Even the cleanest of pets and the most spotless of homes can be infested with fleas. Flea bite rash not only affects the pet, it can also harm humans. In fact, nearly 95 % of fleas, eggs and larvae live not on the pet but in its environment.
Flea bite rash on humans
One of the surprising and little known facts about fleas is that they bite some hypersensitive humans but leave others alone. Kids and babies are more prone to a flea bite rash, though many adults are also known to suffer from it.
A flea bite rash on humans typically appears as a red and angry looking rash characterized by tiny red bumps having punctures surrounded by red haloes. These inflamed and itchy red bumps are typically seen around the ankles, hands and feet as these regions are normally more exposed than other body parts. Scratching the bites can make matters worse in that; one might have to deal with severe bacterial skin infections that may need steroids or antibiotics for treatment.
Treating flea bites on humans immediately, especially on babies, is of utmost importance. Failure to do so can lead to complex problems.
First Aid steps to treat a flea bite rash:
- Wash the bitten area with cool water. You can also use a tea bag containing green tea or black tea. Both are effective in bringing down the swelling and inflammation.
- If needed, apply an ice pack to relieve pain and itching. Simply pack the ice in a soft cloth and apply it to the region affected. Alternatively, you can use frozen vegetables from the freezer for this purpose.
- Apply some soothing calamine lotion or any cream containing less than 1% hydrocortisone on the rash.
- If you have Aloe Vera or Calendula plants on hand, break the leaf of one and apply the gel inside directly on the bitten region. Aloe Vera and calendula both help soothe redness, swelling and itching caused from different types of insect bites.
- In case of severe itching accompanying the flea bite rash, take some oral antihistamine like Benadryl to help relieve the symptoms.
- In case of severe flea bite rash, talk to a doctor about some prescription medicines like Hydroxyzine, which is an effective antihistamine.
- Apply a paste of baking soda mixed with some water to the affected region. This can help bring down the swelling.
- Essential oils (obtained from reputed sources) can also help relieve flea bite rash. These need to be diluted using carrier oils like almond oil or coconut oil to be applied directly on the flea bite rash on humans as well as pets. Examples of these essential oils include lavender, tea tree, lemon grass etc.
- Avoid scratching the site of the bite as doing so can lead to pus formation or bacterial infections.
- Fleas are capable of transmitting deadly diseases such as murine typhus, bubonic plague, tapeworm larvae, stomach flu etc. Do watch out for signs of headache, nausea, vomiting and high fever following a flea bite. Do consult a physician immediately if you see these signs and symptoms. In extreme cases, hospitalization may be required.
The best way of preventing a flea bite rash is to prevent fleas from coming inside your home. One must not be lazy when it comes to fighting flea infestations. Getting rid of fleas is no doubt a time consuming procedure but one that is essential for eliminating these blood suckers that cause such painful flea bite rash and other hassles in the first place.