Bedbug Bites: Treatment for Itching and Inflammation

Travelers became concerned about bedbugs in the early 2000s when the tiny biting insect started turning up in some high-end hotels. Bedbugs had pretty much disappeared from the U.S. lodging scene until a 1972 DDT insecticide ban was implemented. The powerful insecticide was used to kill bed bugs and other insect pests and after it was banned, we started hearing about bedbugs again.

Bedbugs didn't discriminate. They showed up in the folds of mattresses in hostels as well as fine hotels. And it took quite a bit of work to eliminate them. The media was full of stories about bedbug infestations and the travelers who suffered from the itchy red bumps on their skin. While alternative means to destroy the small bugs have reduced the number of incidences reported, there are still travelers who encounter them, get bitten and need to deal with the bites.

When it comes to bedbug bites, everyone reacts differently. Some people just have small red marks, while others have a more severe allergic reaction to the bedbug bites. The best treatment options for bedbug bites include anti-itch cream, topical antiseptics (to ward off infection), and oral antihistamines. These treatments for bedbug bites are over-the-counter. 

If you have a severe reaction to bedbug bites, see a doctor; you may need a corticosteroid. In general, bedbug bites are not dangerous but if you scratch them, you could end up with an infection and scarring. 

If you are not certain your attackers were bed bugs, these pictures of bedbug bites will help you find out.