Flea bites are familiar to those with pets. They occur when fleas look for food and bite their hosts to suck warm blood, which forms the chief source of their food. Bites are common in areas around the waist, armpits, ankles, elbows and knees.
Fleas are of different types. They are small creatures, the biggest among them are just as big as the tip of a pen. However, they are capable of jumping long distances and covering great heights! Their agile bodies are also capable of withstanding considerable pressure and this makes them difficult to eliminate, be it by scratching or mashing!
Symptoms of flea bites include hives, rash and itching. Besides, a red halo is seen in the area where the bite occurred. Groups of red bumps may be seen in the rash.
Rashes may itch, bleed or turn white when pressed and are often seen to be located in the lower leg, folds of a joint or in the armpit. In some people the rashes may be seen in the groin.
Swelling around a fleabite is also common. Painful welts may appear in the case of a hyper sensitive skin. Often, itching is severe enough to cause blisters that may become infected. The swelling and itchiness is the body’s reaction to the flea’s saliva.
Diagnosis & Treatment
The symptoms caused by flea bite aid diagnosis. Sometimes, a biopsy is carried out. Treatment involves two methods – preventive and reactive.
Preventive treatment involves getting rid of fleas from homes and from the bodies of pets. This can be done by treating your home, pets, and outside areas with pesticides. Sometimes, professional help may be required. Children and pets must not be around while pesticide treatment is being done. It is important to maintain cleanliness to prevent the multiplication of pests.
Reactive treatment involves relieving the symptoms of fleabite. When fleabite occurs it is important not to scratch the affected area as it may cause blisters and infection.
The first step is to wash the affected area with soap and water to avoid infection. After drying, calamine lotion or a paste made of baking soda and water may be applied over the bitten area for soothing.Over-the-counter preparations of 1% hydrocortisone and oral antihistamines may be used to reduce itching. Using an ice compress will relieve swelling.
Aloe vera, tea tree oil, lavender oil and echinaea tincture are some of the natural ingredients that have been suggested as home remedies for flea bites.