How are Flea Bites Treated?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 March 2018
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Dealing with flea bites is a common occurrence for many people, especially during the summer months. Often, the bites are painful, causing a great deal of itching that can develop into a more severe skin condition, due to the scratching many people will do in an attempt to calm the itchiness. Fortunately, there are a few ways to deal with the bites that do not leave the skin raw and irritated from incessant scratching.

One way to deal with flea bites is to be proactive in avoiding them. This means wearing some type of topical cream or product that helps to repel the fleas. Many drugstores and sporting goods stores will have at least a few over the counter products that will help protect the skin while enjoying outdoor activities. While results vary, many people report excellent protection, with few flea bites even in the warmest of climates.

Once bitten, flea bites can be treated in a manner similar to any type of insect bites. The first step is to clean the area as quickly as possible. Using a little soap, water, and a washcloth, gently cleanse the area on and around the bite. The reason for this careful cleaning is that other fleas may still be in the general area of the bite. The combination of soap, water, and gentle scrubbing with the wash cloth will dislodge them and prevent the occurrence of more bites.

The next step in effective flea treatment is to minimize the swelling that often takes place with flea bites. Using an ice pack, cool the area on and directly around the bite for roughly ten minutes. Remove the ice and allow the area to breathe for another ten minutes, then repeat the process. By the second application of the ice, the bug bites should begin to lose some of the sting and the swelling should be subsiding. However, if the area is still swollen, repeat the use of the ice packs for as long as necessary.

Itching is common with most insect bites and stings, and a flea bite is no different. Applying a topical cream containing hydrocortisone will help to calm the itching in a short period of time. This is important, since the itching could motivate scratching that will damage the skin and cause inflammation. To avoid this form of dermatitis, applying the cream as soon after the bite as possible will calm the urge to scratch and thus protect the skin.

If you find that there is still some general sense of discomfort after applying the cream, try taking some type of over the counter antihistamine. This will often help to soothe any minor allergic reaction your body may be experiencing from the bite, and allow the healing to take place without a great deal of distress. However, if the reaction is severe, such as constriction in the throat or unusual swelling in the face or hands, see a doctor immediately. Something more comprehensive that simple treatments for the bites may be necessary.


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Post 3

@pastanaga - If the bites swell up or anything like that it might also be a mild allergic reaction.

I've always found the best way to prevent flea bites is fresh mint. I've often used mint leaves as short term flea bite remedies when I don't have time to go to get anything stronger from the pet store.

Post 2

@Mor - In the long run I think you really need to just put those long term ointments on your pets that poisoning fleas when they bite them. Once you do that it completely disrupts the life cycle of the flea and they will basically disappear from your home without any other treatment needed.

I would also use nappy rash cream to treat any existing bites, especially on kids. It's really difficult to keep them from scratching and flea bites can easily get infected if they aren't careful. Using the cream will help the itching as well as preventing infection. Treating flea bites isn't too difficult though, because they usually don't linger for long. If you are still itchy after a few hours I would make sure you have fleas and not bedbugs which are a whole different kettle of fish.

Post 1

Something a lot of people don't realize is that fleas can survive in long grass during the summer. So if you are having trouble getting rid of fleas from your pets or carpets it might be worth taking a look at your garden as well.

Dog flea bites are incredibly irritating and the best approach to treating them is to prevent them altogether by getting rid of the fleas as much as possible.

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