Flea Bite

Flea bites look like small red dots. These spots often occur in two to three groups or clusters with redness around them and sometimes a light halo. They tend to bite humans around the feet, ankles, and lower legs.

If your dermatologist suspects a flea bite, they will inquire about your living conditions and recent exposure after your skin examination. There is no laboratory test to confirm that fleas are the causal agent of these rashes.

Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching including infection (jock itch, vaginal itch), disease (hyperthyroidism, liver or kidney), reactions to drugs, and skin infestations (pubic or body lice). Treatment for itching varies depending on the cause of the itch.

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Infection and disease can result from flea bites. Infection usually occurs because of scratching the bites. Bacterial and other debris can be present under the fingernails, and if a person vigorously scratches a fleabite, they may cause the rash to become an open wound for bacteria to enter.

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Fleas are bloodsucking insects that live on pets, livestock, and humans. They are small, 1-4 mm in length, and blackish-brown. Although wingless, fleas are capable of taking giant leaps, jumping to a height of several meters. Adult fleas feed only on blood and are capable of going long periods without feeding. Fleas that live on humans are relatively uncommon. The species that humans are most likely to encounter is the cat flea, which also infests dogs. Humans may also encounter the dog flea or the rat flea. Cat, dog, and rat fleas do not live on people, but they will bite a human if they encounter one and are looking for a blood meal. Fleas most often bite people around the legs and the ankles. The resulting red papules (small, solid bumps) are an allergic reaction to flea saliva. The bites, which are usually but not always felt immediately, become increasingly irritated and may remain sore and/or itchy for as long as a week. Itching may be just at the site of the bite or may be felt beyond the actual bite site.

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Flea Bites on Humans: Symptoms and Treatment

If the itching is bothersome, an oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) may help. If you have an allergic reaction, see a doctor. You may be prescribed a stronger antihistamine such as hydroxyzine (Vistaril, Atarax).

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Those at higher risk for flea bites include people with household pets, those who work with livestock, and those living in conditions where there is a rodent infestation. Some people are more sensitive to flea bites than others. Children aged younger than 10 years are generally more sensitive than older people, as people tend to become desensitized by repeated exposure over time. Flea bites in children produce an allergic reaction in which recurrent or chronic small, red bumps occur on the exposed skin areas. Individuals who are very sensitive to fleas may also develop blisters from the bites.

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Flea Bites (In Humans)

If flea bites have occurred indoors, all sources must be treated for effective flea control. Carpets, pet bedding, and all rooms should be thoroughly vacuumed, and pets should be treated for fleas.

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that affects a number of different areas of the body at one time and can be fatal. Causes of anaphylaxis can be a food allergy, latex allergy, allergy to insect stings/bites, asthma, or other materials or conditions. Symptoms include flushing, itching, hives, anxiety, and rapid or irregular pulse. Severe symptoms may be throat and tongue swelling, swallowing, and difficulty breathing. Some disorders appear similar to anaphylaxis such as fainting, panic attacks, blood clots in the lungs, heart attacks, and septic shock. If you think that you may be having an anaphylactic reaction, seek emergency care or call 911 immediately.

What do bug bites look like? How do you treat bug bites? Why do bug bites burn? See spider bite pictures and learn how to identify bug bites from mosquitoes, bees, bed bugs, wasps, and more. See what their bites & stings look like and how to treat bug bites. For more details, enter a search for the specific insects or bugs as this slideshow is a brief introduction to the topic.

Flea Bite

what does flea bites look like

Regardless of how much they itch, try not to scratch flea bites. Flea bites can itch intensely and can cause a secondary infection.

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How can you prevent flea bites?

The main symptom of flea bites is itching, which can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) anti-itch creams, lotions, or ointments.

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