Fleas are tiny red or brown insects that survive on blood which they suck from the host. Humans are generally not on menu list of fleas, they commonly infest cats, dogs, rats etc. If you have a cat or a dog as a pet infested with fleas, than you are at risk of being bitten sometime or the other by fleas.
Although tiny in size, this vector is a serious health concern as flea bite can cause allergic reactions on skin, spread diseases such as typhus and plague. The saliva of flea is responsible for allergic dermatitis. Fleas are aggressive in their behavior, they are wingless but they can jump and latch on the host.
In humans the lesions are mainly seen on ankles and lower part of leg.Sometimes dermatitis can occur on arm if you have carried an infested pet in your arms. Majority cases flea allergy dermatitis can be treated with home remedies. Simultaneous treatment of pets is essential if you are having one.
Symptoms Of Flea Allergy Dermatitis In Humans
The symptoms of flea allergy dermatitis are similar to those of any other form of dermatitis. Flea bites to suck the blood once it attaches to the skin. The bite appears as a raised red bump similar to a mosquito bite. Flea normally bites on legs and ankle or sometimes on arm if you carry your pet that is infected with fleas.
Flea bite causes severe local itching. The protein present in saliva is responsible for the allergic reaction. Hypersensitive patients may suffer from large hives after the bite. It may not be limited to the local site but may spread to other parts of skin.
Purple rash is another symptom that may develop at the site of bite but after few hours may spread to nearby area. Flea allergy rash is accompanied with severe itching. Scratching makes the condition worse. Flea allergy dermatitis usually begins within 12 to 24 hours after the bite. Symptoms may last for one week. Intense scratching can lead to secondary infection.
Home Remedies For Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Flea allergy dermatitis is extremely irritating and discomforting condition although it may not be dangerous. Intense itching and scratching can be an annoying situation. The good news is flea allergy dermatitis can be completely cured. Follow these steps to alleviate and treat the symptoms of flea bite dermatitis.
- Clean the area of bite with soap water or any antiseptic solution. It flushes of bacteria around the site of bite.
- Use ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables over the affected area of bite. It helps to reduce itching, redness and swelling.
- Apply calamine lotion over the area of flea allergy dermatitis. Regularly applying two times in a day will reduce swelling, redness and itching. Calamine is effective in healing the lesion faster.
- If you have intense itching, you may have to take antihistamines. Consult your doctor before taking any oral medicines.
- Secondary infection may need to be treated with oral antibiotics.
Flea allergy dermatitis is cured within few day of treatment. However, you can get re-infected if the main source is still present. So if you are having a pet infested with fleas, you have to treat him as well.