Many people mistakenly believe fleas only bite pets, but these bloodsucking parasites bite animals as well as humans. Fleas use their jaws to pierce and pry open the skin on your body, typically on your legs and feet. Flea saliva causes an increase in blood flow to the bite, giving them more food to eat. Once it has eaten, a flea can go for months without feasting again. Luckily, there are ways to treat the itchy rashes and bumps that flea bites leave behind.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Apply an over-the-counter cream directly to the bite. The most common and popular option is hydrocortisone cream. Make sure the product you pick contains no more than one per cent hydrocortisone. Too much can cause unwanted side effects, such as swelling in the affected area.
Rub a bar of soap or place an ice pack on the bite. Neither will heal or remove the bite but they will numb the area and alleviate itching. Scratching can open the bite and lead to infection, so it is crucial that you not scratch the area. Alleviating the itching will help you to keep your hands off the afflicted area, allowing it to heal on its own.
Consult your doctor about taking an antihistamine. The most common antihistamine for flea bites is benadryl. If you are allergic to antihistamines, a simple calamine lotion makes an effective substitute. When choosing a product, keep in mind that the primary goals are to reduce swelling, alleviate itching, and prevent infection.
Treat your surrounding area for fleas. Alleviating flea bites is worthless unless you eliminate the fleas themselves and reduce the likelihood of being bitten again. Fleas can live on your lawn, carpet, pets, clothes and even air ducts. While using a flea bomb or fogger will kill most fleas, hiring a professional flea exterminator is your best option to guarantee that you eliminate all fleas. One flea can lay two hundred eggs at a time, so failing to kill even a single flea can start your problem all over again.
Tips and warnings
- Fleas view clothing in the same way they view fur on pets. Wash or rinse your clothes in hot water to kill fleas and eggs that may have attached themselves to your clothes.
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