Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What do flea bites look like?"
Lately I've been waking up at night because it feels like something is biting my legs and now there are little red marks on my ankles. Do I have fleas? My friend brought their dog over last week and now I'm worried I got fleas from it. What does a flea bite look like?
The main area of potential confusion with bites that you get while you are sleeping is trying to distinguish between bed bug bites and flea bites. Flea bites can definitely occur if you come into contact with infected dogs. Although most of the species of fleas that infect dogs cannot live on humans permanently, they can 'hop on' briefly, usually just long enough to bite. Flea bites tend to be small, circular, and found in clusters, mostly on the ankles and feet near the sock line. Bed bugs, as you know, infect mattresses and tend to come out at night and bite whoever happens to be in the vicinity. Unlike flea bites, bed bug bites are much larger in size with a reddened area around them; they are often confused with mosquito bites. Also, bed bug bites tend to occur all over the body and not just on the feet and ankles. There are different home solutions for each, but the important thing is to begin by discussing this issue with your doctor. This is necessary to make sure that you are actually dealing with bug bites, and not a more serious issue. Good luck!
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