Most people who have been the victim of bed bug bites know that the result can be an itchy red rash on the skin. While there is no real health concern normally associated with bed bug bites, the rash can remain for several days or weeks, adding to stress levels. There is also the possibility of developing an infection if the area is scratched too much. Dealing with bed bug bites means finding ways to reduce the need to scratch and speeding the healing process.
How to deal with bed bug bites
Despite the fact bed bugs are not known to cause health problems in the humans they bite, it is still a good idea to see a physician when a rash develops even if it is believed to be caused by the pests. The doctor should be consulted to rule out any other causes. If the bites of bed bugs are found to be the reason for the rash, additional medical attention is unlikely. With enough time, provided the parasites are eliminated from the home, the rash will go away. In the meantime, the victim likely will want to take some action to soothe the affected area.
*There are several methods that can reduce the itchiness caused by the rash. Finding the one that works for a particular person will likely require trial and error. Some people find relief by soaking in a tub of lukewarm water. Adding a couple of tablespoons of ground oatmeal also helps. Applying creams or lotions with anti-itch properties, such as Benadryl or hydrocortisone, may also help. A homemade cream consisting of baking soda and salt can be applied to the affected area. Others have found petroleum jelly to be helpful. Fresh Aloe Vera gel could also be applied directly to the bites.
*Part of the healing process will require drying out the bites. Those who are not allergic to aspirin may use a facial toner with acetylsalicylic acid on the affected areas. Dissolving Alka-Seltzer in water can serve the same purpose. Other products that can help speed the healing process are calamine lotion, damp basil leaves, lemon juice combined with St. John’s Wort and cleaning the areas with anti-bacterial soap.
*After the ointments have been applied a bandage can be wrapped around the rash to prevent scratching.
*If the itchiness cannot be controlled and scratching persists, it may be necessary to visit the doctor, especially if an infection occurs. The physician may prescribe a steroid to deal with the itching and antibiotics for the infection.
The bites of bed bugs cause a reaction in the majority of people that result, at most, in discomfort due to an itchy, red rash. Dealing with them is little different than handling other skin irritations. Reducing the need to scratch is of prime importance so as to avoid any more serious medical issues.
Karen Barnes writes for site that has more advice on treating a bite rash.