Relief from the Torment of Too Many Flea Bites
This Only Seems To Happen To Me
They got me again. I’ve been scratching all night and I feel like I am close to edge. I’ve been hunting these bloodsucking (insert expletive here) all week, but I still can’t find the ones that are shacking up in my bed, or the ones that inexplicably seem to be inhabiting my socks. I check, they are not there, but then I have ferocious bites on my toes. How do they do that? Can they bite through the sock? Anyway these buggers are a major part of my life. I bring them to school and they feed on me while I am teaching class. It’s hard not to scratch in front of a room full of students when my instinct is to gnaw at my own flesh like a rabid dog. When I come home at night, they and their other family members gorge on my blood while I watch T.V. and then it’s off to bed to catch some zzzs for me and a delicious hot dinner-drink for them. I’ve been living with this for almost three years and I know I won’t be able to get rid of the fleas completely, so I’d like to share with you at least a few methods of how to get some relief from the torment of too many flea bites.
So let’s get started:
- Baking soda – Good old baking soda, there are so many uses for this product. Grab a spoonful of this powder, add a few drops of water until it turns into a paste and apply to your raging angry flea bite. It will soothe the area straight away and the effects last over two hours for me. It’s cheap and easily available; the only downside is that it is a bit messy. Once the powder dries it flakes away, but better to deposit powder than to infect your flesh, right?
- Piezoelectric clicker – Got this little fella at the airport. It’s a palm-sized gizmo you place over the bite and click the bejaysus out of it. It gives your skin a small electric shock that suppresses the histamine reaction that normally results in itching and swelling. Try to get the bite as fresh as possible and it relieves the itch fairly quickly. When I am bat crazy with the itch I sometimes overdo it with the clicker, but fortunately it is harmless and doesn’t hurt at all.
- Antihistamine cream – I also use an antihistamine cream to calm the desire I sometimes have to flay myself. The creams are designed to block the release of histamine, but to be honest I find they are slow to work and some of the other methods are more effective. Or maybe it is just that I haven’t found one that is strong enough yet. I find Tiger Balm has a more immediate effect on the itch, but again it doesn’t have great long term results.
Relief from the Torment of Too Many Flea Bites
- Lemon – has anaesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties. Squeeze unto the bite that has now turned into Mt Vesuvius (dormant Mt Vesuvius, you really don’t want to squeeze lemon unto an oozing infected bite) and leave it to air dry. It may be a bit prickly for a few seconds.
- Vinegar – I like using vinegar. It’s cheap, you don’t need to go specifically to a pharmacy, it works immediately and it’s safe to use on your body. It gives you a sting, but this can be positive and a negative experience. The sting is unpleasant, but it takes your mind off the itch and it only stings for about five seconds. The downsides are that it smells strong and the relief you get from using it doesn’t last long. You have to reapply it frequently. I wouldn’t recommend using it on a bite that has opened and festered. That would certainly ruin your day.
- Scotch Tape – Don’t laugh, I am at this very moment wearing several strips of tape on my back, I look a bit weird, but the itching stopped immediately. It has something to do with interfering with vasodilatation which sends messages back down the nerve endings. Go ahead and try it, any tape seems to work. I use regular sellotape and fabric dressing strips.
- Something cold - a damp cloth or some ice wrapped in a facecloth. It eases the itch. Or gently rub a circle with your finger around the bite. You will give yourself some relief, but won’t disturb the bite directly.
He's A Handsome Chap, isn't He?
You Just Can't Help Scratching Yourself, Can You?
After a particularly nasty attack from a bunch of fleas it’s really hard to stay positive. For me the itch lasts 3-4 days and the wound another five days. My worst attack was over the course of a week with a grand total of more than 80 bites. I really hate these little parasites. The bites are disgusting, itchy and downright dangerous. And ironically we don’t have any pets.
So until the day they invent a commercial X-ray that explodes fleas into oblivion after walking through it, I hope these tips help relieve the torment. If you have any other ideas please go right ahead and add a comment below, or to find out how I manage a flea infestation click here.
© 2013 Muttface