How to Get Rid of Flea Bites on Humans

Flea bites are not a good look.  Even one can look embarrassingly unsightly as it moves from a pink bump through to a scabby red mark and finally a dark purple welt.  If you are bitten more than once, the resulting bite marks can make you feel truly miserable.  The worst part is, even once the itch is gone, the mark can remain for weeks.  Find out how to deal with flea bite marks and get rid of them as fast as possible.

This post is about:

  • Treating bites that are no longer active (ie they don’t itch any more) 

Read more about how to identify flea bites and treat active flea bites.

These flea bites are on a person’s back

Flea Bite Marks:  Four Step Treatment

Often people refer to flea bite “scars”.  Thankfully, those dark purple marks aren’t scars; they are not permanent and you can get rid of them.  If you let nature take its course, they will be gone within a few weeks.  However, sometimes a few weeks is too long.  If you are too embarrassed to uncover your legs and arms, you need quick treatment.  Here’s how (these tips should work for other insect bites too):

  • Exfoliate

Once your bite is no longer active, and the skin is unbroken, you can speed up recovery by gentle exfoliation.  Don’t exfoliate if the skin over the bite is broken as this may simply introduce an infection.  Once the bite is healed, use a mild facial scrub over the bite and gently work over the area.  The effect of exfoliating is to speed up the turnover of skin cells, so should help the mark to heal faster.

  • Moisturise

After exfoliating, and at regular intervals through the day, apply a little moisturiser to the bite.  Don’t just dab it on top, gently work it into the skin.  Although regular moisturisers like E45 cream should work well, other creams I have seen mentioned as particularly effective are Bag Balm and Aveeno.

  • Use Sun Block

The new skin that forms over your flea bite mark will be vulnerable to hyperpigmentation, which means that it will be likely to go darker than the surrounding skin when exposed to sunlight.  So, whilst it might seem like a good idea to sit in your yard and soak up some rays so that the bite marks get hidden by a tan, in fact the bite marks will simply turn a darker shade.

By all means go in the sun, but as well as applying your regular sun cream to the rest of your skin, apply a total sun block to any bite marks.  Alternatively, apply some fake tan lotion!

  • Eat Well

Heal yourself from the inside out by maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables with a minimum of processed foods.  Consider adding these three natural immune boosters to your diet:

  1. Zinc – shown to reduce healing time and shrink wounds.
  2. Vitamin C – a well-known natural healer.
  3. Bromelain – an enzyme present in pineapples, this boosts immunity and reduces inflammation. [break]

How Long Do Flea Bite Marks Last?

Everyone’s bodies react differently to scarring and how you dealt with the bite in its active phase will have a bearing on healing time too.  If you scratched the bite and broke the skin repeatedly, it’s more likely to take longer to heal, perhaps up to a few weeks.  In an ideal world, someone who has a healthy diet and who managed not to scratch, may get rid of the mark within a week to 10 days.

Hopefully, if you follow these tips, you will reduce your healing time and eliminate your bite marks sooner rather than later.

Summary:

  • Don’t scratch by following our tips here
  • Once your bite is not itchy, follow the four step plan above
  • Don’t forget to treat your pet and your home too!

Photo Credit:  Provided by Gnu Free Documentation License

48 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Flea Bites on Humans

  1. Thank you so much for this. The flea problem has taken my family by surprise and it is the most stressful thing I have gone through in a long time. Thank you for letting me know that this is not scaring us for life!!

    • Hi DG – no, it’s not for life – we are happily flea-free here at the moment, but I know that it can seem like forever when you are working hard to get rid of an infestation. It is hard work, too – the vacuuming every day is particularly tedious, but honestly, it is the best thing you can do (just remember to get rid of the bags every time). Just like the fleas, the flea bites fade away too, but again, waiting for them to go seems to take forever. Just speed it up by eating healthily, avoid scratching and use a cream. Good luck

  2. I’m hoping this will work! I need to get rid of a few flea bites pronto! Hopefully by mid-next week. Thank-you for helping me!

    • Hi Jayd – hope you get rid of them in time for your birthday! Just follow the advice here and DON’T scratch – good luck!

  3. hi dus any1 know how to get fleas to stay of ur body forever coz im going to london and i dont want to go luking like this.
    ten days to see the paraolympics

    • Hi Lucy – if you have flea bites you need to get rid of the fleas which must be on your pet or in your house. They won’t be living on your body. Follow the steps in this post and you should get rid of the flea bites fast – but you need to treat your house and pets to make sure you don’t get more bites.

      Hope you enjoy the Paralympics!

  4. i have been biten quiet a few times by flees no and they have left terrible scarring will the old trick of a detol diluted bath work rather than use them creams im really distressed because of them and i used to have beautiful legs now there not even worth looking at what can i do

    • Hi Sonia – I’ve not heard of using Dettol in a bath for flea bites – it’s an antiseptic, so I guess it will prevent infection, but I can’t vouch for it speeding up the healing process. I think if I wanted to use Dettol I would dilute it and dab it on the bite rather than put my whole body in a bath of Dettol – don’t know that I would be happy getting it all over me.

      I know how you feel about the way your legs may look, but I bet it’s not as bad as you imagine. Try the tips here, they will get rid of the flea bites as quickly as anything else.

      Good luck

      Judi

  5. Ive had these flea bites for a year now. It hasn’t really healed but the skin isn’t broken or anything and the doctors recommended scar removal ..I hope this works and do you recommend I do laser scar removal?

    • Hi Sagal – I’m not a medical practitioner, so it’s your doctor’s advice you should follow. I’ve got no experience at all of laser scar removal. Wish I could help, but it’s outside my experience.

      Kind regards

  6. hi well i had flea bites all over my legs and i have to go to an event in the next 6 days how can i get ride of these or make them fade

    • Hi Chelsea

      My best shot at how to get rid of flea bites quickly is on this post – I don’t have any other tips to work quicker. To a degree it depends on your skin type and your body how quickly they fade. If you are worried, go for a spray tan – it may help cover them up.

      Hope you enjoy your event.

  7. I get absolutely loads of flea bites because we have a long haired cat with them . they are really hard to get rid of and I have had up to 30 on each feet and arms I have major scars as well on my feet and ankles and they have been there for months !

    • Hi Chloe – sorry to hear you are suffering. It actually doesn’t make any difference how long your cat’s hair is – only 5% of the fleas are ever on the animal, the rest are in your home. To avoid more flea bites you need to get rid of the fleas – treat your cat and your home. Doing just one won’t get rid of the fleas. Use a good quality flea treatment on your cat (it will work regardless of type of fur) and any other pets, every month. Follow the link above to find out how to get rid of fleas in your home. If you don’t tackle the cause of your flea bites, you are going to keep getting bitten.

      Good luck!

  8. Thanks Judi , is there any creams you can use because I have tried antihistamine ,benadryl , sodo cream and ice and I’m still waking up in the night itchy ?

    • Hi Chloe – sorry to hear that you are so itchy. Unfortunately, what works for one person doesn’t always work for someone else. In fact, some scientists say that nothing really works, you just have to wait it out :( For what it’s worth, I use Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream and it works for me (I use it on everything though from chapped lips to slight sunburn). Can’t guarantee it will work for you though.
      Good luck!

  9. hi judi.
    im a school girl and this term we have been wearing stockings, and next term which is in six days, we will be wearing roman sandals not tights ! im afraid that everyones going to find out, ive had itchy bites since i was four and i cant get rid of them.

    • Hi mm – you really need to speak to your parents or guardians to sort out the cause of the bites. You can follow the advice here to help get rid of those you have, but if you have been getting bitten for years, you need to have that sorted out.

      Good luck.

  10. Hi, I have waaaay too many flea bites, but no one else in my family has them. & soaking up in the sun? There’s no sun out here. I need a faster cure because these are now ugly scars. I’m wondering if plain itching cream will work just as fine and will scar creams help too?

    • Hi Aria – yes, antihistamines help some people and yes, scar creams may help too (but again, not everyone).

      Don’t forget to sort out the problem of where the flea bites come from!

      Best wishes

  11. I have over 90 flea bites on my body after moving into an infested rented property. They nearly drive me crazy itching and burning. Topical antihistamines are not working, so GP gave me tablet form Fexofenadine and I had to take twice the normal dose, which helped slightly. Also was prescribed Betnovate steriod cream which took the inflammation out of the bites and helped quite a bit. Other topical creams which helped to some degree were Eurax HC which you can get from pharmacy, it also has a mild steroid, which stops the immediate itching but not long term. I also found alcohol hand sanitiser gel dabbed onto the bites helped especially in the night. Hope that might be of help to some one.

    • Hi Lesley – thanks for sharing your experience. I think the bottom line is, if you can’t get the problem under control yourself, always visit your doctor.

      Thanks for the tip about alcohol hand sanitiser gel too!

  12. I got a bunch of flea bites and initially scratched at them. Saw them go from the pink bump to scabby red mark to dark purple welt as you described. The first couple weeks after getting bitten, it appeared they were well on their way to healing and did not itch at all anymore. But now it has been nearly two months and it seems like the healing process may have haulted, as in they are now just the tiny welts/”scars”. I haven’t been treating them with any lotion but I eat pretty healthily. Will the exfoliation/moisturization technique still work this late in the process? Thanks.

    • Hi Andre – yes, I would try it out, even now – it won’t hurt. Just exfoliate gently though – don’t rub too hard.

      Good luck.

  13. I also don’t know why I’m the only one in my family who gets the bites! It’s horrible but thank you so much for these tips!!

    • Hi Choco – it’s so annoying when you are the one the fleas love – been there! Make sure your family treat the house.

      Best wishes.

  14. I’ve had flea bites and been very itchy for almost two months now. I haven’t seen any fleas for a few weeks now. But, am still very itchy. I have tried prednozone and antihistamine. Didn’t work. Any suggestions. Can’t stand the itchiness all over no matter what I do.

    • Hi Terry – see the comment below from Lesley. She used alcohol hand sanitiser to alleviate itching. Not something I’ve heard of, but it may help. If it doesn’t, see the doctor.

  15. Hello! Thanks for the tips. I am staying at a friend’s house currently, and they have no pets, but I am somehow COVERED in flea bites. I have always had very sensitive skin. It’s strange because they’re mostly all over one of my legs, concentrated below and around my knee. I’ve also noticed red, peeling skin around my groin area for the first time in my life. HELP! I don’t know what to do. It’s hot down here in Mississippi, and I am too embarrassed to wear shorts anymore. I’m here for the next week, and I am just slathering on cortisone cream and moisturizer every day. GAH.

    • Hi Leia – are you sure it’s fleas? My father lives in Mississippi and there are a lot of things there that can bite you! I’ve been eaten by fire ants before now on a visit, plus there are mosquitoes, black gnats etc. Can’t imagine that the problem around your groin is anything to do with fleas. Get to see a doctor – sorry, but it doesn’t sound like fleas.

      Good luck.

  16. Hi woke up in the middle of the night and realized I had bites ALLLL over my body. Thought they were spider bites but my family said they’re probably flea bites. The thing is, they don’t itch. Could they still be flea bites? We have two cats.

    • Hi Kat – in my experience flea bites itch, but they can affect people differently. They could be so many things, it’s difficult to say. If they don’t fade, or if you feel ill, see your doctor.

  17. Help!! I have a good body and soon we will have a swimming party but i have these bites all over my legs on the lower part of my legs though and on my stomach and arms its embarrasing to even show up in a bikini with these marks some have turned my skin color but whiter spots and some are still purple i just want them gone but i have tried everything my friends and even my crush has pointed out these marks i feel so hideous with these marks and the worst part the fleas only bite ME not any one else in the family only me! What should i do??

  18. Hello, I’m in year 11 and my prom is coming up meaning i want to wear a dress however ive had my scars for at least a year now and i cant seem to get rid of them and i dont want to show my legs if these scars dont dissapear any ideas?

  19. Shit I got bitten by fleas .. I thought I am allergic to something but its actually the fleas and effected area on my body is dark red and it’s get active at night time and I m having sleepless nights …. How to control this itching and what is the permanent solution for that

  20. for a year I started to get sores around my ankles then they started to move up my leg my legs look like I have chicken pox and they are all scarred I know they are coming from my mattress I don’t what to do, last night I was itching in bed and now they are on my upper legs and arms, I don’t know if I don’t know if they are flea bites or dust mites I am embarrased to wear shorts I asked a doctor what they were and he said he didn’t know or even suggest what to do, do you have any suggestions, I am going crazy with this, Pleeease help?

  21. for a year now I have had bites starting from my ankles then moving up to my legs, last night I was itching in bed and now is on my upper legs and arms and it is scarring I am embarrased to wear shorts, I know they are in my bed I don’t know if they are dust mites or flea bites I asked the doctor what they were and he said he didn’t know or even suggest something, I’m going crazy, Pleease help me. thank you

    • Hi Dolores – do you have pets? Could it be bed bugs. Try here for the difference between dust mites and bed bugs. Bites on your ankles is a classic flea bite pattern, but it’s hard to say without knowing all the details of your circumstances. Read the two links I have given and see if they help. If not, get back to me.

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