Flea Bites on Humans: Symptoms and Treatment | Dengarden

Once it finds the best spot, a bedbug feeds for a few minutes before returning to its hiding place. Bites are generally red or pink and the size of a mosquito bite or smaller.

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.

Fleabites, on the other hand, tend to appear on the feet and lower legs. That’s because fleas often live in carpets and floorboards. Fleabites remain small and do not swell like a mosquito bite.

Flea bites on humans: What they look like and how to treat them

Bedbug vs. Flea Bites: Which One Do I Have

Flea Bites on Humans

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.

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Hives, also called urticaria, is a raised, itchy area of skin. Most often the cause of hives is unknown. Sometimes it is a sign of an allergic reaction to food or medications, but the cause of the allergy (the allergen) is unknown. Dermatographism and swelling (angioedema) may accompany hives. Treatment to get rid of hives and alleviate symptoms typically includes antihistamines.

Bedbugs (from the insect family Cimicidae) are small, reddish-brown tick-like insects that feed by sucking the blood of mammals. They are often found in poorly sanitized areas or in crowded living quarters.

Reproduced with permission from © DermNet dermnetnz.org 2023.

Flea Bites (In Humans)

Flea Bites on Humans

Most often, fleas come into a home on pets. If you have pets, the quickest way to identify fleas is by carefully looking through your pet’s fur for evidence. If you don’t already, start your pet on flea prevention to keep fleas off your pet and out of your home.

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How do healthcare professionals diagnose flea bites in humans?

While most home flea infestations occur in homes with pets, fleas can infest homes without pets as well. This may happen in several scenarios.

One of the first ways people notice they have a flea infestation is when their dogs or cats start scratching, biting, or licking themselves excessively. You can use a flea comb to check your pet’s fur for fleas and flea feces. Flea feces on your pet may look like dot-like insects or flecks of dirt or pepper.

Flea Bite

What Do Flea Bites Look Like?

Bedbug bites typically appear on skin that is exposed while you sleep. That means bedbug bites often appear on the face, arms, and legs. They are similar in size to a hive or mosquito bite.

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Topical Treatment: Bedbug Bites vs. Fleabites

James WD, Elston D, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA. Andrew’s Diseases of the Skin. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019.

Similarly, fleabites are so itchy that they can lead to infection from excessive scratching. In addition, fleabites and bedbug bites can both lead to papular urticaria , a hypersensitivity disorder that causes recurring hives that are hot and painful.

MRSA or Flea Bites? (pic) Please help!

Flea Bites: What They Look Like, Symptoms & Treatment

On human skin, bedbug bites appear in groups of three to five bites, often in a zigzag pattern. That’s because once a bedbug finds a host to feed on, it probes the skin until it finds the best space to allow blood to flow most freely.

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Eradication: Bedbug Bites vs. Fleabites

Bolognia J, Schaffer JV, Cerroni L. Dermatology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018.

Spider, ant, bedbug, and flea bites share many common characteristics, including itching, rash, and sometimes pain. When you have a mystery bite, you may have to do some detective work to determine which may have caused your bite.

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