Insect bites can be really annoying as they leave you with bumps, itch and even red skin. Most of us are aware about the dangers of insect bites that we get from honey bees, wasps and mosquitos and also know about the fatal consequences of these insect bites along with the deadly diseases they bring along. In this list of bees mosquitoes and wasp bites, a flea bite is another addition. If you have felt an uncontrollable itch on your legs while strolling in a garden or sitting on the ground that too caused by an insect you didn’t see around then it can possibly be an itch caused by the flea bite. Here is everything that you need to know about the flea bite, its symptoms and treatments along with Dr. Vignesh Naidu Y, Consultant Physician, Yashoda Hospitals, Hydarabad.
What are fleas?
Image Credits- Fun Kids
Before learning the concept of flea bite and its symptoms, let us take a movement to understand what fleas are. Tinny little buts that do not grow more than a few millimeters, fleas range from brown to almost black in color. These little bugs do not have wings and travel by jumping from one place to the other. These fleas are tiny insects that have a hard shell and thin and flat bodies. These fleas have a potential to reproduce quickly and one can only get rid of them with the help of a pesticide treatment. As it is nearly impossible to sway these insects away without the use of pesticides, it is important to know that your garden and your pets are potential hosts to these insects.
What is a flea bite?
Well as these fleas are really tiny insects and are not as evident as a mosquito or a big bee and hence it becomes a bit difficult to run from a flea in order to prevent a flea bite. Although a flea bite is pretty distinctive and can be recognised due to the small red bumps that are present in a cluster or three or four lines. If bitten by the fleas, a person might observe a halo present around the centre of these bites. Flea bites are very different from a regular mosquito bite or honey bee sting that leave a large red bump on your skin and can be present in the upper half on the body as well. As fleas are tiny wingless insects they cannot reach heights and leave little red bumps on the lower part of the body itself like the ankles and legs.
Image Credits- Pinterest
Here’s what Dr. Naidu has to say about this “Flea bites are most commonly seen on the feet, ankles, calf muscles and the regions around the knee joint. These are caused by the infestation of fleas that are present in domesticated animals like dogs, cats or even cattles sometimes. Normally they do not trouble human beings but sometimes the heat and vibrations from the human body can attract them. These fleas do not cause any severe illness in human beings but sometimes they tend to cause raised bumps that occur in clusters or in a line or track formation. A flea bite tends to cause a little bit of itching, rashes and some other symptoms as well.”
What are the Symptoms of Flea Bite?
Fleabites come along with some very common, distinctive and evident symptoms. Although these bites can be pretty annoying and in some cases can also lead to a bacterial infection at the side of the bite. Due to its dangerous and potential damages it can cause, it is important to look at the signs and symptoms of a flea bite and get it treated as early as possible-
- Itchy skin
- Rashes near the site of bite
- Pain at the site of bite
- Small red bumps present in cluster of 3 to 4 lines
- White topped blisters in the case of infection.
Other complications caused due to a Flea Bite
Where itchy skin and a cluster of small red bumps is not the only thing that these tiny insects can cause. It is important to look for the symptoms of flea bite and detect if it has been accompanied by any infection to seek out for a timely treatment.
Although the risk factors for humans to get a disease from a flea bite is very acute, it is important to know that a bacterial infection can be caused due to this. Flea bites have a potential to turn into an allergic reaction, especially for the people with sensitive skin. A flea bite with bacterial infection will be red, warm and consist of pus in it.
The symptoms of an infectious bacterial flea bite can range from raised welts and nausea to breathing difficulty and swollen lips. Another thing that one needs to know is that it is ot just the humans that get affected by these flea bites, but your pet can also face some issues like anemia and allergic reaction. A timely diagnosis and treatment is required to curb the dangers of flea bite as this tiny insect can have a large impact on your and your pet’s health.
How to treat a flea bite?
These tiny insects with a hard shell can have adverse impacts on your health and can do way worse than just causing an itch and little red bumps. A timely treatment will not just help you to get relief from the itching and rashes caused by these bites but can also work as a preventive measure for the potential risk caused due to these bites. Here’s what Dr. Naidu reccoments in order to treat a flea bite “The medical management of flea bites is normally conservative but antihistamine medicines that are used in case of mild allergies or cough and cold can be used. In some cases topical antihistamines are used. If a person is developing a fever or the rash is spreading or an allergic reaction is caused then you must consult a physician for the same.”
Apart from this a person can use tea tree oil, vinegar and calamine lotion to ease the itching caused. It is important to note that one should not scratch a flea bite as it increases the risk of infection and can have some adverse impacts on your health.
With inputs from Dr. Vignesh Naidu Y, Consultant Physician, Yashoda Hospitals, Hydarabad.