Q: Grandma, My friend has bed bugs and her landlord refuses to deal with the situation. I need a remedy that is not costly to help her. She has children and the state is involved now because of the bites. She needs help.
A: Dear F, Fleas are wingless parasites and considered a common pest that affects domestic animals such as dogs and cats. Although these pets are the main hosts of fleas at home, humans may also be afflicted with flea bites.
Flea bite hypersensitivity, or otherwise known as flea allergic dermatitis, develops when flea salivary proteins are introduced into the skin. A flea bite is extremely itchy and secondary infections from excessive scratching are quite common. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to relieve the intense discomfort and prevent the development of secondary infections.
HOME REMEDIES FOR FLEA BITES
1. Refrain from scratching or rubbing the problem area.
2. Wash the affected area with antiseptic soap to lessen the risk of infection.
3. Apply an icepack frequently to help relieve itchiness and swelling.
4. When washing the affected area, use cold water instead of warm or hot water. The latter tends to worsen the itchiness.
5. Use calamine lotion, hydrocortisone creams, and other similar products to reduce itching and inflammation. These medications can be bought in pharmacies without prescription.
6. Consult your doctor for medications if you have allergies to certain drugs or if you have existing health conditions that need to be considered.
7. If you suspect possible tapeworm infection, see your doctor immediately for treatment since fleas can transmit this parasite through their bite.
8. See your doctor if the condition does not improve, if the symptoms worsen, or if secondary infection occurs (indicated by discharge of pus, swelling, redness, or even fever).
9. In case of infection, be sure to complete the course of antibiotics ordered by your doctor.
10. Double your dose of Vitamin C for faster healing.
11. Natural antiseptics such as tea tree oil likewise helps promote healing. Simply dab a cotton swab in tea tree oil. Gently apply the swab on the affected skin, swapping out one swab for each bite.
12. Apply lemon juice to the bitten area to relieve itching. Although this may feel a little uncomfortable, the antiseptic property of lemon can keep bacteria at bay.
13. You can also use lavender oil to keep the inflammation down and disinfect the problem area.
14. You can help accelerate the healing process by applying Aloe Vera on the bitten area. This plant is also effective in treating other types of insect bites.
15. Yet another simple home remedy for flea bite is baking soda. Simply mix it with water and apply it on the affected area for several minutes. Your skin should feel better after a little while.
16. Oatmeal bath also works. Soak the affected skin in an oatmeal bath for a nice relief.
17. If you can’t help yourself from scratching the area, you can take ibuprofen to reduce the pain and itching.