Are Bed Bug Bites Itchy
People have different reactions when it comes to insect bites and the same goes for people bitten by bed bugs. One person may develop bad reactions including itchiness, redness, and swelling while another may not experience any reactions at all.
The symptoms may vary from person to person and depending on how a person is severely allergic to the bites. Understanding the symptoms and effects of bites will also help you determine the right treatment.
Are Bed Bug Bites Very Itchy?
As mentioned, every person has a different reaction to the bites. But among the common symptoms that people experience is itching. This may aggravate with constant scratching and not getting the right treatment for the bites.
Bedbugs are small pesky critters that feed off your blood from humans. They can also feed off animals in case they are left with no choice or inhabited an outdoor place.
Their common hiding places is your bed, upholstered furniture, bed frames, clothing, carpet, and cracks and crevices where they can stay near you and allow them to feed when you are not moving. They are usually active at night and are feeding off humans when they are sleeping.
When looking for signs of bed bug infestation, you should look for insects that are about 7mm long or the size of an apple seed with flat and oval-shaped bodies that are reddish-brown. Unlike other blood-sucking insects, these critters are wingless and rely on humans or animals to move from one place to another.
Though bedbugs bite a person numerous times in one blood meal, they are not known to transmit diseases. However, their bites are itchy. When not treated, these bites may become infected or result in an allergic reaction.
Bed Bug Bites Are They Itchy?
These critters get their blood meal by piercing the human skin and suck blood through their elongated beaks. It would take about 10 minutes for them to become engorged with blood and crawl back to their hiding places unnoticed.
Unlike mosquito bites that are itchy and sometimes painful right after getting bitten, bites from a bed bug are usually painless at first. However, the bitten parts will become itchy welts after hours.
The bites are usually found on skin that is exposed while you are sleeping. Some of these parts are the following:
Most people will not experience any symptoms other than small red spots that are surrounded by irritation and inflammation.
Unlike flea bites, these bites do not have a red dot in the middle. Most people will not realize that the bites they get are attributes to an infestation. For you to know if the bites are from these critters, you must identify the bugs first and look for signs of their presence in your property.
Common Bed Bug Bite Symptoms
There are times when symptoms progress or develop days after getting the bites. Without getting irritated, the symptoms may subside on its own after a week or two.
Most bites from these critters produce discomfort typically because of inflammation and irritation. Other notable symptoms that a person may develop are the following:
- Burning painful sensation on the affected area
- Raised itchy bumps with a clear center
- Itchy red bumps with a dark center or with slight swelling around the area
- Small welts or red bumps in a line or zigzag pattern
- Small bumps surrounded by hives or blisters
- Papular eruptions or parts of the skin with flat or raised inflamed patches
As mentioned, it is rare, but some people develop severe reactions to the bites. Some serious symptoms that may require medical assistance are:
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling flu-like or nauseous
- Irregular heartbeat
- Swollen tongue
Aside from these symptoms, there are other health complications that a person may experience from living in a place with these critters:
- Sleep deprivation
Knowing that there are these critters in your bed and are waiting to feed off you is extremely stressful. One may experience not getting enough sleep fearing that they will get bitten again and suffer from severe reactions. Some are even avoiding sleep just to avoid getting bitten by critters that they barely see.
- Increased risks for infection
Since the skin’s surface is always exposed, there is a great chance that the bites will get infected.
- Decreased wellbeing
Since a person will most likely experience sleep deprivation, other people may develop fatigue, depression, anxiety, and lower immune function. Misconceptions about bed bugs regarding the lack of cleanliness can also add to the feelings of low self-esteem and depression.
If you are already suspecting the presence of these pesky critters in your home and are the cause of your bites, it is highly recommended that you contact a pest control company to address the infestation immediately.
Treatments for Bed Bug Bites
You should immediately contact a dermatologist if you develop symptoms such as:
- Countless bite marks
- Skin infection like ooze discharge or the bitten area feels tender
- Swelling and skin redness or hives
When checked, your dermatologist may prescribe any of the following:
- For people with allergic reactions, they may need an antihistamine, epinephrine, or corticosteroid.
- When dealing with an infection, they may require a prescription of an antibiotic. An antiseptic medication is usually prescribed when the infection is still mild. Your dermatologist may also recommend an antiseptic when deemed needed. Follow your prescription for faster healing.
- For people dealing with uncontrollable itchiness, an antihistamine liquid or pill may be prescribed or the application of corticosteroid to the affected area.
At-home treatments can also be done if you do not want to go to a dermatologist. These treatments include:
- Wash the affected area with soap and water. This will alleviate the itchiness and prevent skin infections from developing.
- Application of corticosteroid cream to bitten areas. You can get an OTC corticosteroid cream and use it in the affected areas. A prescription is necessary if you are opting for a stronger corticosteroid cream.
Without treatment, bites can usually heal completely after a week or so. To avoid getting more bites, you must call for experts to deal with the infestation.