How To Heal Bed Bug Bites Quickly
How Long do Bed Bug Bites Last – When Will They Heal
People who have suffered from bed bug bites know how painful and itchy these can be. Naturally, the question foremost on their minds is how to heal the bed bug bites faster? In this guide, we shall study a few methods of preventing, treating and healing bed bug bites quickly. We will also study a few efficient ways of getting rid of the bed bugs to prevent further bites.
How long do bed bug bites last and what are the symptoms?
Bed bug bites typically heal within a week to 10 days, depending on how sensitive one is to them. In fact; some lucky people may have been bitten by these pests, but they do not experience any symptoms at all! Those that are hypersensitive to most insect bites may experience following symptoms:
- Itchy skin, red welts or bumps
- Rash in the form of clusters
- Bite marks that are straight or grouped together typically under the edge of tight fitting clothing on arms and legs or also on the neck, back or other exposed parts of the body.
An indication of bed bug infestation is the presence of their discarded exoskeletons and fecal matter in the form of rust colored stains on bedding and mattresses. An offensive almond like smell may also be present in some cases.
Preventing bed bugs
Everyone deserves a good night’s rest in order to function properly the next morning. Hence, the last thing you’d want is to awaken from bed bug bites. Preventing bed bugs is the best solution for this problem. This can be done as follows:
- Vacuuming the carpets regularly
- Never picking up second hand furniture, bedding or discarded mattresses from the curbside.
- Inspecting rooms thoroughly for signs of bed bugs when staying in hotels. As stated above, you will notice red stains and discarded skin on beds and mattresses, especially around the corners of the bedding.
If you suspect an infestation at home, you must promptly call a professional pest control company to handle it immediately. For very large infestations too, it is best to enlist the services of professionals in order to make sure that the eggs, larvae and adult bed bugs are completely eliminated. Failure to do so will lead to re-infestation. It is also important to discard infested items carefully by sealing them in bags which have been pretreated with flea powders or other bed bug repellents.
Treating bed bug bites
Bed bug bites must not be ignored. Scratching the site of bite can even lead to secondary skin infections which are harder to treat.
- See a doctor to identify if the rash is from bed bug bites. There are many skin conditions or allergic reactions to products which can sometimes produce similar rashes.
- To prevent infections, apply benzoly peroxide or rubbing alcohol on the rash.
- An effective home remedy for soothing the pain and itchiness from bed bug bites is applying a mixture of baking soda and water directly on the rash. (Leave the paste on the rash for at least half an hour and then wash it off.)
- Many natural soothing lotions and creams containing Calendula, aloe vera etc can also give relief from pain, swelling and itching.
It is important to get rid of bed bugs from home. To do this effectively:
- Sprinkle some diatomaceous earth powder (food grade) liberally at the feet of the beds and under the bedroom furniture etc. The diatomaceous earth kills bed bugs by shredding their insides and dehydrating them.
- Wash the bedding and linen in very hot water to kill eggs and larvae.
These precautions will help prevent further bed bug bites. If in case you are not able to deal with the infestation, you must call a professional pest control agency to do the same.
- Bed Bug Bites vs. Body Lice Bites: How To Tell the… Bite marks on the body are the first sign of…
- Bed Bug Bites vs Spider Bites – What is the Difference? Insect bites of various kinds are a common reason behind…
- Do I have Dust Mite Bites or Bed Bug Bites? Bed bugs and dust mites belong to different groups of…
Got bed bugs?Here are 10 products that can help you get rid of and prevent them.
How to Heal—and Conceal—a Massive, Itchy Bug Bite Quickly
Especially when it’s right in the middle of your face.
In the summertime, bug bites from mosquitos and other gross insects can be a big buzzkill. The constant scratching and itching make it hard to wear those new strappy sandals—but it’s an even bigger pain in the neck if the bite is located on your face. Luckily, you can take care of—and camouflage—a bite without wrecking your complexion. Here’s how.
There’s nothing worse than waking up to find a humongous bite on your face, but like fresh pimples, you definitely want to treat your bites with care. That’s because itching and scratching them with unwashed hands can make them vulnerable to infection, says Jennifer Reichel, M.D., a Seattle-based dermatologist and RealSelf contributor.
“If the reaction is brisk—blister formation or large, red, juicy bumps—then it is important to keep them clean [and] possibly bandaged to avoid an infection from skin bacteria such as Staph Aureus,” she says.
Insect bites usually go away within a week, but to help speed up that process, Reichel recommends applying a topical steroid cream like hydrocortisone, which is available over the counter (you can also ask your derm for a prescription-strength version). Taking an oral antihistamine like Allegra is another option to fight the irritation. “These will reduce the itching and the redness,” she says.
First things first: While it might be tempting to pile on the makeup to cover up a bite, you really need to let your skin breathe for a while to avoid any infection, says Reichel. Once the bite has dried out and is no longer super swollen, though, you’re good to go, says Lauren Cosenza, a makeup artist in New York City.
Still, to avoid any chance of infection, apply your makeup with clean fingers and brushes. “If the bite is still itchy or if your makeup irritates the skin, remove the makeup right away,” says Cosenza. "If the bug bite is flesh-toned but just raised, use an exact skin shade match. If it is red, you can use a green color corrector to cancel the red first," then top with a shade that matches your skin. And always blend the edges. "Otherwise you will draw attention to something you wanted to hide," says Cosenza. We likeDermablend Redness Concealer($20, lordandtaylor.com).
It is possible to see brown patches left behind (especially if you picked at it) from a bite. Luckily, this can be treated easily by using a topical silicone gel, says Reichel. She’s a fan of Biocorneum+, which is available with a prescription from your derm. Laser treatment is also an option if the scar is persistent.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites Overnight? (Treat Surot Bite)
After writing how to get rid of roaches?, how to get rid of fruit flies?, how to get rid of ants?, how to get rid of fleas?, and home remedies to get rid of bed bugs naturally, we are now writing how to get rid of bed bug bites? The seriousness of symptoms associated with bed bug bites fluctuates for every person. Some people are so allergic to the bites that they create a rash and extreme itching, while others may not by any means know they were bitten. Before you attempt remedies to treat bed bug bites (surot bite), verify that its a bed bug bite only not from any other bug or insect like mosquito bites.
(A) Confirm a Bed Bug Bite Before You Treat Bed Bugs Bites
1.) Verify the Bites to Treat Bed Bug Bites
Look at the bites carefully. Bed bug bites commonly look like other insect bites, including mosquito bites, this might be hard to identify. Indeed a doctor can’t usually diagnose bites essentially by looking at them. Watch for the bed bug’s bite design. If it is a bed bug bite, it will appear in a group. You always see the bed bug bites in 3 to 5 rows, it can’t appear alone.
2.) Check Reasons to Treat Bed Bug Bites
Give careful consideration to when the bites occur. This can likewise be difficult to focus on the grounds that each individual’s response time can differ significantly. Symptoms that result from the bite can show sometime or another from a couple of hours to more than a week after the bite occurred.
3.) Check Bed and Bedding to Treat Bed Bug Bites
Check your bed and bedding for signs of bed bugs. Look for red spots of blood on the bed sheet. Maybe these spots came, when a bed bug was squashed in the wake of feeding, or from the bites left of you when the bug is carried out feeding. Check the entire sleeping pad, including the creases on the sides. Look for resting bed bugs, corpses, vacant skins and excrement.
(B) Home Remedies to Treat Bed Bug Bites
1.) Baking Soda to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
Baking Soda is one of the best remedies for bed bug bites treatment. It has anti-inflammatory properties that deal with burning sensations. It also helps get relief from redness and itchiness. What you have to do is make a paste with baking soda and apply it topically on the affected area. Follow the given steps for the purpose:
- Take a teaspoon of baking soda and mix it with some water to make a paste.
- Now apply the paste on the affected area and leave for 20 minutes.
- Wash it with water.
- Do it several times a day for best results.
2.) Cold Compress to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
Cold compress is one of the best ways to cure insect bites. It is also an instant way to deal with redness and swelling. It fights of inflammation as well. What you have to do is give your bites a cold compress and you will have the instant results. Follow the steps for the purpose:
- Take a clean cotton cloth and put four ice cubes in it.
- Wrap it well and apply it on the affected area.
- Keep repeating as per your requirement.
3.) Apple Cider Vinegar to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing remedies used to treat a number of skin problems. It is equally effective at bed bug bites as well. It is rich in contents that helps get rid of inflammation, swelling and redness. Follow the steps given below to use it:
- Take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a bowl and dilute it with water.
- Take a cotton swab and dip in the vinegar.
- Apply it on the bites and leave for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, wash it normal water.
- Keep repeating the process as per your requirement.
4.) Warm Bath to Treat Bed Bug Bites
- Soak yourself in a warm bath. Add 1/2 cup (118 ml) of any of the following to help control itching.
- Concentrated peppermint oil.
- Powdered oats. You can find this in health and medicine stores, packaged for utilizing a bath item.
- Baking soda, with or without a little salt added to it.
- Alka-Seltzer, however, just if you are not allergic.
5.) Aloe Vera Gel to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
You can also use Aloe Vera gel to get rid of bed bug bites. Aloe Vera has soothing properties and also helps speed up the healing process. It works on irritation and inflammation and relieves you from pain and itchiness. What you have to do is:
- Take an Aloe Vera leaf and cut it into.
- Extract the gel from it in a bowl.
- Now apply the gel on the affected area.
- Leave it for 20 minutes and then wash with cool water.
- Repeat the process several times a day for best results.
6.) Witch Hazel to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
You can also opt for witch hazel to heal bed bug bites. It is mostly used as a facial cleanser which is easily available at drug store. It helps calm itching effectively. Also, it helps treat inflammation and swelling. Follow the steps given below to use it.
- Take some witch hazel in a bowl.
- Dip a cotton swab in it and apply on the affected area
- Keep the cotton on the affected are and hold it for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, you can remove the cotton.
- No need to wash the area, but wash the area before repeating the process.
7.) Lemon Juice to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
Lemon is one of the most effective remedies used to cure bed bug bites. Bed bug bites can cause rashes on the affected area. Lemon juice has natural astringent properties that help dry out these rashes and stimulate the healing process. It also helps you get rid of swelling and itchiness. The only bad part about lemon is that it can cause sunburn. So, it is advised avoid sunlight after using it. To use it:
- Take a lemon juice in a ball.
- Use a cotton ball to apply it on the affected area.
- Allow it to dry on its own and then rinse off the area.
- Repeat as needed.
8.) Cucumber to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
Cucumber has cooling properties that calms down the inflammation. It also helps you get rid of redness and itchiness. Using it is also easy. But, before using it, make sure that it was kept in refrigerator for some time. What you have to do is:
- Take a cucumber and cut it into thick slices.
- Rub the slices on the affected area.
- Leave it as it is and repeat as you require.
9.) Tea Bags to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
Tea bags also have soothing properties that helps speed up the healing process. Just follow the steps given below to use it:
- Boil a glass of water and dip two tea bags in it.
- Now keep the tea bags in freezer for 30 minutes.
- Apply the tea bags on the affected area and you cure bed bug bites well.
10.) Basil to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
You can also go for basil leaves to cure bed bug bites. It has soothing properties that help deal with the inflammation and itchiness. What you have to do is:
- Take a few basil leaves and grind them to make a paste.
- Apply the paste on the affected area and leave it for 20 minutes.
- Wash it with normal water and you will see the difference.
- Do it twice a day for best results.
11.) Toothpaste to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
Yes, you can also use toothpaste to heal bed bug bites fast at home. Using it is simple. You just have to apply it on the affected area. Make sure that you can white toothpaste. It has menthol that helps cool the burning sensations and irritation.
12.) White Vinegar to Treat Bed Bug Bites
Apply white vinegar to the bites. Take a cotton ball and absorb it with white vinegar. Dab the vinegar onto the bites – be cautioned, it may sting a little. After 20-30 minutes, the size of the bites should be significantly reduced.
13.) Soap and Water to Treat Bed Bug Bites
Treat the itch with soap and water. Wash the area with mellow soap and water; Wet the hand surface by utilizing a soap bar and enough water. Work the soap in your hands into thick, rich soapy lather. Rub the lather over the influenced area generously. Repeat until the entire area is secured. Leave on; don’t flush; permit the soap lather to dry over the bitten areas. When you wake up in the morning, you can see a prompt easing from itching. Also, the size of the bites and the swelling should be reduced.
(C) Other Medications to Treat Bed Bug Bites
- Apply a steroidal anti-itch over-the-counter (OTC) cream that contains cortisone or hydro-cortisone. Strictly follow the directions written on the package to apply it rightly.
- Use calamine cream to dry the rash and secure the skin while it recuperates.
- Purchase a topical analgesic OTC that contains pramoxine for pain relief and diphendrydramine for itch control.
- Take oral antihistamine anaphylaxis tablets to control the swelling and rash associated with the bites. Follow package guidelines for proper measurements.
- Take OTC pain relievers that contain ibuprofen or naproxen as needed.
Useful Tip to Treat Bed Bug Bites:
See your doctor if your symptoms don’t clear up inside a couple of weeks or keep on worsening. You ought to similarly see a doctor for judgement on the off chance that you don’t run across indications of bed bugs in your bed and can’t distinguish the source of the bites or the rash.
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.
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.