Bed Bug Bite How To Heal
Bed bugs: Six cheap and natural solutions to treat itchy bites at home
BED BUG bites can be extremely irritating, especially if you have a serious infestation and lots of bites, but there are ways to deal with them. David Cross, head of Technical Training at Rentokil Pest Control outlines six ways to treat the itch.
Bed bugs are small insects that live in the cracks and crevices in and around beds, and the recent heatwave has caused a reported increase in their numbers in the UK.
They crawl out at night and bite exposed skin, leaving small, red lumps. Bites can appear from a few minutes after being bitten up to a week or two later, according to the NHS.
Although bed bug bites are painless, they can be very itchy and irritating.
“Bedbugs aren’t dangerous and don’t spread any diseases, but some people experience a reaction to their bites and they can be stressful to live with,” the NHS said.
There are many natural remedies and ‘old wives tales’ on what you can use to help reduce the inflammation and itching associated with bed bug bites
David Cross, Rentokil Pest Control
So what’s the most effective method of treating bed bug bites?
“There are many natural remedies and ‘old wives tales’ on what you can use to help reduce the inflammation and itching associated with bed bug bites,” said Rentokil’s David Cross.
According to Cross, there are six treatments to try, which should be applied after washing the bites with soap and water, before drying them.
This relieves itching and also helps to dry rashes and protect the skin.
Baking soda and water
Make a paste with baking soda and water, and apply it directly to the skin. Let it dry before wiping away with a cotton pad.
Bed bug bites are painless but can be itchy and irritating (Image: Getty Images)
The menthol contained in toothpaste is said to be a good anti-itch remedy. Apply a generous amount to the bite to soothe the burning sensation and relieve the itching.
This provides a mild anaesthetic effect that helps to calm the itching caused by bites.
Both “fresh” Aloe Vera or gel works well against insect bites. The active substances and amino acids present in Aloe Vera help relieve itching and burning sensations.
This has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is also a natural astringent. Lemon juice can help dry rashes and itchiness while reducing redness and swelling.
As bed bugs are small and only come out at night, they can be difficult to spot and it is therefore not always easy to identify if you have an infestation.
Bed bug bites usually fade in a few days, but there are ways to treat the itch (Image: Getty Images)
Bed bugs often bite in lines or clusters on the skin (Image: Getty Images)
Bed bugs: How to spot them and how to get rid of them
Bed bugs: What are bed bugs? How to spot an infestation and how to get rid of them.
Bed bugs: How to spot them and how to get rid of them
However, one thing which distinguishes them from other biting insects is the pattern in which they bite.
Because they are crawling insects, as opposed to flying insects such as mosquitoes, bed bugs often bite in lines or clusters across the skin.
Bed bug bites also usually occur on exposed areas such as the face, neck, hands or arms.
In more severe cases, bed bug bites may cause a rash or fluid-filled blisters. They can also become infected with bacteria if scratched.
According to the NHS: “The bites usually fade in a few days. If they’re very itchy, you can buy a mild steroid cream (such as hydrocortisone) or antihistamine tablets to relieve the itch.”
“See your GP if you develop signs of a skin infection, including pain, redness and swelling, as you may need antibiotics,” the NHS said.
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How to Treat an Infected Bug Bite
Bug bites are fairly common and generally require only minimal first aid.However, as with any wound or injury, it’s possible for bacteria to enter the broken skin and cause an infection. Minor skin infections may be treated with home care, but a serious infection must be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.
Prevent infection. Immediately wash the bug bite with warm water.Use an antiseptic or antibacterial soap.Do this several times a day for 2 days.
Apply a hot compress to the area of the bug bite after you have cleaned the bite with soap and water if you suspect the scab of the bite is becoming infected.Leave the compress on for 10 minutes.
Mix a solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 3 parts water. Apply this solution to the scab and affected area.
Combine 1 part Betadine to 3 parts water and apply to the bug bite and let it dry on the skin for 2 minutes.Wash the solution off completely.
Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment up to four times a day.
Cover the bug bite with a bandage to keep from scratching, which will make you more susceptible to infection.
Know how to recognize a serious skin infection. Look for redness and swelling that has enlarged beyond the area of the bite. Check to see if the area is warm and tender to the touch. Watch for pus or drainage in the area of the bite.
Betadine is a topical over-the-counter antiseptic used to treat infection.
Call your physician if the infected scab area does not improve within 48 hours of home treatment. Contact your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of a skin infection or you have a fever, body aches or chills. You may have a serious bacterial infection that requires a specific diagnosis and prescription strength antibiotics.
Bug bites are fairly common and generally require only minimal first aid. Use an antiseptic or antibacterial soap. Apply a hot compress to the area of the bug bite after you have cleaned the bite with soap and water if you suspect the scab of the bite is becoming infected. Combine 1 part Betadine to 3 parts water and apply to the bug bite and let it dry on the skin for 2 minutes.
How To Treat Bed Bug Bite Scars And Marks – 20 Proven Remedies
In this guide, we will study some remedies that will help you treat bed bug bite scars and marks, but if you do not take care of your bed bug infestation, then chances are that you will continue to need these remedies over and over. So, use bed bug prevention and management strategies in order to get rid of bed bugs in the first place.
How do you know you have bed bugs?
If you are going to bed at night but waking up from time to time due to intense itching then there is a high probability that you are dealing with a bed bug infestation. You might even have mosquitoes but if you are already using electric mosquito repellent then that possibility is rare. Chances are that you are dealing with a bed bug situation which, if left untreated, might escalate out of control.
Here are some tell tale signs of bed bugs:
- If you check the corners of your mattress you might see some rust colored stains.
- Bed bugs usually hide during the daytime and feed at night; so you might not catch one in action. If you wake up in the middle of the night and are lucky, you might see one crawling on your bed.
- Bed bug bites start with red wheals which later turn into firm papules having a central puncture mark.
- Bed bug bite reactions occur in people who are sensitive to the protein in the bedbug’s saliva. Others may not experience any reaction owing to the fact that they have become immune to the bug bites.
- In children, bed bug bites can lead to permanent scarring and marks on the skin. These are generally harder to treat especially if prompt medical treatment is not administered.
Do bed bug bites scar? Or is it something else….
Bed bug bites per se do not scar; it is the scratching action performed with sharp or dirty fingernails that can cause scarring. Since bed bug bites usually occur at nighttime when one is fast asleep, it is not possible to control the urge to scratch. Scratching the bed bug bite can lead to rashes and can even form pus and secondary infections of the skin. Even after a few days of the bite, the skin still continues to itch. If the victim scratches the site of the bite, s/he might accidentally remove the scab that is forming on the skin while it heals. This leads to scar formation.
How to get rid of bed bug bite scars and marks?
There are many remedies- some home remedies and others surgical procedures obtained at a professional- that can help you get rid of bed bug bite scars and marks.
20 top remedies to treat bed bug bite scars
- As soon as the bite occurs, wash your skin with warm water and some soap. This will remove the protein form the bug’s saliva from the skin and lessen its reaction. Pat the skin dry.
- Apply some antibacterial cream like Neosporin to prevent infections.
- If your skin is very itchy, apply some over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. This will reduce itchiness and help prevent scar formation.
- If you do not have the above products at home, you can use some raw organic honey to soothe the bite marks. Honey reduces inflammation and also its antibacterial action can prevent scars and marks.
- One of the best remedies to treat bed bug bite scars and marks is to liberally apply Calamine lotion all over the bite. Calamine cools the skin and reduces itchiness. Children can benefit from this remedy as it can soothe all kinds of insect bites and stings-so always keep a bottle of Calamine lotion with you if you are traveling or happen to stay at bed bug infested motels.
- Another mention-worthy natural remedy to treat bed bug bite scars and marks is Aloe Vera gel. These days, products containing Aloe vera gel are readily available in the markets. Alternatively, you can directly cut open the leaf of the Aloe plant and apply the gooey gel on the bites.
- Vitamin E is another useful scar prevention remedy. This natural antioxidant heals and nourishes the skin to reduce permanent scarring from all kinds of bug bites.
- If the bed bug bite scars are very deeply set, you can apply scar treatment creams available at drugstores. Some common creams that reduce scars include MeDerma® Advanced Scar Treatment Gel.
- Salicylic acid is a powerful acne remedy that controls scarring. It can also prevent bed bug bite scars.
- Witch hazel is another natural skin healing remedy which contains natural salicylic acid that is effective against scarring. So you can apply some witch hazel on the bed bug bite marks to reduce scars.
- Baking soda is another simple home remedy that can help you get rid of bed bug bite marks. Apply baking soda paste mixed with some water on the bed bug bite marks to get instant relief from itchiness, redness, pain and inflammation. This will prevent you from scratching the bites in order to stop scars and marks.
- John’s Wort is another completely natural remedy that can treat many conditions one of which is getting rid of bed bug scars and marks.
- In case of extreme bite marks all over your body, it is best to take a hot tub bath or hot shower. You may even fill up the bath with hot water and some essential oils. These include Tea tree oil, peppermint oil etc. Since these oils have antibacterial properties, they help reduce chances of an infection.
- You can dab some essential oil of Basil directly on the bite marks. This helps bring out the saliva of the bed bug to the surface of the skin and can prevent scars and marks from forming.
- Applying some Crotamiton cream and Lotrix cream for two weeks can also clear up bed bug scars.
- For children with intense allergic reaction to bed bug bites, some Benadryl can help relieve itching temporarily.
- Vitamin K based creams are also known to help treat scars of all kinds. Many good products are readily available in drugstore containing this vitamin that heals, soothes, protects and nourishes the skin.
- Silicone gel is another proven remedy for treating bed bug scars. It is available in stores in the form of sheets or gels. If you are using silicone gel sheets, simply apply it over the scar so that your skin absorbs it. Note that this is a slight expensive treatment for getting rid of bed bug bite scars and marks.
- Massaging the scars can also help even out the pigmentation on the skin. So, once the bites have healed, go for a body massage or you can even DIY massage at home before bathing. Use quality oils for massage such as Sweet Almond oil, coconut oil, Olive oil etc.
- In case you have bed bug bite scars on your face, neck, upper back or other exposed body parts and you wish to regain perfectly healthy skin, you may consider some of the expensive surgical solutions to get rid of scars permanently. These include laser therapy that can be obtained at a dermatologist.
Apart from these 20 home remedies that treat bed bug bite scars, make sure you also visit our extermination section to get rid of bed bugs permanently.
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How to Heal Bed Bug Bites
"Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite" is, when you think about it, a pretty awful thing to say to a child right before you expect her to fall asleep. Bed bug bites are itchy, occasionally painful, and can look like anything from a white raised welt (like a mosquito bite) to a rash, to large red welts on the skin.
If you have bed bugs in your home, you can’t stop them from biting; they live off your blood. But there is a lot you can do to alleviate the discomfort, including getting rid of the bed bugs themselves.
Stop the allergic reaction. Bed bug bites itch because you’re allergic to the substance the bed bug injects into the bite to delay blood clotting. A topical allergy cream such as Benadryl or anti-allergy pills such as Benadryl capsules should help the itching. Apply the cream or take the pills according to the directions on the package.
Cut the itch. For small children or other people who cannot take Benadryl, dab some white vinegar on the bites. The vinegar should dissolve the "itchy" chemical, and the slight sting should stop the itch.
Put the bites on ice. For instant relief, apply an ice pack to the affected area.
Lessen the number of bites. Less bites equal less itching, and there are things you can do to survive until the exterminator arrives. One is to frame your mattress top with double-sided tape. The bed bug will be stuck on the tape on its way to you and can’t bite you. Another solution is to place your mattress in a mattress cover or mattress bag. This is not a mattress pad that keeps the top of your mattress clean and dry; this is a huge fabric or vinyl, zippered sack that covers your entire mattress–and traps the bugs inside where they can’t get to you.
Some sources suggest using calamine lotion on bed bug bites. However, calamine lotion can dry out the surrounding skin and exacerbate the itch.
How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last and How to Heal them Faster
Bed bugs can leave a nasty cluster of bites on your skin that can last for a few days. For some people, however, bed bug bites can cause allergic reaction and symptoms that last much longer. Bed bug bites can cause a red bump to appear on the skin that becomes very itchy and irritating. Although scratching the itchy bump may give some temporary relief, it can cause the bed bug bites to last even longer.
Thankfully, there are many home remedies that can help to recover faster from bed bug bites. Ingredients like tea tree oil, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and witch hazel help to reduce the time bed bug bites last. Even just a cold compress is sometimes enough to quickly stop the itching and reduce the swelling that is left after a bed bug bite.
Of course, bed bug bites will last as long as you have a bug infestation in your bedroom. Therefore, as well as treating bed bug bites, you should take steps to get rid of bed bugs from your home. The faster you can remove a population of bed bugs, the quicker you can stop the pesky bugs biting you during the night.
In this article, you will learn how long bed bug bites last and what you can do to speed up the healing process. You will also find how to treat bed bug bites with natural remedies to ensure that the bed bug bite symptoms don’t last long.
How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?
If you notice red bite marks on your legs, face, arms, or back, your first thought will be to know how long the bed bug bites will last. Having bites on your face or arms is not only irritating but can also be very embarrassing. Bed bug bites can cause large bumps or welts that look unsightly and may even become infected.
According to doctors at the National Health Service (NHS), bed bug bites generally last for a few days. The bites are painless, but irritating symptoms can quickly appear. For some people, they wake up in the morning with bite marks from being bitten that night. 1
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the symptoms of bug bites may appear up to 2 weeks after the actual bite. Therefore, it’s important to distinguish if the bites are from bed bugs or from another pest like a flea. 2
If you suffer from an allergic reaction to the bed bug bite, the red itchy bumps may last longer than on other people. The NHS says that, in some severe cases, bed bug bites can cause an itchy rash that blisters and fills with fluid. 1 According to Dr. Steven Doerr on eMedicineHealth, these kinds of bed bug bites will usually last for up to 2 weeks. 3
Unfortunately, bed bug bites will last longer if they become infected. The CDC says that excessive scratching of the bite marks can lead to bacteria getting into the red bump and so the bump becomes infected. 2
How to identify bed bug bites
If you notice that red marks have developed on your skin and they become itchy and swollen, it’s important to know if the red lumps are from a bed bug or another parasite.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that the symptoms of bed bug bites are a red mark or lump with a darker spot in the middle, itching around the infected area, and bite marks that are in a line or cluster. If you notice these kinds of bite marks on your skin, then you should check your sleeping area for signs of bed bugs. 4
To help identify if the bite marks have been left by bed bugs, you should now check all joints and crevices on your bed frame, box springs, furniture, and mattress seams for tell-tale signs of a bed bug infestation.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that physical signs of bed bugs are dark spots on bed linen that can be blood spots or bed bug feces, pale yellow shed skins, and tiny bed bug eggs. You may even notice the tiny biting pests crawling around corners of mattresses and bed frames. You can spot them because they are about the size of an apple seed and will generally hide in dark places. 5
If you find evidence of bed bugs living in your home, then it’s time to take action to remove the critters completely. For this, you may need to use a combination of the best bed bug powders along with effective bed bug sprays.
If you can’t find signs of a bed bug infestation, then your bite marks could have been caused by a flea.
Bed bug bites vs flea bites
Flea bites also cause itchy red bumps to appear on the skin and can last as long as bed bug bites. However, fleas will bite at any time of the day, whereas bed bugs tend to only come out at night to feed on blood. Because bed bug bites can appear up to 2 weeks after the initial bite, they can be difficult to tell apart.
One way to tell the difference between a flea bite and bed bug bite is their location on your body. According to dermatologists on DermNetNZ, flea bites tend to be on the ankles or around your waist. 6 However, bed bugs will bite any part of the body, and bite marks are common on the face, arms and upper legs, whereas flea bites are not.
According to doctors from WebMD, the best way to tell bed bug bites apart from flea bite is to look for physical signs of bed bug activity. 7
Lasting effects of bed bug bites
Bed bug bites have no lasting effect on humans. According to the CDC, bed bugs don’t spread disease and their bite marks will only last about 2 weeks or so. 2
One of the reasons, however, to treat bed bug bites as fast as possible is to reduce the itching and irritation that they cause. Doctors from the NHS warn that excessive scratching of a bed bug bite can cause skin infections, and if this leads to scarring, the bed bug bite scars will last for a long time. 1
How to Recover Faster from Bed Bug Bites
Recovering quickly from bed bug bites is important to reduce the irresistible urge to scratch the bite marks. Usually, doctors recommend hydrocortisone ointments to reduce swelling, inflammation, and itching. Here are some great ways you can make your own bed bug bite ointments. By applying these natural remedies, you can shorten the duration that bed bug bites last.
Cold tea bag compress for bed bug bites
A very simple way to relieve swelling and irritation caused by a bed bug biting is to apply a cold tea bag to the affected skin area. This has a two-fold effect on relieving itching. First, the cold helps to calm nerve endings that are irritated. Secondly, tea contains astringents that help to reduce swelling and itching.
For example, Dr. Patrick Davis on eMedicineHealth says that applying a cold compress to insect bites can help to reduce swelling and calm the affected area. 8
You can use either black tea bag, green tea bags, or chamomile tea for your compress. TheJournal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistrysays that black and green teas contain tannins which act as astringents. 9 Astringents help to reduce inflammation and itching. Also, studies into the healing effect of chamomile have shown that it has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin similar to hydrocortisone creams. 10
How to use:
To use a cold compress to shorten the duration a bed bug bite lasts, you should do the following:
- Place a tea bag in a cup of boiling water for a few minutes, remove and allow to cool.
- Hold the tea bag to the itchy bed bug bite for 10-15 minutes.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day to relieve the symptoms of a bed bug bite and help it heal faster.
If you have many bites, you can prepare a few tea bags and keep them in the refrigerator. This way you can get instant relief from an itchy bite whenever you need to.
Another natural astringent that you can use to quickly take the itch out of a bed bug bite lump is witch hazel. Also rich in tannins, witch hazel helps to relieve itchiness and inflammation fast from any kind of insect bite.
Witch hazel will also help to prevent any secondary bacterial infection that could hinder recovery from the bed bug bite. TheJournal of Inflammationreports that witch hazel has antiseptic and antioxidant properties. Witch hazel is also frequently used to reduce inflammation from irritated skin. 11
How to use:
It couldn’t be easier to use pure witch hazel to reduce the length of time a bed bug bite lasts. This is what you should do:
- Dip a cotton pad in pure witch hazel and hold to the affected skin area to reduce irritation.
- Hold for around 10 minutes to allow the astringents to go to work and bring down inflammation.
- Use the witch hazel remedy 2-3 times a day to speed up the healing process of bed bug bites and kill the urge to scratch.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
To help bed bug bites to heal quicker, you can apply diluted raw apple cider vinegar to the cluster of bites. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which helps to kill off germs and bacteria from the skin as well as being a great anti-itch remedy. In fact, apple cider vinegar makes a great facial wash to keep your skin healthy and vibrant.
For example, the journalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapypublished information on how to relieve pruritus (itching) naturally. It was found that skin applications that are acidic help to lower pH levels and thus help stop itching. 12
How to use:
To help treat the symptoms of bed bug bites and prevent secondary bacterial skin infections, you should use raw apple cider vinegar that is unprocessed. This is what you should do:
- Dilute equal parts of apple cider vinegar with water.
- Apply the solution to the itchy patches of skin where you have been bitten.
- Leave to dry and then rinse off with warm water.
- Use the apple cider vinegar remedy 2-3 times a day for instant relief for itching caused by bed bug bites.
Alternatively, you can use undiluted lemon juice in place of the ACV bed bug remedy. Lemon juice is also acidic by nature and will help to relieve itchy bumps and patches of red skin. Apply the lemon juice to itchy welts on your skin 2-3 times a day to stop the incessant itching.
Aloe vera is a well-researched medicinal plant that has a wonderful effect on healing irritated skin naturally. A little aloe vera on your bed bug bite marks will help to promote healing and nourish your skin at the same time. Aloe vera also has anti-inflammatory properties to stop skin itching.
Research into aloe vera has found that it can be used to heal itchy bug bites. For example, theSkin Pharmacology and Physiologyjournal reported that aloe vera was more effective than 1% hydrocortisone gel in alleviating skin irritation. 13
How to use:
Aloe vera will help your skin recover faster from bed bug bites and heal any rashes that have developed. You can use gel squeezed from an aloe vera plant or you can buy aloe vera gel that has as few added ingredients as possible. This is how to use aloe vera on bed bug bites:
- Gently massage aloe vera gel into the areas of skin where you have bed bug bites to relieve itchiness and irritation.
- Allow the gel to dry (you don’t have to rinse it off).
- Apply aloe vera gel a few times during the day to help your skin heal and stop itching in the inflamed bumps.
If you have had an unusually acute reaction to bed bug bites, aloe vera will help to reduce the immune response on your skin.
To stop the annoying itching that bed bug bites cause, you can use the soothing power of baking soda. Baking soda helps to reduce the size to bumps and lessen redness where you have been bitten.
According to Dr. David Derrer on WebMD, baking soda is a natural home remedy for bed bug bites. The anti-inflammatory properties of baking soda help to soothe itching, redness, and swelling that bug bites cause. 14
How to use:
It is very easy to make a healing baking soda paste to treat a bed bug bite naturally. All you need to make the home remedy is some baking soda and water.
- Take a tablespoon of baking soda and mix with some water to create a thick paste.
- Apply the healing paste to welts, bumps, and blisters where you have been bitten.
- Leave for 15 minutes to reduce itching and inflammation and rinse off with warm water.
- Apply the remedy in the morning and evening to help cut the length of time bed bug bites last.
Baking soda can also be combined with other ingredients to help keep your skin looking healthy.
If you are unfortunate enough to have large areas of bed bug bites on your skin, oatmeal may be the best home remedy for you. Oatmeal contains healing properties that relieve skin itching, irritation, and inflammation fast. Oatmeal can be made into a paste to be used as an anti-inflammatory treatment for your bed bug bites, or you can add it to a bath if you have lots of bed bug bites on your skin.
Scientific research into its healing properties has revealed that colloidal oatmeal (ground oatmeal) is safe to use to provide natural relief from itching and irritation. In fact, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration lists colloidal oatmeal as a remedy for insect bites. 15 One study in 2015 found that oatmeal has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. It helps to reduce mild to moderate itching when applied to itchy rashes. 16
How to use:
To make a topical application to soothe bed bug bites that are itchy and red, you can add some yogurt to ground oatmeal. Here are the steps to make the bed bug remedy yourself:
- Take a cup of ground oatmeal and mix it with enough plain yogurt to create a paste.
- Apply the oatmeal paste to part of your body where you have bed bug bites.
- Leave for 20 minutes to soothe the itchy bug bites and bring down inflammation.
- Repeat 2 times a day for long-lasting relief from your bed bug bites.
If you have large areas of bed bug bites or they are in hard to reach places, you can add a cup of ground oatmeal to your bath. Bathing in oatmeal is also a great way to stop all-over body itching. A bath with oatmeal will not only stop your itching but the bath will help to relieve the stress from dealing with the bed bug problem.
You can use honey as a spot treatment to heal bed bug bites quicker and reduce the time they last. Honey is a powerful natural antibiotic that can be used if your bed bug bites show signs of a bacterial skin infection. The soothing effect of raw honey will also assist in calming itchiness and prevent scratching.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic report that there are some studies which suggest that honey can be used as a topical anti-itch treatment. 17 Natural honey also adds a protective barrier on the skin which can help prevent the bed bug bites getting worse.
How to use:
The best kind of honey to use is Manuka honey for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects. However, you can use any honey as long as it is raw and unprocessed.
- Take a little honey and dab it onto your itchy bed bug bite marks.
- Gently massage the honey to help relieve itching and soothe inflammation.
- Use as necessary throughout the day whenever you get the urge to scratch the bed bug bites.
One great and cheap way to reduce the time itchy bed bug bites last is to apply sliced cucumber. Cucumbers are full of vitamins and minerals that help to keep your skin healthy and gorgeous.
Cucumber has a cooling effect on the skin and will calm and help stop a never-ending bed bug bite itch. For example, the journalFitoterapiareported that cucumber seeds have a cooling effect on the skin. Cucumbers also have enzymes that help to alleviate skin irritation and reduce swelling. 18
How to use:
For instant relief from the irritating effects of bed bug bites, this is how you can use cucumbers:
- Take a cucumber from the refrigerator and cut it into slices
- Place the sliced cucumber on the bed bug bites to quickly get rid of your itchy symptoms.
- Apply every time you get the urge to scratch the itchy swollen bite marks.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an amazing essential oil that can help reduce inflammation and itching from a bed bug bite. Tea tree oil has many uses in skin care and helping to prevent skin infections and scratching itchy patches of skin is just one of them. Tea tree oil can also be added to coconut oil to provide even more relief to itchy skin.
TheBritish Journal of Dermatologyreported that tea tree oil can help treat histamine-induce skin inflammation. It was found that tea tree oil successfully soothed and treated skin inflammation and itchiness that is the result of allergic reactions. 19
How to use:
To use tea tree oil to help your skin recover faster from bed bug bites, this is what you should do:
- Add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil to create a healing ointment.
- Apply a small amount of the tea tree oil remedy to the red rashes and clusters of bed bug bites.
- Use the ointment 2-3 times a day to promote healing and help get rid of your bed bug bites quicker.
- Repeat until all redness, swelling, and itchiness have gone from the bitten areas.
You can also use tea tree oil on its own as a spot treatment for insect bites. You can dab a drop of tea tree oil onto the red itchy bump to reduce swelling.
Alternatively, you can substitute tea tree oil for lavender oil and apply to your skin. A study in 2015 found that lavender oil contains compounds that are just as effective as some anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs. Lavender essential oil helps to reduce skin inflammation and inflammatory responses. 20
When to See a Doctor
In the rare occasions that home remedies don’t help to get rid of itching and swelling in a bed bug bite and they last for too long, you should visit your doctor or dermatologist. Also, doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend visiting your doctor if many bed bug bites induce a severe allergic reaction or you notice anything unusual around the site of the bed bug bites. 4
Read my other related articles:
- NHS. Bedbugs.
- CDC. Bed bugs FAQ.
- eMedicineHealth. The symptoms of bed bug bites.
- Mayo Clinic. Bedbugs. Symptoms.
- EPA. How to find bed bugs.
- DermNetNZ. Flea bites.
- WebMD. How do I know if I’ve been bitten by a bed bug?
- eMedicineHealth. Insect bites.
- Phytojournal. Tannins are astringent.
- OWM. 2011;57(5):28-36.
- J Inflamm (Lond). 2011; 8: 27.
- Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2010 Jul; 11(10): 1673–1682.
- Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2008;21(2):106-10
- WebMD. Baking soda: what can it do for you?
- NCBI. Colloidal oatmeal powder.
- J Drugs Dermatol. 2015 Jan;14(1):43-8.
- MayoClinic. Honey.
- Fitoterapia. 2013 Jan;84:227-36
- Br J Dermatol. 2002 Dec;147(6):1212-7.
- An Acad Bras Cienc. 2015 Aug;87(2 Suppl):1397-408.