. For those who do suffer from flea bites, the itch can be anywhere from mildly distracting to unbearable. Fortunately, there is hope.

On a human, a flea bite looks like a small bump surrounded by a red circle. In the center of the bump there is a tiny hole where the flea actually punctured the skin. Flea bites are commonly found on the legs and waist, especially underneath tight clothing. However, they can be anywhere on the body. Once you discover a flea bite, you should act immediately to begin treatment.

The first thing to do to the site of a flea bite is clean the area with soap or an antiseptic wash. Use cool water; heat of any kind will increase the itch. After washing the area, apply an ice cube to the bite. This will help reduce the swelling, and it doesn't have to be in place for very long. After removing the ice cube, allow the area to air dry. Do not rub.

After the area of the flea bite is clean and dry, you will need to apply an over-the-counter product to stop the itch. Hydrocortisone cream is commonly used, although any anti-itch product such as plain calamine lotion should work. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product and don't reapply too often.

If the treatment doesn't work, consider seeing your doctor. Whatever you do, don't scratch. Scratching will only exacerbate the problem and potentially cause open wounds and infection.

Treating flea bites as they occur is important. However, the treatment won't do much good you're going to be bitten repeatedly. To eliminate the problem, you'll need to eliminate the source. There is never just one flea; there are always many more, and left unchecked, they can number in the thousands. If your home is infested with fleas, it's time to get rid of them.

Start by vacuuming all upholstery and carpeted areas, paying special attention to areas where your pet likes to hang out. If your vacuum has a bag, throw it away; otherwise, empty the vacuum immediately. Tie up the trash bag and get it outside. Clean all bedding, and wash any towels and washcloths that are out in the open. Use a flea bomb, making sure to follow the directions and protect pet birds and fish. Outside, treat your yard with insecticide. Don't forget to put your pet on flea prevention to get rid of the nasty parasites. Everyone in your home will be glad you did.

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