How to Avoid Scarring from Bed Bug Bites

 

Bed bugs are tiny insects that creep out from their hiding places under the cover of darkness to feed on your blood while you sleep. Their saliva has an analgesic quality that numbs the wound, making you unaware of their bite. They typically bite three times, often in a perfectly lined row. In three to 10 minutes they consume seven times their body weight before heading back to their nearby hiding place. When you wake up in the morning, you have a reddish welt that itches which can last for up to three or four days.

 

Understanding Bed Bug Bites and Scarring

A bed bugs bite alone shouldn’t leave a scar. However, the itching may cause you to scratch the bite, tearing your skin and allowing bacteria to infect the wound. Once infection sets in scarring can occur.

 

Eczema and Bed Bugs

If you suffer from atopic eczema or other forms of the skin disorder, then you know all too well that any trigger can elicit a reaction. Sadly, bed bug bites and the scratching typically spur a full-blown eczema attack. The two skin conditions combined make it even harder to avoid unsightly scarring because you not only want to scratch the bite, but your skin also develops plaque and cracks from the onslaught of eczema.

 

Ways to Avoid Scars from Bed Bug Bites

Luckily, there are ways that you can avoid scarring from bed bug bites:

  • Stop Scratching: This might sound obvious but it’s not easy. Bed bug bites itch a lot. Using hydrocortisone cream on the bite can help sooth it as well as taking an oral antihistamine.

  • Cleanliness: Another obvious one, but keeping the bug bite clean with soap and water will help you avoid a secondary infection which can lead to scarring.

  • Apply Honey: For centuries honey has been treasured as an antibacterial and antifungal. The ancient Egyptians regularly spread honey on their wounds to stave off infection. The golden liquid of the bees was so treasured by the pharaohs that it would regularly be placed in large clay vats and entombed alongside the royal family to be used in the afterlife. If you decide to use honey on your bed bug bite, use only organic brands such as Manuka.

Via Getty Images

  • Onions: Onion extract works well at improving the appearance of scars. It pulls away any keratin buildup and eliminates the discoloration. Mix a bit of onion extract with petroleum jelly. The petroleum jelly helps prevent air from irritating the bite and causing the wound to itch. The onion kills bacteria and fights certain funguses, helping prevent excessive scarring.

  • Calamine Lotion: Your mother likely used pink calamine lotion to relieve your itchy mosquito bites growing up. Thankfully, calamine lotion also works on bed bug bites, relieving the itch so the chances of scarring are dramatically reduced.

  • Vitamin E Oil: Pop open a vitamin E tablet and squeeze out the oil onto the bite. The oil brings instant relief and promotes skin rejuvenation. You might also want to take vitamin E tablets orally as a daily supplement for a month or so following a bed bug bite to further boost your skin’s healing abilities.

  • Neem Oil: Pressed from the fruit of an evergreen tree native to India, neem oil has been valued as a medicinal aid for centuries. It works as a potent antimicrobial and antibacterial.

  • Topical Anesthetic: A topical anesthetic that contains pramoxine can help reduce the discomfort and itching.

  • Witch Hazel:  This is a tried and true treatment for a variety of skin conditions. Dab witch hazel on the bite to sanitize, reduce itching and prevent scarring. The formula contains salicylic acid which will dry the bite up.

Via Healthline

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: If you have widespread bites then try mixing a half a cup of apple cider vinegar in a warm bath and soaking your bites for instant relieve.

  • Aloe Vera Gel: Pure Aloe Vera gel has proven to be a miracle solution for burns. It rapidly soothes and nourishes the skin. If you have bed bug bites, then applying the gel to the surface of the bites works in the same fashion. You can even pluck a leaf off a Aloe Vera plant, slit it open, and squeeze out the jelly-like insides to apply directly to your bites.

  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is widely used to treat sunburn and rashes. As a natural astringent, it can reduce itching and help prevent scarring. Dab a cotton ball soaked in lemon juice onto the bite several times a day or whenever you feel the urge to scratch.

  • Baking Soda: Sodium bicarbonate neutralizes the area of the bite and brings much-needed relief. You can create a paste using baking soda and water.

 

If all methods fail and scarring still does occur, you can try treating the scar with a commercially available scar cream to reduce the pigmentation and keratin buildup of scars along with prescription retinal creams. Having bed bugs is bad enough, use these methods to avoid a lasting reminder!

 

Get more information on Bed Bugs:

Home Remedies for Bed Bug Pest Control

The Real Cost of Bed Bugs: Part Two

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