Most often people do not realize a bed bug bite until a reaction sets in. The reaction depends on the immune system of the person, ranging from simple itching to severe infection. Bed bug bites are not carriers of diseases. However, the reaction can affect a person physically as well as psychologically. The bed bug bite symptom disappears on its own by two weeks, unless there is severe allergic reaction. OTC creams, lotions and medicines are available that aid to soothe the itching and inflammation of the bite area.
First Aid for Bed Bug Bites
Following are some of the first aid measures for a bug bite once the reaction surfaces:
- One of the foremost precautions is to remember not to scratch the surface. This leads to other severe skin infections.
- Applying calamine or anesthetic creams or lotions on the area provides considerable relief from itching.
- Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water to prevent infection.
- Administering ice pack or a cold compress on the area also prevents swelling.
Topical Steroids for Itching and Inflammation
Topical steroids have anti-inflammatory properties that give relief from bed bug bite symptoms – Hydrocortisone, Clobetasol and Triamcinolone Topical, are some of the creams to treat bed bug bites, in consultation with the doctor.
Antihistamines for Allergic Reactions
Antihistamines are beneficial in treating sensitive reactions by preventing the effect of natural chemical histamine. These are procurable in the form of tablets or liquid juice. Severe reactions are often treated with an injection. Benadryl, Teldrin, Clarinex, Zyrtec are few antihistamines used in treating a minor bed bug bite allergic reaction.
Antibiotics for Bacterial Infections
Scratching of the itching skin opens the surface of the skin leading to several skin bacterial infections. An infection is severe when there is drainage seen from the wound. Doctors prescribe anti-bacterial antibiotics after assessing the type and kind of skin infection associated with bed bug bite. Cephalosporins, Carbapenem, Pencillin, Azithromycin, and Erythromycin are some of the medicines that inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Combination of Drugs for Systemic Reactions
Repeated exposure to bed bug bites sometimes causes systemic reaction resulting in urticaria (complex infection of swelling and itching) and anaphylaxis (low blood pressure, shock and breathing difficulties). Administration of intramuscular injection with corticosteroid, adrenaline and antihistamine aids in providing relief from system reaction symptoms.
Natural Remedies to Treat Bed Bug Bites
- Apply a thick paste made of baking soda and water on the area. Let it dry for an hour to get relief from inflammation and itching symptoms.
- Use Aloe Vera gel has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to prevent skin infection. It significantly reduces the bite scars.
- Administration of apple cider vinegar, oatmeal and water, diluted peppermint oil, witch hazel also helps in reducing the bed bug bite symptoms.
- Use of natural astringents such as lemon juice, St.John’s Wart with water prevents the bed bug bite itch.
- Herbal leaves of maple, oak, hazel, mallow root, arrowroot powder helps to ease the pain and itching of the bed bug bite.