Fleas are wingless parasites and they cause bites in both animals and humans. These blood-sucking parasites can cause irritation on the skin. If you are a pet owner, you will most likely experience fleabites at some point in life. Even those who do not own pets are not safe from these parasites since they can also survive in harsh conditions for long durations without food. People moving in new homes may be surprised to experience a sudden attack by fleas and this is because the presence of people in a home can stimulate the hatching of fleas from their cocoons in order to get their first meal, which is blood. It does not even require the presence of a dog or cat.
There are people who are very sensitive to fleabites and whenever they are bitten, they scratch their skin and could easily expose it causing wound or infection. Since fleas use different hosts like dogs, people and cats, diseases can easily be transferred from one host to another. Fleas can transmit tapeworm larvae from animals to humans. They can also transmit a disease known as murine typhus though rarely.
Other conditions, which could be transmitted by fleas, are bubonic plaque that comes from wild rodents to humans. Fleas can cause a condition known as pulicosis, which is a skin disorder. As few as one bite could cause this skin condition. Minutes after a fleabite, the skin begins to irritate and the irritation could be mild to severe.
The condition may aggravate after 48-72 hours spreading throughout the body. Symptoms of pulicosis include swelling of the skin surface, ulceration of mouth and erythema. Ulceration of throat may also occur. Other signs may be restlessness and areolas soreness. The pulicosis condition may spread to lymph nodes and affect the nervous system.
Symptoms of fleabites
In humans, fleabites can lead to extremely itchy skin. In addition, the bites form small red bumps. You may experience bites mainly on feet and lower legs because the parasites tend to live under floorboards and carpets. Other areas can also experience fleabites especially around your mid-section.
People who have high sensitivity to fleabites may develop large welts, which are painful and have a burning sensation. When the bitten skin is scratched, this can introduce nasty bacterial infections to the exposed skin or sores. The infected bites become swollen, pussy, red and painful. When a fleabite has occurred, after a day or so, a wheal or lump may form to a blister or even a small wound. This is especially so if you scratch the skin.
Treatment of fleabites
When a bite from flea occurs, you should not scratch the skin. However, it is very hard for people to refrain from scratching and this is because the effect of the bite is very itchy tempting a person to immediately scratch the bitten area. There is a risk associated with scratching fleabites and one is that you can infect the skin with bacteria as well as tear it causing a wound.
Bacterial infection occurs because fleas defecate as they feed. This means that wherever there is fleabite, there are also feces around which could contain bacteria. When you scratch the skin, you could be risking exposing it to bacteria and this could cause infection. The bitten skin should be washed with antiseptic soap or lotion.
When washing, you can use cold water instead of warm or hot water because the warm water could trigger itching. Cold press can be applied to reduce swelling. If the bite has caused swelling and reddishness, then a mild steroid cream may be applied to reduce the inflammation. In cases where the itching is unbearable, antihistamine can be taken orally. An antihistamine helps reduce the itching.
Antibacterial and other soothing lotions may help cleanse and soothe the skin and this gives some relief from the symptoms. You also need to ensure that your home is treated for fleas. You can use flea bombs to treat your home of flea infestation. It is important that you distinguish between fleabites and mosquito bites, as they appear similar. Other treatments could be use of calamine lotion and anesthetic cream to reduce itching sensation.
Treatment for possible tapeworm infection may also be needed since fleas are likely to transmit the larvae of tapeworms through their bite. If symptoms worsen, it is important that you see your doctor immediately as there are other conditions, which can be caused by fleabites such as pulicosis.
Secondary infection can develop and they could be indicated by presence or discharge of clear yellow fluid or pus from wounds. If you have a pet at home, you also need to treat it for fleas and you can do this by consulting a veterinarian to provide flea-killing products. Persistent presence of fleas in homes may need to be treated by a professional pest controller.
Flea Bites on Humans Pictures:-