How To Get Rid Of Bed Bug Bites On Skin
Bedbugs are small insects that often live on furniture or bedding. Their bites can be itchy, but do not usually cause other health problems.
Check if it’s bedbugs
Jeff March / Alamy Stock Photo
Bedbugs can hide in many places, including on bed frames, mattresses, clothing, furniture, behind pictures and under loose wallpaper.
Signs of bedbugs include:
- bites – often on areas exposed while sleeping, like the face, neck and arms
- spots of blood on your bedding – from the bites or from squashing a bedbug
- small brown spots on bedding or furniture (bedbug poo)
Bedbug bites can be red and itchy. They’re often in a line or cluster.
Otto Pleska / Alamy Stock Photo
Some people have a reaction to the bites. They can be very itchy and there may be painful swelling.
How you can treat bedbug bites
Bedbug bites usually clear up on their own in a week or so.
Things you can do include:
- putting something cool, like a clean, damp cloth, on the affected area to help with the itching and any swelling
- keeping the affected area clean
- not scratching the bites to avoid getting an infection
You can ask a pharmacist about:
- using a mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone cream to ease bedbug bites (children under 10 and pregnant women should get advice from a doctor before using hydrocortisone cream)
- antihistamines – these may help if the bites are very itchy and you’re unable to sleep
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:
- the bites are still very painful, swollen or itchy after trying treatments from a pharmacist
- the redness around the bites is spreading
You may have an infection and need treatment with antibiotics.
Coronavirus update: how to contact a GP
It’s still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:
- visit their website
- use the NHS App
- call them
How to get rid of bedbugs
contact your local council or pest control service – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get rid of bedbugs yourself because they can be resistant to some insecticides
wash affected bedding and clothing – use a hot wash (60C) or tumble dry on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes
put affected clothing and bedding in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer (-16C) for 4 days (alternative to hot washing)
clean and vacuum regularly – bedbugs are found in both clean and dirty places, but regular cleaning will help you spot them early
do not keep clutter around your bed
do not bring secondhand furniture indoors without carefully checking it first
do not take luggage or clothing indoors without checking it carefully if you have come from somewhere where you know there were bedbugs
Page last reviewed: 21 January 2019
Next review due: 21 January 2022
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 Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
Restless nights are a common occurrence in bedbug infested homes due to bed bug bites that cause itchy welts. These pesky little pests generally feed on your blood at night, the peak time being about 1 hour before sunrise.
Their bites resemble other insect bites and usually appear in rows or clusters of three to five bites.They are more common on exposed areas like the face, neck, arms and hands.
While some people may not even realize they were bitten, others may develop symptoms like red itchy bumps and rashes.
Some people may develop an allergic reaction with painful swelling and burning at the bite site, engorged bite marks and, in very rare cases, an anaphylactic response. Bed bug bites do not usually transmit diseases, but excessive itching and scratching may cause a skin infection.
The first thing that you need to do when dealing with bed bug bites is towash the affected area with a mild antiseptic soap and water. This will reduce itching and prevent a skin infection. If not scratched, they tend to resolve within a week or so.
However, see a dermatologist if you develop a skin infection, blisters or an allergic skin reaction.
Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of bed bug bites.
1. Ice Pack
The cold temperature from ice can help numb the nerve endings, thus relieving the itching sensation caused by bed bug bites. It will also help calm the swelling.
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a thin towel.
- Place it on the affected area.
- Remove it after 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat as needed.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, helps neutralize acidic chemicals that could be causing the itching from a bed bug bite. Being an anti-inflammatory agent, it also helps reduce swelling and redness.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 3 teaspoons of water.
- Apply the mixture generously on the affected area.
- Leave it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
- If the discomfort persists, apply again after 30 to 45 minutes.
3. Lemon Juice
Being a natural astringent, lemon juice helps dry out rashes caused by bed bug bites and keeps itching at bay. Plus, its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties help reduce redness and swelling as well as prevent infection.
- Dip a cotton ball in lemon juice.
- Dab it on the bed bug bites.
- Let it air dry, then rinse the affected area.
- Do this a few times a day.
Note:Lemon juice may make your skin susceptible to sunburn. Do not go out in the sun for a few hours after using this remedy.
4. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a liquid astringent that you can get from a drug store. Mostly used as a facial cleanser, it can also help calm itching caused by bed bug bites because it contains tannins that have a mild anesthetic effect.
- Soak a cotton ball in witch hazel.
- Place it on the affected area.
- Remove the cotton ball after 10 minutes.
- Repeat as needed.
5. Aloe Vera Gel
Succulent aloe vera gel is soothing for your skin. Its active compounds and amino acids help ease itching and burning caused by bed bug and other insect bites. It also aids healing the skin by keeping it moisturized.
- Rinse an aloe vera leaf and slit it open.
- Scoop out the gel and apply it on your bed bug bites.
- Store the remaining gel in the refrigerator. Apply it a few times a day for a couple of days.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another effective remedy for bed bug bites as it helps relieve itching and burning, thanks to its acetic acid content with anti-inflammatory properties. If you do not have apple cider vinegar, you can use white vinegar.
- Apply raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar on the affected area.
- Allow it to dry, then rinse your skin.
- If the symptoms persist, reapply after a few hours.
Due to its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, oatmeal is an excellent solution to reduce skin irritation and itching caused by bed bug and other insect bites as well as skin issues like eczema and psoriasis.
- Mix some water in a few teaspoons of oatmeal to make a paste. Apply it on the affected area, and leave it on for at least 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Repeat a few times for a couple of days.
- You can also prepare an oatmeal bath by mixing ½ cup of colloidal oatmeal (finely ground oatmeal) in warm bathwater. You can add a few drops of peppermint essential oil, too. Soak in this bath for 15 minutes. Do this for a couple of days.
Toothpaste is another effective remedy for bed bug bites. It contains cooling menthol that helps reduce the itching and burning sensations. Make sure you use white toothpaste, not a gel version, for this purpose.
- Dab a little white toothpaste on the affected area.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it off.
- Repeat as needed.
9. Tea Bags
Moist tea bags can also help combat the itching and swelling caused by bed bug and other insect bites. They contain tannins with astringent and mild anesthetic properties.
- Cool a moist, used tea bag in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Place it on the affected area for about 15 minutes.
- Repeat as needed.
Cucumber peels and slices can also provide relief from itching and swelling caused by bed bug bites as they contain vitamin C and caffeic acid that offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Simply place a piece of cucumber peel or slice on the affected area and leave it on for at least 10 to 15 minutes. For a more soothing effect, cool the pieces in the refrigerator first.
- Repeat as needed.
- Avoid bed bug bites by getting rid of the infestation.
- Resist the urge to scratch the bites as it may lead to a skin infection.
- Apply essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree or basil oil mixed in carrier oil to reduce redness and itching. The strong smell of essential oil also helps repel bed bugs.
- Applying a mixture of equal parts of cold milk and water can also help relieve itching.
maybe this will help
Alcohol on bottom of your feet will cool your body down.
Great post to explain the various treatment of bed bug bites like ice packs, lemon juice, aloe vera gel, etc. Bed bug bites are really very painful and cause serve itching which can result in skin infection as well. So, appropriately treating a bed bug bite needs a bit knowledge of pain relieving methods and things.
If you stayed at hotel and traveled home can the bed bugs spread
Yes they will and can
It really helps
I got them from a guest who came over to visit,they stayed in a higher end Hotel ,not a low rent place…Unreal .
We had an exterminator come over and it took 3 treatments . THE BUGS CAME BACK ! So,we went out bought a new house,furniture,clothing etc and 5 years no bugs in new home..Bought 2 new cars (I own 2 collector cars I got detailed and cleaned no bugs in them)….
Now we are shut ins lol and dont allow guests to our home lol..We moved 1 hour away from town and have property now and 1 hour min away from most people we know..We go and visit them..When we return home from shopping/visits etc,we go into the 1st room and change,put our clothing in the laundry machine and check for bugs then put clean home clothing on .
We exterminated our old house,called junk to pick up our furniture (it wasnt lower end items either 8 year old $140,000 furnishings it cost) sold the empty home and hope they had no problem.. We did get the empty house exterminated and told the junk collection we had bugs,I bet they kept our old furnishings as it was beautiful stuff …It made us crazy,those damn bugs…One night 12 bites on my neck,forehead and hands !! I still feel like bugs are crawling on me,I think we need psychiatric care…It took about 1 year to get over the feeling of bugs crawling on us…
Time the country gets ddt back,thats what made bed bugs all die and were not a problem,now everyone within 10 years will have serious infestations of the bugs,DAMN THEM !
How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites: The Most Effective Home Remedies
“Don’t let the bed bugs bite” is a common phrase that people say before going to bed. Unfortunately, if you have bed bugs, good wishes aren’t enough to get rid of these little biting critters for good. Bed bug bites can cause itchy red clusters of bumps on your skin which are also called bed bug rashes. This severe itching creates a strong urge to scratch and is very frustrating. You may even lose sleep scratching through the night and worrying about the bugs in your bed.
Getting rid of bed bug bites can be very effective with home remedies. Many home remedies help to treat the itchy bites that these nasty bugs cause and also help to reduce skin irritation, reduce redness and swelling as well as prevent infection. Some natural remedies for treating bed bug bites like apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, and oatmeal reduce itching and swelling around the affected skin area. Other remedies include coconut oil, tea tree oil, or aloe vera to soothe the itchy skin and the inflammation around the bed bug rash.
Before learning about the best home remedies for treating bed bug bites, let’s look at the signs and symptoms of bed bug bites.
Signs and Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites
Bed bugs are tiny parasitic insects that range in size from 1mm to 7mm. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these little pests feed on the blood of humans and animals. 1 The bite from a bed bug can cause a bed bug rash which is an allergic reaction that makes the surrounding area inflamed, red, and itchy. Sometimes bed bug bites are confused with flea bites. Flea bites on humans occur at any time you are around the house, bed bugs are mostly active when it’s dark, so you will be bitten while you are asleep.
Dr. Varnada Karriem-Norwood on WebMD says that the red, itchy bites usually occur on the arms or shoulders, but they can also be on the face and be a reason for itchy hands. The red bumps on the skin tend to be in straight rows, although they can be in clusters. Although bed bugs don’t carry disease, scratching the skin irritation can lead to secondary skin infections. 2
How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?
Bed bug rash or bite marks may appear several hours or even several days after the bite has occurred. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that it may even take up to 2 weeks for bed bug rash and bite marks to become itchy, inflamed spots, depending upon the person’s allergic reaction to the bites.
Usually bed bug rash or bites last several days and then slowly fade, but in some cases they can last longer if the bitten person is more sensitive to the bites. Some people may not have any reaction at all, while others who are more sensitive can develop bite marks or rashes that cause severe itching.
What are the Signs of Bed Bugs?
You can spot bed bug signs by carefully examining your bed linen. Some of the telltale signs of bed bugs are exoskeletons left behind after molting, tiny blood spots on your mattress or bed sheets, and a sweet musty odor. 1
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend checking in the cracks and crevices of beds, headboards, bed frames, and in the seams of mattresses. 3 Generally, bed bugs live within 8 feet of sleeping areas.
To eliminate bed bug infestation, please read my article about the top 10 home remedies to get rid of bed bugs naturally. You’ll discover effective bed bug treatments and detailed instructions how to use them.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
To get rid of bed bug bites, it’s important to reduce the itching and inflammation. This will prevent you from scratching the itchy bumps and rashes that the bed bug bites cause.
The simplest way to stop bed bug bites itching fast is to apply a cold compress to soothe the red bed bug rash. The effect of cold helps to calm the nerve endings and take the itch out of the bite.
Many doctors recommend a cold compress to reduce pain and redness of a bed bug bite. Dr. Charles Patrick Davis on eMedicineHealth says to first of all wash the affected skin area. Then place a cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel on the affected skin area. 4 Leave on for around 10 minutes. Use the cold compress as needed to relieve the itchy skin and reduce redness causes by bed bug bites.
Apple cider vinegar
Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a great natural remedy to make bed bug bite go away because its acidic properties relieve itching and redness. ACV contains acetic acid which is a natural anti-inflammatory and also acts as an antiseptic. Applying apple cider vinegar to bug bites can also help to prevent any secondary skin infection.
Scientists have found that topical applications that have a low pH level (acidic) help to relieve pruritus (skin itching). 5 Apple cider vinegar has the effect of balancing the skin’s pH level which is higher when inflamed.
The journalPLoS Onealso found that acetic acid protects the skin from bacterial infections and speeds up the healing process. 6
To use apple cider vinegar to relieve the irritation caused by bed bug bites, please do the following:
- Dilute raw ACV with equal parts of water.
- Using a cotton ball, apply the vinegar remedy to the itchy bed bug bites.
- Leave to dry before rinsing off with warm water.
- Apply 2-3 times a day for quick relief from itchiness and to reduce redness.
Washing your face with apple cider vinegar is another reason to use ACV to quickly cure bed bug bites around your nose and cheeks.
Another great and easy home remedy to alleviate the discomfort caused by bed bug bites is to apply lemon juice. Because of its citric acid content, lemon juice has medicinal properties that work similar to apple cider vinegar in relieving itchy skin.
To get fast relief from bed bug bites, dip a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply to the itchy bed bug rash. Repeat the process 2 or 3 times a day to stop the bites itching.
Use the natural astringent properties of witch hazel to dry out bed bug rashes quickly and reduce the urge to scratch. Witch hazel contains tannins which not only help get rid of itching caused by bed bug bites but also have antibacterial properties that prevent infections. Witch hazel is also one of the best home remedies to get rid of flea bites.
Doctors on WebMD say that witch hazel is applied directly to the skin to reduce itching, pain, and swelling caused by insect bites as well as mite bites. 7 Studies into the anti-inflammatory effects of witch hazel found that the astringent properties help to reduce skin inflammation and improve its appearance. 8
To soothe an itchy bed bug bite, you can apply witch hazel directly to the affected skin area. This is what you should do:
- Dip a cotton ball in witch hazel and place on the itchy skin bump.
- Hold the witch hazel compress for around 10 minutes to relieve the discomfort and reduce swelling.
- If you have a cluster of bed bug bites, then you can apply witch hazel by gently rubbing the mixture over the bed bug rash.
- Repeat a couple of times each day to get relief from itching and burning and to help the healing process of the bed bug bite.
Baking soda is a natural antibacterial agent that can help dry out inflamed skin rashes and help to cure bed bug bites. Baking soda is also anti-inflammatory and will reduce the itchy sensation from the bed bug rash on your skin.
Doctors recommend using baking soda to soothe the redness, itching, and stinging that are caused by a mild reaction to an insect bite such as bed bug bite. 9 A study into the antibacterial activities of baking soda found that it is also effective against a number of strains of bacteria. 10
Make a home remedy for getting rid of bed bug bites by combining some water with baking soda. Here is how to make your anti-itch paste:
- Mix a little water with a tablespoon of baking soda to form a thick paste.
- Apply the remedy to your bed bug bites and leave for 15 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water.
- Use twice a day until the symptoms of bed bug bites have gone for good.
The baking soda treatment will help to protect the bed bug rash on your skin from becoming infected with germs. When combined with other ingredients, baking soda can help you get gorgeous, healthy-looking skin.
Pure aloe vera gel will help to get rid of the itch from an insect or bed bug bite. Aloe vera is rich in soothing properties that reduce inflammation and nourish your skin. To relieve skin itching, you can use aloe vera in its pure form straight from the plant leaf or you can buy pure aloe vera gel.
Aloe vera is known for its healing effect on the skin. In a study published in the journalSkin Pharmacology and Physiologyon the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera, it was found to be more effective at reducing skin irritation than 1% hydrocortisone gel. 11 Hydrocortisone creams are often prescribed for insect bites.
It is very easy to use pure aloe vera gel to heal bed bug bites. All you have to do is apply the aloe vera gel liberally to the affected skin area a few times a day. The soothing effect of aloe vera on the skin will quickly get rid of itching and help to protect your skin.
Oatmeal is a natural remedy for skin inflammation and will soothe bed bug bites and other insect bites. The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cleansing effect of oatmeal quickly reduces irritation, itching, redness, and swelling associated with painful bites.
A study published in theJournal of Drugs and Dermatologyfound that applying a topical treatment of colloidal oatmeal (ground oatmeal) helped reduce itching, skin rashes, burns, and eczema. 12 In fact, colloidal oatmeal is registered at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to “provide temporary relief of itching and irritation caused by insect bites.” 13
To get rid of bed bug bites with oatmeal, here is an effective home remedy:
- Grind a cup of oatmeal into a fine powder.
- Add enough plain yogurt to create a smooth paste.
- Apply the oatmeal remedy to the itchy bed bug rash on your skin for fast relief.
- Leave for 20-30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
- Repeat the process 2-3 times a day until all itchiness and redness have gone from your skin.
You can also add some honey to the oatmeal anti-itch remedy to help boost its antibacterial potential.
Oatmeal is so effective at getting rid of any kind of skin irritation, you can use it in a warm bath as a home remedy to stop itching all over your body.
Honey, especially Manuka honey, contains powerful medicinal properties that can soothe an itch and heal bacterial skin infections. A dab of raw honey on the bed bug bite may be all you need to soothe the irritation. Honey should also be applied to insect bites to help prevent secondary skin infections developing.
The Mayo Clinic reports that there is some evidence that honey can be used as a topical itch treatment and it can help form a protective barrier on the skin. 14 Studies have shown that honey can help reduce scalp itching and prevent infections. 15
All you have to do to relieve itching from a bed bug bite and speed up the healing process is apply a little honey to the itchy spot. You can repeat as necessary throughout the day whenever you feel the urge to scratch the bed bug rash.
Another natural remedy to cure bed bug bites and soothe the discomfort they cause is to put some slices of cucumber on the itch. Cucumber is especially soothing on the bed bug rash if you take it straight out the refrigerator before applying it.
A medical study found that cucumbers have anti-inflammatory activities and help to inhibit inflammatory enzymes like COX-2. Cucumbers are also rich in vitamin C, E, and A – all of which are essential for keeping skin healthy. 16
Place slices of cooled cucumber directly on the bed bug rash to ease pain, reduce inflammation, and quickly stop the itch. Use as necessary every time the insect bite starts itching.
Cool tea bag
Relieving the discomfort of bed bug bites is one great way to use your old tea bags. There are various types of tea that you can use to soothe a painful itchy bite.
Black teacontains tannins which act as an astringent on the skin to reduce itching. TheJournal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistrysays that the tannins are released when the black tea is put in hot water. The journal reports that tannins can be used to heal the skin and form a protective layer over tissue. 17
Chamomile teahas a soothing effect on the skin as well as the mind. Studies into the anti-inflammatory and protective properties of chamomile show that it’s a great herb to relieve itching and inflammation and speed up the healing process of skin infections. Chamomile tea has been shown to be more effective than 1% hydrocortisone creams and is safe for long-term use. 18
To use black tea bags or chamomile tea bags, you should place one teabag in a cup of hot water. Leave to infuse for a few minutes. Place the tea bag in the refrigerator to cool is down. Use as a cold compress on the itchy bed bug bite to get rid of the irritation and to get a quick itch relief.
You can also use the essential oil of chamomile to relieve itching. The University of Maryland recommends putting 5 to 10 drops of chamomile oil in a warm bath to soothe bed bug bites. 19
Essential Oils to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
There are many other essential oils for skincare that are excellent home remedies to reduce swelling and redness and prevent itching caused by bed bug bites.
Apart from tea tree oil and lavender oil, which can be applied directly as a spot treatment, essential oils should always be diluted before using on the skin. Coconut oil is a great carrier oil to use to reduce itching and prevent skin infections.
Coconut oil has many beneficial medicinal properties. The journalPharmaceutical Biologyreported that coconut oil reduces inflammation and eases pain. 20 Read more about the 10 secret ways to use coconut oil on your skin.
When using essential oils with coconut oil on your skin, you should add 2-3 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
Tea tree oil for bed bug bites
The journalClinical Microbiology Reviewsreported on studies showing that tea tree oil shows anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities. It can be added to coconut oil to help heal bed bug bites speedily and kill off any germs that may cause infection. 21
If you have just one or two itchy bed bug bites, you can put a drop of tea tree oil directly on the spot to get instant itch relief. If however you have a sensitive skin or need to apply it on a larger skin area, mix a few drops of tea tree oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply to the bed bug bites to reduce skin irritation and inflammation.
Using tea tree oil is also good for treating spider bites and cockroaches bites.
Tea tree oil is also one of the ingredients in my effective bed bug spray.
Lavender oil for bed bug bites
A study from 2015 found that lavender essential oil contains antioxidant, pain relieving, and anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender oil was just as effective as dexamethasone, a pharmaceutical drug that is sometimes prescribed to relieve allergic reactions and reduce swelling. 22
Another study found that lavender oil helped to reduce allergic skin reactions when used topically. 23
Like tea tree oil, you can dab a drop of lavender oil directly onto a small itchy bed bug bite. For larger bed bug rash area, you should mix lavender oil with coconut oil to make a topical anti-itch cream.
Calendula oil for bed bug bites
The University of Maryland reports that calendula oil is an effective treatment for itchy skin inflammation. 24 You can use a few drops of calendula oil mixed with coconut oil. Or you can buy a calendula cream to relieve itchiness from bed bug bites.
Bed Bug Bites – When to See a Doctor
Usually, home remedies quickly and effectively heal bed bug bites and all your symptoms should be gone within a week.
However, doctors from the Mayo Clinic 25 advise that you should see a doctor if you have a severe allergic reaction to the bed bugs or if the rashes caused by the bites start to blister.
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.