Bed bugs can cause health effects such as rashes, allergic reactions, amongst other secondary effects caused by the severity of the bites. A bed bug bites, also known as cimicosis, can cause the skin to erupt in painful rashes, or even blisters. You have to look for the bed buds on the beds, and also other furniture. For diagnosis, the bed bugs must be seen, and also the effects of their bites.
There has been a marked increase in bed bug bites in developed countries, a phenomenon that has baffled experts. These insects are usually found in poor countries, where hygiene is not a primary concern. The rise has been attributed to frequent foreign travel to countries where these insects are found, the exchange of furniture amongst friends and families of different households. There is great concern since the bugs are becoming resistant to pesticides.
What are the symptoms of bed bug bites?
There are several symptoms that are seen with this phenomenon, with some people exhibiting no reactions, some getting macular spots, prominent weals and bullae. The bed bug bite will itch for a number of days, and there may be a hemorrhagic spot caused by the release of anticoagulants in the saliva of the insects. The symptoms are sometimes not immediate, and will appear days after the bites. After the bugs have been feasting on your blood for a number of days, then the symptoms manifest faster due to allergic reactions to the proteins in the bugs saliva. Areas that are exposed during the night are the ones that bear the symptoms. If you are bitten severally, then you will develop urticaria, a large rash.
There are psychological symptoms of bed bug bites which include anxiety, stress and insomnia. You will also get an overwhelming fear of these parasites, a condition known as refractory delusional parasitosis. Secondary symptoms may include bacterial infection through the breaks in the skin, caused by scratching. Some people may get anaphylaxis as a reaction to the proteins in the saliva of the bugs.
What does a bed bug bite look like
You cannot confirm the bites by simply looking at them. Bed bug bites are not different from other insect bites such as mosquito bites. The only difference is that a bed bug will bite you in several places, resulting in many bite marks, and these are usually placed in a row of about 3 to 5 bites.
You should also determine when the bites occur. Whereas most bites occur at night, they may also occur during the day, especially if they have moved to your living room furniture. The bites may also manifest after a few hours, or even after a few weeks.
You should also check your bed and beddings for signs of bed bugs. Sometimes after the bug has fed on you, you may turn over a squash it on the sheets. There will be large blood stains due to this. There may also be smaller blood stains left by the punctures after the bed bug has finished feeding. There shall also be signs of sleeping bed bugs on the mattress, dried skins, feces and carcasses.
It is best to call an exterminator to get rid of the bed bugs, or you can employ home remedies to remove them. If you have been bitten, you should seek treatment, and the rash will get worse after continuous nightly bites.
What are the treatments for bed bug bites?
Over the counter medication (OTM)
You should get ointments containing the steroid hydro-cortisone, which helps you to stop itching. You should also use a calamine lotion to soothe the rash and protect the skin from infection as it heals. You should also get a topical anesthetic, containing diphendrydramine to control the itching and pramoxine for pain relief.
You should also take allergy medication which will help slow down the rashes, and the swelling that comes from allergic reaction to the bites. You can also take ibuprofen and naproxen for the pain.
Mix baking soda and water to form a thick paste. Apply this thick paste on the areas that have been bitten. Let the paste dry and stay on the skin for an hour or so, and then wash it off.
You can also use lemon juice, witch hazel, or St John’s Wort, all of which are natural astringents to control the itch. Soak a cotton wool ball in the juice and dab at the bites. This will dry out the bites and control the itching.
Aloe Vera is also a great plant that has vast healing properties. Use the gel ion the bites.
You can also draw up a warm bath and immerse yourself into it. You should add half a cup of the following so that the bath cleans up all the bites. Use either peppermint oil, powdered oatmeal, baking soda or salt.
Bed Bug Bite Pictures