After the initial reaction of discovering bed bugs in your home it is very likely the next thought will be:
Can they make my family sick?
The good news is that there have been very few cases of bed bug bites causing more than inflammation at the sight of feeding. Though getting rid of the bugs and keeping them from coming back is a headache, you can rest knowing that they are more a disgusting annoyance than a danger to your health.
Let’s take a closer look at bed bug bites and bed bug bite symptoms.
Bed Bug Bite Symptoms
How do you know when you have been bitten by a bed bug?
Bed bugs pierce the skin of the host with their elongated beaks. The bed bug injects an anti-blood-clotting chemical called apyrases which allow them to withdraw the blood. They will feed for 5-10 minutes until gorged.
There is no one overall reaction to being a host. The reality is that most people do not even know they are the source of the bed bugs meal. There may be no obvious marks on their body and no sense of having been bitten. The majority of the time bed bugs feast while their hosts are sleeping which is another reason they are less likely to feel such a tiny sensation.
Not everyone is this lucky. There are reported and verified cases in which the host has a severe reaction, often in the form of swelling, and welts. Because the bed bug does its by night, many times the reaction of redness, swelling or itching is attributed to mosquitoes. This of course, allows for the infestation to continue until the bed bugs are discovered.
One telling sign of the bed bug bite versus that of the more familiar mosquito is the body part which contains the redness or swelling. Bed bugs tend to host on parts of the body that are exposed while sleeping. Therefore, you are going to find them on the neck, face, upper arms, shoulders and hands.
Relieving Concerns about Bed Bug Bites
As mentioned earlier, in most cases there is no major concern of illness caused by serving as a host to bed bugs. There are however, pathogens that are found in the body of the bed bugs but they do not seem to be transmitted to humans or other hosts. Generally, the bites are more annoying than they are dangerous. Much like other bug bites, that of the bed bug tends to be itchy and may cause inflammation when scratched. It is important to remember that scratching that itch can further cause infection.
How to Treat Bed Bug Bites
The best way to treat the bed bug bites are to relieve the bite symptoms with the use of an antihistamine or corticosteroids prescribed to reduce discomfort. Other over the counter topical ointments may also be used.
A well regarded product combination that fits the bill is All Stop’s Healing Gel and ProEcza Cream. The ProEcza relieves your itchy skin while the Healing Gel goes to work deeper into the infected bite to minimize the irritation. What this means is that it helps you stop itching right away and it also calms the irritation down so your skin reaction isn’t so severe. You’ve seen pictures of bed bug bites — they can be embarrassing to go out in public with.
Just as with any treatment to a wound, especially with children, the infirm or the elderly, it is wise to talk to a physician or pharmacist to help you find the best relief of the discomfort caused by bed bug bites.