Bed Bug Bites: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention | Terminix

Bites on your body: If you have bed bugs, you’re likely to have bites. Bed bug bites usually cause itchy welts. These welts usually appear in a zigzag pattern as show in the photo below.

To treat an allergic reaction, the doctor may prescribe an antihistamine, corticosteroid, or epinephrine injection. If the area is infected, he or she might prescribe an antibiotic or recommend an over-the-counter antiseptic. Finally, if it’s severe itchiness that you’re dealing with, applying corticosteroid or taking an antihistamine in pill or liquid form may be able to help.

It’s also possible that you won’t see a reaction the first time a bedbug bites since it sometimes can take the body a while to react. (6) Some people will have an immediate reaction, while for others it could take two weeks to emerge. Your body will likely become more sensitive to bedbug bites over time, and if you get bitten repeatedly, it could be only a matter of seconds before your body shows a response.

bed bug bites what do they look like

Bed bugs: Diagnosis and treatment

Signs of bed bugs: This step is important. If you have a bed bug infestation, you need to find out so that you can get rid of the bed bugs. Getting rid of the bed bugs is the only way to stop the bites.

References
Leverkus M et al. “Bullous Allergic Hypersensitivity to Bed bug Bites Mediated by IgE against Salivary Nitrophorin.” J of Invest Dermatol. 2006;126:2364-2366.

If you have a large number of bed bugs, you may see the bugs. Most people, however, only see signs of bed bugs. To look for signs of bed bugs, check the places that people sleep for the following:

What Do Bedbugs Bites Look Like

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Although bed bugs don’t usually require serious medical attention, they can cause a great deal of anxiety and restless nights. To help find bed bugs before they find you (and your belongings), dermatologists recommend looking for the following signs near places where you sleep.

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Liebold K et al. “Disseminated bullous eruption with systemic reaction caused by Cimex lectularius.” J Euro Acad of Dermat and Vener. 2003;17:461-463.

A bed bug is a tiny insect with a broad, oval body. If it has recently eaten, it has a reddish-brown color.

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If you do get bed bugs and have many bites or a bite that looks infected, see a board-certified dermatologist. A dermatologist can treat an infection and help relieve the itch.

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If you see bed bugs, they will likely scurry toward the closest hiding place. Any dark place such as inside a mattress or even a picture frame makes a good hiding place.

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To find out if you have bed bugs, you need to look for two things:

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Bedbug bites don’t normally require treatment by a doctor, though there are a few precautions you should take at home. (8) Start by cleaning the area with soap and water to lower your risk of infection and to relieve itchiness. If the bites are itchy, pick up a corticosteroid cream at your local drugstore and apply it to the area. The bites generally will heal within a couple of weeks. (9)

For most people, bedbug bites result in itchy bumps where the bite occurred, within a day of being bitten. (4) The bites usually look like mosquito bites and will appear as a somewhat swollen red spot that might itch. (1)

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