What Do Flea Bites on Human Look Like?

What Do Flea Bites on Humans Look Like?

Flea bites are very itchy red bumps that can cause you a lot of discomfort. Although fleas don’t live on humans, they can jump on you and bite you when dogs, cats or other pets bring them into your home. Flea bites on humans are often confused with other insects’ bites, so in this article I will explain how flea bites on humans look like and I’ll also include at the end of the article pictures of flea bites.

Flea bites on humans can occur in any part of the body, but most commonly fleas bite the lower part of the leg, mainly feet and ankles. These areas are close to the ground hence are easy target for the fleas. However flea bites on humans can appear in the upper part of the body, if, for example, your pet sleeps in your bed or climbs on the sofa.

What Are Fleas?

Fleas are tiny wingless insects which are adapted for piercing the skin and suck blood of warm-blooded animals. Adults fleas are up to about 3 mm (0.12 in) long and they range in color from light brown to almost black. These parasites are well adapted for jumping and can jump upwards more than 30 cm (13 in).

The life cycle of fleas is typical for an insect: the female lays eggs on the host animal. Several days later the eggs hatch and begin developing as a larvae. At a later stage they change into pupae until they are ready to emerge as adult fleas. The main goal of an adult flea is to suck blood and reproduce.

Adult fleas usually live for 2-3 months, and under ideal conditions of food supply and temperature it can live much longer, but without a host to feed on, its life span can be only several days.

What do Flea Bites on Humans Look Like?

If you want to know if you have flea bites, you need to know their common symptoms.

Most flea bites on humans appear like groups or clusters of small red dots or bumps. Usually flea bites appear in groups of three or four. The flea bite can start from a tiny red spot on your skin that can be hardly noticeable. But your body’s immune reaction to the flea bite causes your skin to swell and become red and itchy and the skin around the bite may become red, sore or painful, and it might be accompanied with burning sensations.

Some people are very sensitive to flea bites, and may also develop an allergic reaction which can result in large areas of redness, intense itching and small pimples. Some of the symptoms of severe allergic reaction to flea bites on humans are:

  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Nausea and swelling of different body parts

When you scratch the itchy flea bite, your skin can become injured and develop a skin infection. This is why it’s important to treat flea bites quickly to soothe the itch and the discomfort they cause, and to prevent further complications.

You can easily treat flea bites at home with common ingredients that can be found in many kitchens. Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and honey are some of the best natural remedies to soothe itchy flea bites and shorten the healing process. You will find detailed instructions on how to use these remedies in my article on natural home remedies for flea bites.

In addition to treating your flea bites, it’s important to make sure and get rid of any fleas from your pets, home and garden. One of the natural ingredients that is used to kill fleas is food grade diatomaceous earth.

How Long Do Flea Bites on Humans Last?

The redness which is a result of the flea bites usually lasts from several hours to several days, depending on your body reaction to the bites and their extent. Scratching the flea bites will delay healing time and can cause a secondary skin infection. In rare cases, flea bites can cause prolonged effect that can last several weeks or months.

Flea Bites vs. Other Insect Bites

Sometimes it can be very difficult to distinguish between flea bites and other bugs’ bites, such as mosquitoes and bed bugs.

Flea bites vs. bed bug bites

Sometimes bed bug bites are confused with flea bites, as both can cause severe itching, redness, inflammation and swelling. But while flea bites on humans occur at any time you are around the house, bed bugs are mostly active when it’s dark, so you will be bitten while you are asleep.

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Flea bites on humans appear more like clusters of small red spots and they don’t always swell. Bed bug bites tend to appear more inflamed and become red, swollen, raised and look more like mosquito bites with the possibility of forming blisters. Bed bug bites also tend to appear in a straight pattern.

Flea bites on humans commonly appear on the legs and ankles whereas bed bug bites are located all around the body, mostly on the face and arms.

If your house is infested with bed bugs, read my article about the top 10 home remedies to get rid of bed bugs naturally.

Flea bites vs. mosquito bites

Mosquito bites can appear as a single bite and occur on all body parts that are not covered by clothing. Flea bites on humans tend to appear on the lower part of the leg and ankles and tend to appear in groups or clusters.
Mosquito bites are also larger with slightly raised red area whereas flea bites are smaller, and usually look like red spot, and usually appear less inflamed.

Flea bites can occur during any time of the year and day, whereas mosquito bites appear during the warm season and tend to occur during the evening and nighttime or near areas with water source.

If you have a lot of mosquitoes around your area, you can use these 10 natural ways to repel mosquitoes, or plant these 14 best plants that repel mosquitoes. And if you’ve been bitten by mosquitoes, here are the 15 best natural ways to relieve mosquito bites.

Flea Bite Pictures

Below you can find flea bite pictures to help you determine if your bites are indeed flea bites. As I mentioned previously this can sometimes be difficult as there are similarities between flea bites and other insects’ bites or allergic reaction. Also, people may react differently to flea bites so your bites may look slightly different than the flea bite photos below.

As a general note, it’s always a good idea to see your doctor if you are unsure about the cause of your bite.

Flea bite picture #1: flea bites on feet and ankles

As I’ve mentioned in this article, most commonly fleas bite the lower part of the leg, mainly the feet and ankles as they are close to the ground hence are easy target for the fleas.

Flea bite picture #2: flea bites on legs

After the feet, naturally, the fleas will start moving up to your ankles and legs. The picture below is an example of flea bites on legs.

More flea bite pictures

As you’ll notice in the below flea bite pictures, the fleas have bitten other skin areas. This might be a result of a pet (with flees) sleeping in a bed together with the person.


Flea Bites on Humans

Are you having itchy reddish-purple spots on your skin surface? You may be suffering from a flea bite. Read on to know all about Flea bites on humans.

Flea Bites On Humans

Fleas are small insects that belong to the order Siphonaptera. These are wingless pests that suck on the blood of humans by piercing the skin surface with their powerful bristles. This leads to the development of small red, elevated spots over the skin surface. These are very itchy and cause extreme discomforts.

Picture 1 – Flea Bites on Humans
Source – mybugbites

When a flea bites a human, it injects an anticoagulant (substance that prevents clotting of blood). The presence of this coagulant activates the immune system of the body. The immune system supposes the coagulant to be an allergen and produces a natural response. An inflammation occurs in the bitten spot as a consequence.

What Do Flea Bites On Humans Look Like?

An area of the skin bitten by a flea looks like a red swollen spot with a small point of puncture in the middle.

Picture 2 – Flea Bites on Humans Image
Source – hardinmd.lib.uiowa.edu

Flea Bites On Humans Symptoms

Some of the main symptoms of flea bites on humans are:

  • Development of elevated rashes or spots, about 1 inch in size
  • Inflammation in the bitten spot
  • Itchiness in the just developed rash
  • Redness of the affected spot
  • Pain in the bitten region

The symptoms can last from a few minutes to several days depending on the sensitivity of a person. Some individuals may suffer from secondary infections on scratching the affected area. Some people may develop no symptoms at all even weeks after being repeatedly bitten by fleas. Certain individuals may suffer from some amount of bleeding, particularly if they scratch the bitten area.

Flea Bites On Humans Diagnosis

Physical examination of the affected spot is generally enough to diagnose this condition. No additional testing is required to check for traces of coagulant in blood.

Flea Bites On Humans Treatment

Picture 3 – Flea Bites on Humans
Source – fixfleas

Medical treatment for flea bites on humans involves:

Application of Hydrocortisone creams

Sparingly apply a Hydrocortisone cream over the bitten area. This will reduce inflammation in and around the bite and also helps relieve itchiness. You can also mix some Benadryl with 1% of Hydrocortisone cream to apply on these bites and get immediate relief.

Oral antihistamines

Oral intake of antihistamines can reduce allergies and itchy symptoms. However, these medicines can give rise to side effects such as drowsiness. Chlortrimeton and Benadryl are two popular oral antihistamine brands.

Calamine Lotion

Applying Calamine Lotion on the affected spot can provide a soothing effect to sufferers and reduce inflammation and itchiness.

How To Treat Flea Bites On Humans Naturally?

Combine one part Apple Cider Vinegar with two parts water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle. Apply this to saturate the bites. You should not use this on open sores as the vinegar may lead to stinging sensations.

Place the peel of one whole lemon in a cup of boiled water. Cover this and let it soak overnight. Pot the mixture into one medium-sized spray bottle. Spray over the bite to saturate it.

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Pour 1-2 tsp baking powder into a cup of water. Cover the bitten region with baking powder paste. This will reduce discomforting sensations like itchiness and pain. It is one of the best treatments for flea bites on humans.

Press a cold pack over the flea bite to reduce inflammation and redness of the region.

Once you have suffered a bite, wash the area with an antiseptic soap or lotion. Clean the area properly with washcloth, soap and water. This will keep the bitten area clean. Use cold water and not hot water to clean the region as it may stimulate more itchiness. You should also refrain from scratching the region with unclean hands as you may suffer from open wounds as well as secondary infections.

Cat Flea Bites On Humans

Cat fleas or Ctenocephalides Felis are tiny, wingless creatures that can cause very itchy bites. These pests are unable to fly but have powerful legs that can help them jump to a height of about 18 inches. They commonly bite legs and ankles of human beings and occasionally also sting other regions of the body like elbows, waists and even armpits.

Cat flea bites can give rise to small bumps that are reddish or pinkish in color. These arise as elevated rashes and are extremely itchy in nature. Scratching these bumps can give rise to secondary infections. Anesthetic creams, calamine lotions and ice pack application can provide relief from itchiness in the swollen bumps. If you are suffering from multiple cat flea bites, it is best to seek proper medical treatment from doctors.

Sand Flea Bites On Humans

A bite of a sand fly or Tunga Penetrans is very severe in nature. This pest is common in areas like North Africa, South East Asia, the Mediterranean, The Middle East, the Caribbean and Central America. Sand Fly bite gives rise to inflammation and itchiness. The symptoms can be controlled by analgesics (painkillers) in the form of ibuprofen gel, ice packs and topical creams containing anti-histamines. These flies serve as carriers of various types of disorders.

It may also give rise to fever and other disorders like Leishmaniasis. Leishmaniasis is a more dangerous and painful variation of malaria. Sodium Stibogluconate is regarded to be the most effective cure for treating Leishmaniasis, especially the recurring variations.

Flea Bites On Humans Pictures

Here are some pictures of flea bites on humans that you may find quite useful. Take a look at these images of flea bites on humans to know what flea bite spots look like on the surface of human skin.

Image 4 – Flea Bites on Humans Photo
Source – hardinmd.lib.uiowa.edu

Image 5 – Flea Bites on Humans Picture
Source – asktheexterminator

Flea bites on humans are completely curable. With proper care and treatment, these itchy rashes can go away very quickly and may not recur except in rare circumstances. If you are suffering from a single flea bite rash, natural remedies at home can be enough for cure. But if you have multiple rashes, it is best to seek medical treatment from professional healthcare providers.


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Flea Bites on Humans

January 12, 2014 admin 0 Comments

Flea bites on human is a common occurrence especially in houses where pets dwell. In such houses, people often become victim of flea bites and getting rid of these insects is somewhat difficult. In most cases, flea bite does not need treatment. Identifying and treating flea bite are often easy; however, there are certain things that you should know. In serious cases, flea bites can lead to infection or some individuals may develop allergic reaction. These serious occurrences progress eventually. Bites by these insects often appear to be minute red circular dots or in some cases bumps. Scratching the affected area may aggravate the bitten region into redder and more painful bite.

If a person scratches the bitten spot, he becomes slightly more prone to infection. It is recorded that infection generally occurs due to incessant scratching which is also the first concern when considering treatment. Chances of infection increase due to dwelling of excessive bacteria under the fingernails, which may directly enter the open region of the punctured spot. A simple prevention technique for infection is by avoiding scratching. You can also prevent flea bite by ensuring your house is free of these insects. Fleas usually dwell in carpets and other such low-areas. They often bite your ankle and legs because they can easily jump to half a meter. Nevertheless, they can also bite your arms, neck and other body regions.

Do Fleas Bites on Humans itch?

Yes, flea bites on human do itch but they are not a matter of concern unless aggravated to infection and allergic reaction. If a person does not experience any other sign or symptoms apart from itch, then the bite is mild and benign and may get cured on its own. Bites are not itchy because of the puncture itself but due to the saliva of the flea which gets injected into the body through the opened skin region. The bite may occur in group or cluster of bites surrounded by reddened region. This redness will last for few hours or even for several days depending on how your body reacts to the bite.


Symptoms of allergic reaction caused due to Flea Bites

Some individuals are more vulnerable to flea bites as compared to other. In worst cases, some allergic individuals react dangerously to flea bites and experience anaphylactic shock. Such occurrences are rare. There are other symptoms associated with the condition which include:

  • Difficult breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Queasiness
  • Swollen tongue or lips
  • Pain in chest

Symptoms of infection caused due to flea bites on humans

Infection of flea bite may have following symptoms:

  • Swelling of gland
  • Redness
  • Pain in the punctured region
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If anyone experiences these symptoms after being bitten by fleas, then immediate medial attention should be obtained. Keep the symptoms in mind as you should not confuse infection with allergic reaction. Allergic reaction is more serious then infection and may need emergency care. If the affected person seems to be serious then you may have to call an ambulance immediately.

First aid and Treatment for Flea Bites in Humans

First thing that you should do when bitten by a flea is to clean the punctured area. Use cool water and soap to sanitize the bitten spot; do not use scented soaps. It is better to go for antiseptic solutions. Treating flea bites in humans becomes difficult when it comes to ceasing itching. Hydrocortisone creams are available even over-the-counter which can help in ceasing constant urge of itching. You can also opt for Diphenhydramine which is available without prescription (this solution often makes you drowsy). Take a cool bath and use the mentioned remedies which will provide quick relief.

Antihistamines are also suggested by doctors or pharmacists to control severe itching issue. In some cases you may also have to take oral antihistamine medications depending on the intensity of itching. Hydroxyzine medicine is a prescription drug which is suggested by the doctor in severe cases of itching.

Self-care for Flea Bites on Humans

It is said that washing the bite with tea such as green tea, black tea, lavender flower tea and comfrey tea can be helpful. You can also apply used tea-bags directly on the bitten spot.

Applying Aloe Vera gel can be helpful. You can take aloe vera leaf and break it. Rub the gel present inside the leaf on the bitten area. If you do not have aloe vera plant, then you can buy bottled gel from the market.

Healing Plant leaves

Using plants such as calendula flowers or basil can be beneficial. You just need to crush the leaves or plant and apply directly on the bites. You can also apply two drops of basil oil to obtain relief.

Oatmeal bath can also be made at home or its ingredients can be bought from grocery stores. Use tepid water for bathing which is important as hot water can dry your skin speed-up healing process.

In most cases of flea bites on humans even self-care is not needed, but it is a better practice to avoid aggravation of the condition. You should especially prevent scratching of the bitter region.


Flea bites look like — description, symptoms, treatment, danger to humans

Fleas are bloodsucking parasites of birds and mammals in the order Siphonaptera. Adult fleas are wingless with their larvae being pale and caterpillar-like. Fleas can travel very far distances by jumping up to one hundred times their body length using their legs and a spring-like mechanism.

Only adult fleas feed on blood using their piercing mouthparts, while flea larvae feed on debris in bedding and in dust and lint debris in carpeting. Female fleas lay eggs in these areas that take two weeks to hatch into larvae. Fleas are surprisingly resilient, especially in their pupae stage where they can survive in severe environments for long periods of time without any food. Adult fleas have even been shown to live one or two months without a blood meal. Interestingly, fleas are stimulated to hatch when warm-blooded creatures enter their territory of protective cocoons, which explains why it is common for homes to be infested with hordes of fleas when new owners move in.

Flea bites are usually itchy, small papules arranged in a non-follicular pattern in groups of three, also known as the breakfast, lunch and dinner configuration. They usually occur around the feet and lower legs, as fleas tend to live in the carpets and floorboards. Flea bites can induce papular urticaria which is diagnostically made by clinical examination. Papular urticaria is a hypersensitivity disorder in which insect bites, usually those of fleas but often of mosquitoes and bedbugs, lead to recurrent and sometimes chronic itchy papules on exposed areas of skin, with large welts that are painful and hot to touch. Flea bites are easily infected as scratching can introduce bacteria into the open sores. Infected flea bites become painful, red, pussy and swollen. Flea allergy may cause respiratory symptoms in humans, especially in patients allergic to cats however anaphylaxis has not yet been reported.

Patients should be advised to never scratch the bites as fleas defecate when they feed, and scratching can irritate the skin and introduce bacteria deeper into the skin causing an infection. An oral antihistamine can help reduce the itching of the flea bites as well as lessen any allergic reactions experienced. Topical antihistamines and anti-bacterials, in addition to tepid baths with an oatmeal solution, will help to cleanse and soothe the skin when needed. Patients should avoid hot showers as the hot water can actually make the itching worse, and should make sure the house and yard are completely treated for fleas, especially larvae.

The medical information provided in this site is for educational purposes only and is the property of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice and shall not create a physician — patient relationship. If you have a specific question or concern about a skin lesion or disease, please consult a dermatologist. Any use, re-creation, dissemination, forwarding or copying of this information is strictly prohibited unless expressed written permission is given by the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.


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