Sand Flea Bites on Humans – Pictures, Treatment and Prevention

Adult female fleas pose the most risk to humans. While both adult male and female fleas feed on warm-blooded hosts, like humans, the adult mated females burrow into the skin of humans (more on that later).

Most bites from organisms referred to as sand fleas don’t cause any long-lasting harm. Most symptoms, such as itching and inflammation, should resolve on their own or with over-the-counter (OTC) treatment.

Sand flea disease is especially common in low-income areas of sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Older people, people with disabilities, and boys ages 5 to 14 are disproportionately likely to develop the condition.

What do Sand Flea Bites Look Like

Everything You Need to Know About Sand Flea Bites

Sand Flea Bites on Humans

Over time, the round skin lesion gets darker until it is uniformly black. There may also be inflammation, pain, swelling, and itching in the affected area of the skin.

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Sand Flea Disease (Tungiasis)

Sand flea bites (and sand flea disease) aren’t common in the United States, but they are possible. If you notice any signs of skin inflammation or irritation after visiting the beach, talk to a healthcare provider about treatment options. In the meantime, try to avoid touching the affected area too much in order to prevent infection and other complications.

However, you should reach out to a healthcare provider if:

If you think you’ve been bitten by sand fleas and want to know what sand flea bites on humans look like, this is the place. You will also learn how to treat and prevent the bites to avoid this problem in the future. People that have already experienced these bites know that they can be quite painful. If left untreated, they can cause a lot of suffering for several months to come, before they usually disappear by themselves. Sand fleas can carry diseases and transmit viruses, so you should see a doctor if you experience severe symptoms after getting bitten. This article will help cure most sand flea bites on humans.

What Are Sand Fleas and How Can Their Bite Affect You

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If you’ve ever left the beach with a stinging or itching sensation, you may have received a sand flea bite. While humans aren’t actually the preferred food source for sand fleas—decaying organic matter is their meal of choice—an innocent sunbather can quickly become an easy target when they venture into the areas where sand fleas gather during peak dining hours.

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What are sand fleas? / Getty Images

“They typically live near or just above the high-water mark. During the day they seek shelter in burrows under the sand or under seaweed that has been washed ashore,” she says. “At night they become very active in search of food (organic matter produced by the decomposition of organisms).”

How to Treat Itchy, Painful Sand Flea Bites

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Sand fleas reproduce with the help of humans. Female sand fleas burrow into the skin (usually the feet), and male sand fleas briefly meet them there to mate, Hinkle said.

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How To Treat Sand Flea Bites

If you’re bitten by one of those creatures, you might notice sand flea bites—like a cluster of small red bumps—on your skin.

Really, “any flea that comes out of a sandy area, people call a sand flea,” Nancy Hinkle, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Georgia’s Department of Entomology, told Health.

Sand Flea Bites on Humans – Pictures, Treatment and Prevention

How Long Do Sand Flea Bites Last On Your Skin?

When people talk about sand fleas, they may be talking about different organisms: Sand flies, which live in and around aquatic habitats, and sand or mole crabs, which are crustaceans that live on the beach and don’t bite humans.

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What Are Sand Fleas?

You can view an images of flea bites below:

Tungiasis, also known as sand flea disease, is a tropical disease caused by adult female sand fleas burrowing into the skin. They leave behind circular lesions in the toes or feet that often get irritated, itchy, and inflamed.

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