After you are bitten by bed bugs, there will be signs on your skin. But, what do bed bug bites look like? Here, you will be able to read about it and some other information about bed bug bites.
The Look of Bed Bugs Bites
If you have been bitten by bed bugs, you will find that your skin is red and the red area is in the form of a dot. The red area is also itchy. Usually, bed bugs bite on the arms or shoulders so that you may find the red signs on those areas. On the Medical News Today site, it is explained that bed bugs usually bite on areas which are exposed during sleeping such as arms, shoulders, legs, face, neck, and hands. Bed bugs have a tendency to leave straight rows of bites. So, they are not like some other insects which leave bites here and there.
As explained on the WebMD site, bed bugs do not seem to spread disease to people, but itching from their bites can be so bad and some people will scratch enough where it can cause breaks in the skin. In some people, the bites can also cause an allergic reaction.
On Medical News Today, it is also explained that there are a lot of people who do not feel the bite itself or develop clear symptoms. They may only see the dots where the bug bit and some minor, surrounding inflammation and irritation.
According to Medical News Today, almost all bed bug bites will generate some degree of discomfort, usually itchiness and inflammation. Other signs and symptoms of bed bug bites are as explained on Medical News Today are able to be read below.
- You will feel a burning painful sensation.
- You will have a raised itchy bump with a clear center.
- You will have a red itchy bump with a dark center and lighter swollen surrounding area.
- You will have small red bumps or welts in a zigzag pattern or a line.
- You will have red bumps surrounded by blisters or hives.
- You will have popular eruptions or areas of skin with raised or flat patches that may be inflamed.
- You will have small spots of blood from bites often dried or stained onto sheets or bed clothing.
- There are reddish or reddish-brown dried stains on fabrics because of bed bug droppings.
- There is white or clear skin which is shed by the nymphs as they mature.
The resulting sore is also affected by the individual characteristics of the bug’s bite and the person who is bitten. It is rare, but some people have or develop severe reactions and symptoms from bed bug bites. Some serious symptoms that need medical attention are fever, blisters, difficulty breathing, feeling nauseous or flu-like, swollen tongue and irregular heartbeat.
The Duration of Bed Bug Bites Last
When you have signs of bed bug bites on your skin, you may wonder how long the bites will last. As explained on the Prevention site, according to Timothy Gibb, PhD, a clinical professor of entomology at Purdue University, the duration of bed bug bite varies from person to person and you usually will not feel the effects of a bed bug bite like itching and those raised red bumps until mid-morning after a bite because of the anesthetic that the bug injected. He adds that they certainly do not feel it when the bite is occurring, but shortly after, probably in a day, for sure. Gibb also says that from there, a bed bug bite will stay with you for usually at least 24 hours, even though they could last three to five days after the initial bite. At that time, the bite will begin to slowly vanish.
When Do Bed Bugs Bite?
Bedbugs are usually active at night and they will bite people while they are sleeping. As explained on the WebMD site, the skin of people is pierced by the bed bugs and then they withdraw blood through an elongated beak. It takes three to 10 minutes for them to be engorged and then they will crawl away unnoticed.
According to Timothy Gibb, which is explained on the Prevention site, bed bugs are most active when people are most sound asleep and it is usually from about 2:00 to 4:00 in the morning. He also adds that it is natural for a parasite like that to do it because it is going to protect it and people will not see it, they will not feel it so that it makes their survivorship much more probable.
How to Treat Bed Bugs Bites?
If you have uncomplicated bed bug sites, there are some treatment options for you. The first treatment that you can do is to clean the wound and you can do that with soap and water. If you want to relieve minor symptoms such as itchy bites, you can use over-the-counter hydrocortisone and you can buy it online, anti-itch creams and antihistamines. Most wounds can heal on their own in a week or sometimes two weeks.
However, if you find that you have severe swelling, inflammation, or itchiness which happens or persists, you have to find medical attention. If there is a dramatic immune response, it may be a sign of an allergic reaction and if it happens, you can get one of the treatments below.
- An injectable corticosteroid
- Epinephrine medication
If there is an infection which occurs, you may be given antibiotics. It is important for you to note that if you have severe itchiness after you are bitten by bed bugs, it may result in further complications such as infection or scarring. If you find that you have severe itching, you may be prescribed corticosteroid creams and antihistamine pills or liquid.
How to Treat Bed Bugs Bites on a Baby?
If you find that your baby or child has been bitten by bed bugs, the first thing that you have to do is to check their mattress, sheets, bed frame and nearby baseboards to find the signs of bed bugs. Then, you have to wash the bites with soap and water to help treat bed bug bites on your child. In addition, you are able to apply a cold compress or over-the-counter anti-itch creams or low-strength steroids. You have to make sure that they do not scratch their skin.
Before you use topical steroid creams or oral antihistamines to treat the bites on the skin of your child, it is better for you to talk with your child’s doctor or pharmacist. It is because some medications may not be safe for babies or young children.