How to Treat Sand Flea Bites
How to Treat Sand Flea Bites
Sand fleas are small and pesky crustaceans that are found along most beaches. When they bite they leave behind a saliva that causes itchiness and irritates the skin. In some instances, sand fleas will actually burrow into the skin to lay eggs. This can cause infections and increased irritation. In order to treat sand flea bites, you should soothe the irritated skin. If the symptoms worsen, seek medical attention. You can also try preventing sand flea bites by visiting the beach at appropriate times and covering up any exposed skin.
Soothing Sand Flea Bites
Don’t scratch the bites.Many people immediately want to scratch sand flea bites because they can cause an itchy irritation on the skin. Avoid scratching the bites because this can actually open up the bites, making you more susceptible to infections.
Apply calamine lotion.One way to relieve the itchy irritation caused by the bites is by applying calamine lotion to the area. This lotion can be found at your local drug store and will work to soothe the skin and relieve the itching.
- In order to apply calamine lotion, read all of the instructions provided and then gently rub a small amount onto the injected area. Do not use on eyes, mouth, or genitals.
- Talk with your doctor before using calamine lotion on children under the age of six months. You should also consult a physician before using the lotion while pregnant or breast feeding.
Try hydrocortisone cream.You can also relieve the itching by applying hydrocortisone cream to the area. This will help to prevent you from scratching the bites. Hydrocortisone cream can be purchased at your local drug store.
- In order to apply the cream, you should read all of the instructions provided. Then, gently rub the cream over the infected area. Wash your hands afterwards.
- If you are pregnant or taking any other medications you should speak with your doctor before using hydrocortisone cream.
- Speak with a doctor before using on children under the age of 10.
Create a baking soda and water mixture.Baking soda mixed with water can help soothe itchy and irritated skin. In order to use baking soda and water to soothe sand flea bites:
- Pour 1 cup of baking soda into a bathtub filled with cool water. Then, soak your entire body in the tub for approximately thirty minutes to an hour.
- Alternatively, you can mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water. Stir together until a paste is formed. Then, rub the paste onto the irritated skin. Leave the paste on the skin for approximately 30 minutes and then wash off with water.
Soak in an oatmeal bath.You can also relieve skin irritations and itches by soaking in an oatmeal bath. Oatmeal contains antioxidants, which have soothing effects on the skin. In order to create an oatmeal bath, simply add one to two cups of oat flour or oatmeal to a tub filled with warm water. Then, soak in the tub for approximately one hour.
- Do not use hot water. This can actually cause greater skin irritation.
Apply aloe to the skin.Aloe vera is excellent for soothing and healing a number of skin irritations. You can purchase aloe vera gel from your local drug store. Gently rub the aloe vera over the irritated area. This will help to soothe your skin giving you a bit of relief.
Use essential oils.Certain essential oils, such as lavender oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and cedar oil may help to reduce the skin irritation caused by sand flea bites. In order to use, apply the essential oils directly to the irritated skin. Follow the directions supplied on the package for the correct dosage.
- Always consult a doctor before using essential oils for medical purposes, especially if you are pregnant.
- If you have known allergies or sensitivities, perform a patch test first on a small area of unaffected skin.
- Most essential oils need to be mixed with a carrier oil before being to prevent irritation. Avoid using undiluted essential oils on the skin unless specifically directed to do so by a professional.
Seeking Medical Attention
Check the bites for breeding fleas.In most instances sand flea bites will consist of a small red spot, similar to a mosquito bite. In some cases, however, a female flea will burrow into the skin to hatch eggs. These can cause severe irritation and infection. The bite will look like a swollen area with a small black spot in the center.
- If you think you have a burrowing sand flea, you should visit the doctor to have the flea removed.
Visit your doctor.After applying hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion the symptoms should decrease. If this does not happen or if the symptoms worsen, then you should visit your doctor immediately. This could mean that the bites have become infected or that you are allergic to flea saliva.
Treat bites with an antihistamine cream.Your doctor may recommend that you treat the bites with a prescribed antihistamine cream. This cream will help reduce irritation caused by an allergic reaction to the flea bites. Follow the instructions provided by your doctor.
Preventing Sand Flea Bites
Avoid the beach at dawn and dusk.Sand fleas are most prominent in the early mornings and evenings when the temperature is slightly cooler. To prevent sand flea bites, head to the beach in the middle of the day. You may still get a few bites, but there will not be as many fleas out during this time.
- You should also avoid the beach when it is raining. Sand fleas are most active in cool and moist temperatures.
Try insect repellent.Insect repellent may help to prevent sand fleas from biting. Prior to heading to the beach spray insect repellent on your feet, ankles, and legs. Follow the directions provided and look for a repellent that specifically mentions sand fleas.
- You may also want to have the repellent with you at the beach so that you can re-apply after swimming!
Cover your legs, feet, and ankles.A great way to prevent sand flea bites is by covering your legs, feet, and ankles. Sand fleas can only jump 20 to 40 cm (8-16 inches) so it is unlikely that you will get bit anywhere above the waist. While walking along the beach, wear light pants and sandals. If you are lying down on the sand, make sure to sit on a towel or blanket.
QuestionCan I pop or drain the bites to remove poison?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt is best not to touch the bites at all; doing that could irritate them more.Thanks!
QuestionHow long do sand flea bites last on the body? I have used 3 different doctor prescribed creams that haven't helped yet.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDepends on how many it can last up to 6 weeks at most but usually 2-4 weeks. Go back to see the doctor to get medication to kill any bacteria and to check if the flea left any eggs to get them removed.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I kill sand fleas underneath the skin?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPromptly visit your doctor to have them removed. Attempting removal yourself will most likely cause you more harm.Thanks!
QuestionCan fleas get into a child's sandbox?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Fleas can get into children's sandboxes. There is a risk of being bitten there.Thanks!
How long does it take for the bites to heal?
After the bite, the bites seem to spread. Does the toxin spread?
- If the bites are causing you pain, you can try taking a pain relief medication, such as Advil or Tylenol.
Sources and Citations
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Video: First Aid Treatments : How to Treat Sand Flea Bites
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