Bed bug bites are common in bed bug infested places and homes. Usually, the bites leave annoying and unsightly lesions or marks on your skin. The lessons may later develop into ugly scars on your skin. Apparently, these lesions and scars form when quick and proper measures are not taken. So, are there measures you can take to get rid of the bed bug bites, marks and scars? What are the best treatments and home remedies for bed bug bites and scars?
Summary of Page Contents
- Signs and Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites
- Signs and Symptoms of Bed Bugs
- Diagnosis of Bed bug bites
- How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
- Home Remedies for Bed Bug Bites
- How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Bites Fast or Overnight
- How to Get Rid Of Bed Bug Scars or Marks
- When to See a Doctor
- What Else Do you Need to Do?
- Sources and References
Signs and Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites
Before you carry out any measure to aim at getting rid of bed bugs, you need to first positively identify them. Certainly, you will be able to take appropriate steps to effectively deal with a problem you understand.
Therefore, try investigating your bites and check for the signs and symptoms of bed bug bites. In summary, the signs may include most or all of the following changes on your skin:
- Reddish raised bumps which may appear as a blister
- They are typically itchy
- The bites are painful and inflamed
- They bites produce a burning sensation
- The lesions resulting from bites are swollen.
- The bites late become firm papules with a central puncture mark
- The bites occur in rows of three to five bites, although some may appear individually
- They occur on the exposed parts of our body such as the hands, arms, feet, legs, neck face and back.
Other signs and symptoms of bed bug bites include,
- Skin problems as a result of vigorous scratching of the bites
- Anxiety and insomnia because you fear you might be bitten again
- Although rarely, the bites may cause anaphylactic response
Note that these signs and symptoms may take up to 10 days to manifest themselves. This is because bed bug bites have a long incubation period.
Signs and Symptoms of Bed Bugs
Another important factor to consider is the presence of the bed bugs in your home. If they are bed bug bites, then the bed bugs must have infested your home.
So, after noticing the bed bug bites on your body, go to your house, especially your bedroom, and check for the signs and symptoms of bed bugs. The bed bug bites are already a sign of bed bug infestation. Other signs and symptoms of bed bug infestation include:
- Nymphs (baby bed bugs) in your house, especially bedding and furniture
- Bed bug stains on your sheets, blankets and mattress
- Live bed bugs on your bed, bedding or nearby pieces of furniture
- Bed bug feces on your mattress and other hiding places
- Bed bug eggs and eggshells on your bedding, mattress and other hiding places
- Characteristic smell that resembles that of overripe raspberries, moldy shoes or coriander in the house
- Bed bug skins (cast skins or casings) on your bedding and other hiding places.
However, you might have spent a night in a place that is infested and you got bitten by the bed bugs there. So, in case you do not find bed bugs or their signs and symptoms in your house, try remembering when you spent a night in a hotel or your friend’s house.
Diagnosis of Bed bug bites
The diagnosis of a bed bug bites is based on the appearance and effects of the bites, which are summarized under the signs and symptoms of bed bug bites in the section above. The presence of bed bugs in your home, in addition to the bites, virtually confirms that they are indeed bedded bug bites.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
You can get rid of bed bug bites using various methods. Here, we outline some of the most common and effective ways treating bed bug bites.
1. Wash the Affected Area with Soap and Water
Immediately you discover that you have bed bug bites, wash the affected area with water and soap. To do this, wet your palms with enough water. Handle the bar soap between your palms and rub it in your hands. Continue rubbing until a thick soapy lather is formed.
Now gently apply the soapy lather on the area affected with the bed bug bite and let it form a thin layer on the area. Gently scrub the area with your soapy palms for a few minutes. Leave the soap to dry on the area. Upon drying, wash it off the area and pat it dry with a towel.
Washing the area with water and soap remove some of the bed bug saliva and other substances left on the bites by the bed bugs. This will help reduce the itching and other allergic reactions due to the bed bug bites. What is more, it helps alleviate chances of the area getting infected through the bed bug bite lesions.
2. Apply a Corticosteroid (steroid) Anti-itch Cream
In case the area affected still itches, apply an over-the-counter (OTC) corticosteroid (steroid) cream on the affected areas. Applying this steroid medication on the bed bug bite site reduces irritation and inflammation. Hence the itching too will subside. In case you need a stronger corticosteroid cream, see your GP as these are only acquired through prescription.
To apply this cream, follow the directions on the package step by step carefully. The OTC cream is usually a very weak one about 1% hydrocortisone and hence may not have any side effects if only used for a short period of about one or two weeks.
In case the doctor prescribes a stronger corticosteroid cream for you, he will also give you the directions to follow when applying. Follow these directions carefully to avoid mistakes which may result in side effects.
3. Apply Calamine Lotion to the Affected Area
Calamine lotion is an effective skin protectant. The lotion works soothing and protecting the skin due to minor skin irritations such as pain, itching and discomfort.
Shake the solution well before using it. You can use a cotton wool t conveniently apply it on the affected area. Follow the directions given for dosage, generally, calamine lotion should not be applied on a large area.
4. Take Oral Medication Such as Antihistamine.
Orally administered medications can also help ease bed bug bites. Take an oral antihistamine to control allergic reactions such as burning sensation inflammation as well as rashes.
One of the common oral antihistamines you can use is diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Benadryl can be acquired from a chemist as an over-the-counter medication.
To properly use this medication, follow the instructions provided on the package carefully. One of the possible side effects of Benadryl is drowsiness. So, use this drug and have a rest. Do not use it and drive because you might not be able to drive safely.
5. Take Pain Killers to Relive Pain Due to the Bites
Are the bed bug bites causing you pain? In such a case you may require taking some pain killers as well. Some of the medications that you can use to relieve pain include
Ibuprofen (Advil): This is an anti-inflammatory drug that does not contain steroids. When used, it reduces the hormones that cause inflammation pain and fever.
Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic acid): This is a very common painkiller that has been used for a long time now. It functions by inhibiting signals of pain in the brain. It also helps reduce fever. It is not suitable for use by children.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol): This is a good alternative for aspirin it is a child who has the bed bug bites. However, acetaminophen will not relieve inflammation.
Home Remedies for Bed Bug Bites
You may also get rid of bed bug bites naturally at home. However, home remedies are usually used when the bed bug bites or their allergic reactions are mild. The common effective home remedies for bed bug bites include the following:
- Ice Pack: Apply an ice pack on the bites. It will help numb the nerves and hence relieve pain and itchiness
- Lemon: Lemon is a natural astringent and has anti-inflammatory properties. It will, therefore, help relieve itchiness and swelling. You can apply lemon juice with a cotton ball or rub a cut piece of lemon on the affected area
- Oatmeal: It helps relieve itching, irritation and inflammation. Make a paste of oatmeal and apply it on the affected area. Rinse it after 10 minutes. Repeat this procedure twice a day.
- Baking Soda: Make a paste of baking soda and apply it on the bites. Wash it off after an hour and apply a moisturizing cream.
- Garlic: Garlic contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that will help prevent infection on the affected area. Crush a few cloves of garlic and apply it to the bed bug bites. Wash it off with water after 10 minutes. Garlic can cause damage to the skin if left of it for long.
- Witch hazel: Witch hazel is well known for being a very strong astringent. Use a cotton wool to apply witch hazel on the affected area. Repeat this procedure twice a day.
- Aloe Vera gel: Aloe Vera has several medicinal properties and essential amino acids and vitamins. Hence it will relieve inflammation and heal the bed bug bites fast. To use it, extract a gel from its leaves and apply it on the affected area
- Apple Cider Vinegar: It has both anti-itching and anti-inflammatory properties. Use a cotton wool to apply raw apple cider vinegar to the affected area. Wash it off with water after 10 minutes. Repeat this twice every day.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Bites Fast or Overnight
If you want to get rid of the bed bug bites fast or overnight, it means that you also have to take very effective measure immediately you bitten by the bed bugs or as soon as you notice the bed bug bites.
By so doing, you will prevent the undesirable effects of the substances left on the bed bug bites as the bed bugs suck your blood. Some of the quick measures that will get rid of the bed bug bites fast or even immediately include:
- Wash the affected area with soap and water immediately you notice the bed bug bites. This will remove the harmful substances left on your skin by the bed bugs while feeding on your blood. Removing most of this substances means that the damage to your skin by the bed bug bites will be minimal
- Apply disinfectants and antibacterial and anti-fungal creams as soon as possible to prevent any infection on your skin. This means that the lessons formed will be mild and hence can heal faster
- Do not scratch the bed bug bites. Instead, use anti-itching to stop the urge to scratch your skin. This way the bed bug bites will heal very fast because they will not be irrigated unnecessarily by scratching
- Use and anti-inflammatory cream immediately to prevent irritation and inflammation of the lesions left behind by the bed bug bites. If you prevent inflammation and irritation, you’re the bed bug bites will disappear soon
- Gently massage the lesions to disperse any pigmentation on the bed bug bite and speed up the recovery of the lesions.
- Using laser treatment for scars will also get rid of your bed bug bites fast. In fact, this treatment will remove the bed bug bites instantly.
How to Get Rid Of Bed Bug Scars or Marks
In some cases of bed bug bites, scars may be left on your skin. Different people respond to bed bug bites differently, depending on the strength their immunity system and their genetic predisposition.
Often, some individuals develop allergic reactions to the substances and antigens left on bed bug bite sites by the bed bugs. The effects of such reactions are far reaching and may result in itching, rashes and inflammation.
As a result, lesions develop on the affected area. The itchiness usually worsens the situations because you may scratch the lesions and worsen their condition.
If this condition is not properly and timely managed, you may end up developing scars on the bitten areas of your skin. The scars may be worsened if you scratch our itchy skin. They may even worsen more if the bed bug bites become infected.
So, the first measure that will help control bed bug bite scars is to do all you can to avoid the formation of the scars. You can achieve this by doing the following
- Wash the affected area to remove the substances left by the bed bugs on bed bug bite
- Avoid scratching you’re the area of your skin with the bed bug bites
- Use medications to mitigate itchiness and inflammation on the bed bug bites
- Use appropriate medications prevent infection on the bed bug bites.
However, if it so happens that you develop scars on your skin as a result of bed bug bites, you will require getting rid of them. It will not matter so much whether it is because of not taking measures to avoid them or due to unavoidable circumstances. You will just need to deal with them.
Some of the measures you can take to get rid of bed bug bite scars or marks include the following.
1. Apply Honey on the Scar
Honey is a natural remedy for general scars on the skin. It works well when used on scars caused by bed bug bites because it has the following properties:
- Honey is a natural skin moisturizer. It will keep your skin moist, healthy and smooth
- Honey is a natural anti-oxidant and contains many vitamins and minerals, which will help repair and help the damaged skin.
- It has antiseptic, antibiotic and anti-fungal properties that help prevent fungal and bacterial infections on the bed bug bite scars
- Wash the affected area and pat it dry
- Gently apply a thin layer of raw honey to the affected area
- Leave it for about 10 minutes
- Now massage the honey with onto the affected area your fingers in circular motions
- Rinse the honey off your skin with cold water and pat it dry with a towel
- Repeat this procedure every day for about two weeks or until the scars significantly fade away
Note: For best results, apply the honey before bed and let it stay overnight, if possible. You can secure it into place with a bandage to prevent smearing your bedding with the honey.
2. Apply Onion Extract
Onions are commonly used as in food as a spice. However, owing to its medicinal properties, it is widely used as a remedy for many skin related problems, including scars.
When it is applied on the bed bite scars, it helps improve collagen production in the skin tissue. The increased production of collagen significantly recovers the appearance of scars on your skin.
- Crash some onions to obtain an onion extract
- Add a little petroleum jelly the onion extract
- Mix them well
- Wash the affected area and pat it dry with a towel
- Apply the mixture onto the area affected by the bed bug bite scars
- Rinse off the extract after about 30 minutes
- Repeat this regularly during the day for about two weeks or until the scars substantially fade away
3. Apply Scar Ointment
Scar treatment ointment helps relieve itchy skin and prevent hyper-pigmentation that usually results in the scars. It is can be obtained from drugstores without a doctor’s prescription. To use this product on your bed bug bite scars, follow the instruction on the package.
4. Massage the Scar
The bed bug bites scars e occur when collagen fibers form over the bed bug bite lesions. You can massage the scars to diminish their appearance and make them disappear faster.
Massaging the scars increases blood circulation and promotes fluid drainage in the affected area. It also spreads and evens the pigmentation, thereby fading it away. Furthermore, massaging the bed bug bite scars helps minimize the swelling of scar tissues.
- Apply pressure to your scars with one of your fingers or the thumb and rub gently in one direction.
- If the scars affect a larger area you can use the palm of your hand to carry out the massage.
- Place your finger or thumb and rub the scar in a circular motion to help promote fluid drainage.
- Repeat this procedure several times a day.
5. Silicone Scar Gel or Silicone Sheets for Scars
Silicon comes in two forms: silicone scar gel, silicone sheets for scars.
- Silicone Scar Gel: This is a product with a thick liquid that contains silicon. To use is, squeeze the gel onto the affected area and gently rub it on the affected area. Compared with silicon sheets, silicone scar gel is more convenient to use and cheaper.
- Silicone Sheets for Scars: In this technique, band-like sheets or stripes that are lined with silicon and become self-adhesive. You then apply these sheets on the scars. Your skin absorbs the silicone from the sheets and heals the scars. When applied to the affected skin, the adhesive sheets feed the silicone into the scars.
Silicone contains antioxidants and healing ingredients that make your scars less conspicuous. It evens the texture of the scarred skin. It also corrects the discoloration of the skin on and around the scars.
How exactly silicone heals and restores scarred skin is not known. However, according to www.dermeffacefx7.com, “experts suggest that the increased pressure, oxygen tension, hydration and the presence of silicone can help promote your skin’s restoration”.
Specifically, silicone sheets create an osmotic barrier that stops loss of water, thereby keeping the scarred area moistened. This is why they are thought to be more effective than silicone scar gel.
The overall result of using silicon is gradual fading away of the scar and eventually having a scar free skin after a few months of use.
6. Use Laser Therapy
When the bed bug bites are so many or the allergic reactions are adverse, the resulting scarring may be extreme. In such cases, it may take quite long to get rid of the bed bug bite scars. The alternative treatment for extreme bed bug bite scars is the use of laser therapy.
Laser therapy for scars not only produces fast results but also much better ones, even when the scars are serious. It is the preferred when you want to get rid of the scars instantly. However, this approach is quite painful and much more costly.
When to See a Doctor
If the bites are very severe or do not respond well to treatment, you need to seek further help. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should see a dermatologist if your bed bug bites or their allergic reactions exhibit the following characteristics:
- They are Severe and several bites
- Produce blister-like rashes
- They cause severe itching
- Produce itchy papules or nodules (red)
- They include isolated macules (flat red spots)
- Pus forms in the bed bug bites
- The bed bug bites ooze some liquid
- They cause itchy wheals (local urticaria or hives)
- Any other severe allergic reaction probably is connected with the bed bug bites
- Signs of infected bed bug bites. Bed bug bites may get bacterial or fungal infections if proper measures are not taken to prevent these infections. Scratching them with your fingers, especially when they are not clean, may lead such infections. Such pathogens often lie under your fingernails and hence are easily passed to the bites when you scratch them.
When you see your doctor, he will examine your bites or the allergic reactions. Depending on the severity of your condition he may prescribe antibiotic therapy. He may also give you a corticosteroid, antihistamine, or epinephrine injection if you experience severe allergic reactions.
What Else Do you Need to Do?
Treating the bed bug bites while your house is still infested will make no sense at all. The bed bugs will continue biting you as you attempt to treat their bites. So, will need to get rid of the bed bugs in your house immediately. Alternatively, call a bed bug exterminator to eradicate the bed bugs in your house
Video How to Get Rid Of Bed Bug Bites
Sources and References
- How to Treat Bed Bug Bites: http://www.wikihow.com/Treat-Bed-Bug-Bites
- How To Treat Bed Bug Bite Scars And Marks: http://www.bedbugsbites.net/how-to-treat-bed-bug-bite-scars-and-marks/
- Silicone Scar Sheets: 5 Advantages of Skin Treatments: https://www.dermeffacefx7.com/info/silicone-scar-sheets/
- Signs Your Room Has Bed Bugs: https://www.terminix.com/blog/diy/signs-your-room-has-bed-bugs
- When Bed Bugs Bite: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/bed-bug-bites#3
- How to Get Rid of Acne Scars Overnight Fast: http://www.howhunter.com/skin-care/get-rid-of-acne-scars-overnight-fast/
- How to get rid of scars from bed bug bites? http://woundcaresociety.org/how-to-get-rid-of-scars-from-bed-bug-bites
- 34 Easy Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites: http://www.homeremedyhacks.com/34-easy-home-remedies-to-get-rid-of-bed-bug-bites/