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The same products used on mosquito bites, flea bites, and poison ivy work for bed bug bites.
You probably have at least one of them at home.
Stopping the itch is good for your mind and health. The most common physical ailment caused by bed bugs is an infection of an area that has been scratched raw. These products will help you avoid that.
You should be able to find most of them at your local pharmacy.
For more on bed bug bites, see our resources on diagnosing bed bug bites. For pictures of bites, see the gallery of pictures of bed bug bites on real people. We also discuss how to stop bites during an infestation so you can get a good night’s rest.
Pharmacy Solutions for Bed Bug Bites
- Calamine lotion: A drying agent that stops inflammation of rashes and protects the skin. Eases symptoms of itchiness and pain
- Antihistamine tablets: Take as prescribed to control allergic reactions like rashes and swelling.
- Topical antihistamine: Apply directly on bitten areas to relieve inflammation.
- Advil: Contains ingredients that fight inflammation, more so than most other pain relievers.
Anti-itch and anti-inflammation
- Over-the-counter analgesics containing pramoxine and/or diphendrydramine: Typically topical products. They relieve pain and itching at the same time. Pramoxine is especially great at stopping itchiness.
- Mild over-the-counter steroidal creams containing hydrocortisone: Control swelling, itchiness, and redness.
- Generic pain relievers that include acetaminophen can help if you are experiencing pain
Home Remedies for Bed Bug Bites
What you use to treat your bites is a personal choice. For those that prefer natural home remedies, there are plenty of solutions.
Homemade itch and inflammation fixes have existed forever. They seem to work for most people.
You likely have the ingredients for several solutions sitting around already.
Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions to add to the lists.
Baking soda paste: A paste made of baking soda dries out the bite and protects your skin to stop itching. Here’s how to make one.
Astringent products: Dab one of these products onto the bitten area and let them dry to ease itching.
- Diluted tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has mild antiseptic properties that help reduce chances of infection.
- Aloe vera gel: Aloe helps reduces inflammation thanks to natural antibiotic properties.
- White vinegar: White vinegar reduces inflammation thanks to natural antibiotic properties.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar reduces inflammation thanks to natural antibiotic properties.
- Aspirin paste: Aspirin paste reduces inflammation and protects the skin from itching. Here’s how to make one.
Anti-itch and Anti-inflammation
Heat is a quick fix to itching and inflammation. It doesn’t last very long, but sometimes a few moments of relief are all you want.
Heat Treatment Options
- Hot baths
- Heat pads
- Warm damp cloths/towels
- Water pouches filled with warm water
- Warm soapy water lathered onto bitten areas and left to dry will relieve itching
- Lather with antibacterial soap for even better results
Burning yourself makes healing slower and more difficult for your body. If the skin is already damaged by scratching and bites, a burn will be a big setback.
Different Reactions to Bites
While they are a huge annoyance, bed bug bites alone are almost never a reason to go to the hospital. Cases of severe allergic reactions are the exception.
If bites have you feeling seriously unwell, don’t hesitate. See a medical professional.
Studies have found that up to 30% of people are completely nonreactive to the toxins in bed bug bites.
“They only want to bite me,” is a common thing to hear in stories of couples dealing with bed bugs.
If one person is showing symptoms of bed bug bites, both of you are definitely getting bitten.
While you might consider yourself a part of the unlucky 70%, being itchy can be useful.
How else would you know to start looking for bed bugs? Without itchiness, bed bugs wouldn’t be on anyone’s mind until infestations become obvious.
Infestations explode rapidly and become harder to deal with over each passing day.
Being itchy and catching an infestation early is the best-case scenario. That is, after not getting bed bugs in the first place.
Thanks for Reading!
You’re bound to get bitten a few times. Having the knowledge and products to deal with itching will make things easier.
Creating and following a plan will give you the best chance of getting rid of them the first time.
You can always start prevention today. It’s never a bad idea – prevention is much cheaper and easier than treatment.
Check out the page dedicated to bed bug bites for everything there is to know about them.