Do flea bites look like pimples?

Summary

Flea bites don’t look like pimples. However, the bites are itchy and induce scratching. And scratching can lead to secondary infections. Pus-filled bacterial infections can look like zits or whiteheads.

Details

Flea Bites don’t Contain Pus

Flea bites usually take the form of small, red welts (papules). Occasionally, some individuals experience more extreme reactions, such as blisters (vesicles and bullae). The blisters can be fluid-filled, but they won’t contain pus like a pimple.

Secondary Infections can Contain Pus

Itching, Scratching & Bacterial Infections

Flea bites are extremely itchy and often provoke scratching. Rubbing or scratching the bites can break open skin, resulting in fluid release and crusting. Secondary bacterial infections are common. Infected bites can fill with pus (pustules and boils), and resemble pimples. Secondary infections remain mildly to moderately itchy.

Healing & Prevention

Secondary infections heal over the course of 4 to 6 weeks, which is much longer than average flea bites. Skin discoloration will remain longer. In some instances, oral antibiotics may be needed to cure the infection. To prevent secondary infections: Avoid scratching, keep hands and nails clean, and moisturize the bite area so skin doesn’t dry and crack open.

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