What to Do if You Have Bed Bug Bites and How to Get Rid of Them
Bed bugs are one of the nasty pests that people cringe at simply from the name. They feed on blood and infest your bed, after all, a place supposedly safe and comfortable. Not somewhere you’d imagine bugs to be lurking. Bed bugs are tiny and oval shaped, colored reddish-brown, with flat bodies. They don’t have wings, and rely on humans to carry them from one place to the next. You’ll find them not just in beds but in carpets and furniture, so tiny that you barely even notice their presence until it’s too late. Soon, you’ll notice the bites.
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Almost always, the way someone is alerted to the infestation is because of bites. You’ll begin to notice small red bumps in your skin that itch like crazy. Because the bugs are in your home and not going anywhere, the bites will continue, with new ones popping up regularly. There may be days between bites, as bed bugs don’t need to eat every day, but if you don’t take care of the problem, the bites will continue, and they’ll get worse.
Some ways you can treat bed bug bites fast include:
- Washing the site with soap and water to prevent infection and soothe irritation.
- Calamine lotion to help get rid of the itching.
- Administering one of a variety of home remedies to sooth irritation and redness.
Are you unsure of whether or not you’ve got bed bug bites? There are some distinct symptoms you’ll notice with them that are unlike other insect bites. Go here for more information on bed bug bite symptoms.
Not Just Fast – Overnight
One way you can treat bed bug bites and see overnight results is with ice. Put some ice cubes in a paper towel or thin cloth and press onto your bites for several minutes. The cold will decrease redness and swelling, even helping with some of the itchiness.
Baking soda paste will also help speed along bug bite recovery. Its natural properties drastically reduce inflammation and swelling, and take away the irritation and redness. Also, baking soda is a very cheap solution. Mix one teaspoon with enough water to make a paste, then apply to the bed bug bites and leave on overnight, then rinse with cool water.
Scratching and picking at bed bug bites can cause scarring and should be avoided. If you leave them alone, they should disappear without a trace, although in severe cases they’ll leave a mark behind. For more information on how to get rid of bed bug bite scars, go here.
Bed bug bites are similar to other insect bites in that they’re bumps that will eventually go away. Something that can complicate the matter, however, is if you scratch or pick at them. You can easily get an infection from turning bites into open sores, which then becomes a more complicated health matter.
The best way to heal bed bug bites is to not let them get infected. Not only will you need antibiotics to control an infection, you could be left with scars as a result of it.
Treatment for your skin
Bed bugs live on a diet of blood. They secrete a natural antiseptic onto your skin so that you can’t feel them bite you, then dig their teeth into you and feed on your blood until filled.
Your skin is such a delicate organ that it reacts to such an assault by producing bites with the following features:
- Red or pink,
- Painful (although rare).
Products with steroids and anti-itch properties can help your skin, as well as over the counter anti-inflammatories, and home remedies.
Although it is rare, some people may have an allergic reaction to certain insect bites, including bed bugs. Symptoms range from large welts and severe swelling, to a more severe reaction like anaphylaxis. If you have difficulty breathing or feel a tightness in your chest, seek medical help right away.
When you’ve got bites on your face
Who in their right mind wouldn’t freak out at the sight of bed bug bites on their face? Bumps from acne or mosquitos are one thing, but to imagine bugs crawling on your face as you sleep is incredibly creepy.
When you’ve got bed bug bites on your face, the same protocol as the rest of your body applies, with a few exceptions:
- If you’re prone to acne, try and use a cream or ointment that isn’t too heavy or greasy.
- Stay away from anything too harsh and acidic, as the skin on your face is more delicate and sensitive than the rest of your body.
- Take great care to avoid getting any kind of product in your eyes, mouth, or nostrils.
Who doesn’t hate to see their children with insect bites? When it comes to bed bug bites, you’ll want to help your toddler get rid of them right away. Click here for more details on bed bug bites on toddler.
How Can I Cure Bites?
Can you cure the bites? Well, they aren’t a disease, necessarily, but they are something that can be dealt with and fought against. And there’s more than one way you can do it.
An ointment is different than a cream in that it is oil-based instead of water-based. This makes it stay on the skin’s surface longer, while a cream will absorb into the layers quickly. An ointment is more effective at delivering the product’s active ingredient.
Examples of an ointment you might use for bed bug bites are ones containing steroids, or a mixture of essential oils to soothe and heal the site.
The good thing about bed bugs is that their bite won’t cause an infection in and of itself. Bacteria get into the skin when the bite is opened up by scratching or picking. If it gets infected, you’ll need to then take antibiotics, either through a cream or ointment, or in more serious cases, oral medication.
Irritation from a bed bug’s bite causes a lot of itching. So much so that it can get incredibly annoying and make you want to scratch at it. But remember – scratching can lead to infection!
Anti-itch creams are available both over the counter and through prescription and come in different varieties:
- Hydrocortisone: The most common of the anti-itch creams, this steroid drastically reduces the amount of itch you’ll feel. Over the counter strengths range from 1%-10%, while prescription strength will be higher.
- Antihistamine: Creams that contain an antihistamine like Benadryl will also help with the itch of a bed bug bite, slowing the reaction.
- Calamine: This lotion is a mixture of zinc oxide and ferric oxide and is pink in color. It’s used for a number of ailments, all of which include itchiness, and is a great solution for helping with bed bug bites.
Hydrogen peroxide is a very powerful oxidant and highly corrosive, and some say is good for bed bug bites. While it may provide a small solution in some way, overall, hydrogen peroxide is not a good answer when it comes to bed bug bites. Its acidic nature will damage healthy skin tissue and can cause scarring and burns.
As a spray, hydrogen peroxide can be deadly to bed bugs, making it a viable option to killing the pests. But be careful, as it can stain clothing and bedding.
Unlike bugs such as mosquitos and ticks, bed bugs don’t carry disease. However, you can risk a bacterial infection through scratching. The human body not only has bacteria residing on your skin at all times, but you also pick up bacteria on your hands from touching common surfaces. Once you open up the bites through picking or scratching, it provides a way for the bacteria to get in and cause an infection.
You don’t have to go further than your home for solutions to bed bug bites. Not only are there effective options right in your grasp, they’re effective, too.
- Lemon juice: The acidic nature of lemon juice helps to dry out the rashes from a bed bug’s bite, as well as decreasing inflammation.
- Aloe Vera gel: Extract of the aloe vera plant is used for many different skin issues, including bug bites. It’s active compounds and amino acids help aid in soothing and healing inflammation and swelling, and help stem itching as well.
- Apple cider vinegar: The acetic acid in this versatile liquid helps with inflammation and itching, as well as burning, and can be found in any grocery store.
- Mint toothpaste: It may sound odd, but toothpaste really can help with bed bug bites. The menthol in a minty toothpaste is a natural soother, which helps take away a lot of that annoying itching.
- Soothing bath: Combine many methods into one by taking a soothing bath. Fill a bathtub with warm water and add essential oils like lavender and peppermint, mix in some oatmeal, and maybe even some aloe extract. For an even greater effect, use baking soda paste on your bites beforehand, then wash off once in the bath.
The Best Treatments Out There
The best treatments for bed bug bites depend on the severity and duration of your problem. If your bites are mild, a simple baking soda paste may be the solution you’re waiting for. If you’re suffering from a more severe case, you probably want to go with a mixture of solutions like calamine lotion, maximum strength hydrocortisone cream, and natural remedies.
Some products that might be helpful include:
- Cortisone-10 Anti-itch Cream Maximum Strength.
- Caladryl Skin Protectant Lotion.
- Afterbite Insect Bite Treatment.
Of course, the ultimate way to ensure your bites go away is to make sure the bugs causing the bites in the first place are killed. Follow the standard killing protocol by using a product that kills the bed bugs, washing all bedding and any clothing affected by them in hot water, and thoroughly vacuuming all surfaces they might be able to hide in.
Don’t worry too much about your bites. The bugs don’t carry disease, and the bites will go away as long as your infestation is eliminated. Use the methods described to soothe and heal your bites, get some relief, and watch your skin become clear and beautiful again in no time!
You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.