Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What will help with flea bites?"
My dog has fleas and now I have started noticing bites on my skin too. What should I do about them? I got some shampoo for the dog but what will make the bites I have go away and stop itching?
Luckily, most flea bites pose no significant risk to humans other than being annoying. You should see your general primary physician to ensure there are no other concerning symptoms or findings on dermatologic exam. The main side effect of a flea bite is a local reaction where a small papule or bump forms that can be red (erythematous) and very itchy (pruritic). If the itching is severe or very bothersome, you can try low dose topical hydrocortisone cream used sparingly over the bumps. The hydrocortisone cream will not help with bite itself, but will help with the local swelling and itchy sensation. It is important to be careful when using hydrocortisone creams because overuse can lead to thinning of the skin. You should not use it for more than two weeks at a time and do not use it on the face or genital areas. Topical moisturization and cool compresses can also help with the itching. If your symptoms ar extremely severe, you physician may consider recommending diphenydramine (Benadryl) orally. However, this medication will likely make you drowsy and should also not be overused. You should follow up with your primary care physician to evaluate your symptoms, examine these bites, and discuss possible treatment options.
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