Bed bugs are those brownish-looking, oval-shaped insects that become swollen and bright red after feeding on humans and animals. Bed bugs are often active at night and feed on exposed parts of the human body such as the face, hands, arm, and neck.
Bed bugs enter people’s homes through couches, luggage, mattresses, and clothing.
Their bites are usually painless and do not transmit diseases. However, such bites could lead to skin irritations and itching thereafter.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with bed bug bites;
- You could vacuum clean the entire house to curtail bed bug infestation.
- Avoid scratching any irritation caused by the bed bug bites as this would exacerbate the condition and could lead to skin infection.
- Make a conscious effort to eradicate the bed bug infestation.
- You could use a mixture of cold milk and water to soothe the skin itching.
- Avoid purchasing fairly-used mattresses and couches as they are more susceptible to bed bug infestation.
- Launder your clothes and wears at high temperatures to kill any bed bugs.
Below are home remedies and natural treatments for treating bed bug bites and its symptoms;
1. Baking Soda
The chemicals that cause itching due to bed bug bites are acidic in nature. Therefore, baking soda would help in neutralizing the acid and promote instant soothing sensation. Simply take one part of baking soda and mix it with three parts of water. Then, apply the solution to the affected area. Let it stay for 10-12 minutes and rinse off, with water, thereafter. You may reapply as needed or every 45 minutes.
2. Ice Pack
Take 4-5 ice cubes and wrap them in a thin towel. Put it on the affected area to relieve discomfort. Apply it for 12-15 minutes and repeat it a few times in a day. The coolness of the ice will cause a numbing effect on the nerve ending present on the skin and will instantly reduce pain and itching. The cold temperature will also reduce inflammation and swelling. Repeat the process several times throughout the day.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has a high acetic content which may greatly help in relieving inflammation from the skin. Therefore, it is useful in reducing pain and itching. Take a little apple cider vinegar and apply it to the affected area with the help of a cotton ball. Let it dry completely before you wash off with water. Reapply it after a few hours for a complete relief. You may also use white vinegar if apple cider vinegar is not readily available.
4. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has astringent properties which act as an excellent ingredient to reduce rashes from the skin, especially if the rashes are caused by bed bugs. It also acts as a potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent which helps in reducing discomfort. Extract some fresh lemon juice and apply it to the affected area with the help of a cotton ball. Allow it to dry. Repeat this application a few times in a day.
5. Aloe Vera
There is nothing better than aloe vera when it comes to treating skin rashes. The natural compounds present in aloe vera gel helps in reducing inflammation and relieves itching in an incredible way. It also helps in keeping the skin well moisturized thereby promoting healing. Cut open a fresh aloe vera leaf and extract its gel. Apply this gel to the bed bug bites and allow it to dry. You may store the gel in a refrigerator for a few days and apply it when needed.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, oatmeal helps to reduce irritation and itching to a great extent. Oatmeal also has a soothing action on the skin and is often used in treating skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. For this remedy, make an oatmeal paste by mixing it with some water. Spread it evenly on the affected area and let it stay for 12-15 minutes. Rinse off with water thereafter. You may also soak yourself, for 15 minutes, in an oatmeal bath by adding 1/2 cup of finely ground oatmeal in your warm bath. Soak in the bath every day until the problem subsides.
7. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is another great natural astringent for skin rashes. Witch hazel contains tannins which reduce discomfort caused due to the bed bug bites. The mild anesthetic effect can instantly reduce itching from the affected area. Put some witch hazel on a cotton ball and apply it directly on the skin. Let the cotton ball stay on the affected area for 10-12 minutes and remove it. Reapply it whenever you feel itching.
Rubbing a thin slice of cucumber or its peels are known to be highly effective in soothing bed bug bites. Cucumber contains caffeic acid and vitamin C which reduces inflammation and promotes faster healing. Simply place a few pieces of cucumber on your skin in the affected area and leave it for 12-15 minutes. Reapply this remedy a few times a day.
Take a small amount of toothpaste on your fingertip and apply it over the skin affected with bed bug bite. Allow it to stay for 10 minutes and rinse off with cold water. The toothpaste would soothe the irritation and relieve itching. Toothpaste contains menthol which would help in cooling the skin and dealing with the burning sensation caused by the bed bug bites. Make sure you use a white toothpaste for this remedy.
10. Tea Bags
Tea contains tannin which relieves discomfort due to excessive itching sensation associated with bed bug bites. The polyphenols, present in tea, is also helpful in reducing inflammation. Take a used tea bag and refrigerate it for about half an hour. Then, put the chilled tea bag on the affected skin for 15 minutes. Repeat this remedy a few times during the day or whenever needed.
Alcohol is a potent remedy for relieving bed bug bites. Alcohol disinfects the area and reduces the rashes caused due to insect bites. For this remedy, clean the affected area with rubbing alcohol for a faster relief. You may also apply a few drops of alcohol on your skin and hold it with the help of a bandage. It will soothe the skin while promoting healing.
Basil has a high medicinal value which proves effective in treating skin rashes including bed bug bites. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial nature of this herb is suitable for relieving itching almost instantly. If it is readily available, you may crush some fresh basil leaves and spread it on the area affected by the bed bug bites. Let it stay for some time. Then, wash off with water.
Salt is another great remedy for bed bug bites. Mix some salt with water to make a paste. Apply it to the rashes caused due to bites. It may sting a bit for some time but will provide long-term relief from pain and itching. Let the paste completely dry on your skin before washing it off.
Deodorant is an easy and effective way to deal with bed bug bites. Simply spray it on the affected area and let it dry. The cooling effect of the deodorant will soothe the skin and relieve itching almost instantly.
Water helps hydrate and relieve the skin when applied to the irritated area. The best and cheapest way to relieve discomfort is to hold the affected area under running water. Make sure the water is lukewarm or cool. Let the water soothe the irritated area for a few minutes and wipe off with a clean washcloth. You may also dampen a clean cloth with cold water and put it on the affected area for a soothing effect.
16. Marshmallow Poultice
Marshmallow roots have a high medicinal value which is helpful in reducing skin discomfort and bed bug bite rashes. Simply make a marshmallow poultice and apply it to the affected area. Avoid using this remedy if you are pregnant or nursing. It is important to consult a doctor if you have diabetes as marshmallow can lower blood sugar levels.
Garlic contains allicin which aids in fighting skin infections in a natural way. It can promote a faster healing and get rid of skin rashes effectively. Garlic also has high antibiotic properties which reduce skin discomfort in an incredible way. You may include raw garlic in your diet or use it in your cooking in order to reap its benefits. Consume garlic for a few days to get rid of the bed bug bites. You may also make a fine garlic paste by crushing a few fresh garlic cloves and apply this paste to the affected areas for a few minutes to relieve itching.
18. Banana Peel
Simply take a banana peel and rub the inner side of it on the bed bug bites. Banana contains bioactive compounds which have high therapeutic values that aid in faster relief from associated itching and burning sensation. It also contains polyphenols and carotenoids which promotes faster healing. You may also use plantain leaves for an instant relief from inflammation. Just grind some fresh plantain leaves and apply it to the affected area. Use a clean cotton cloth to cover the area for a few minutes. Do this until there is a considerable relief from the bed bug bites.
19. Calamine Lotion
Calamine lotion is formulated for soothing irritated skin and can be used for relieving bed bug bites in a natural way. All you have to do is take a little calamine lotion and spread it evenly on the rashes. Do this 2-3 times in a day to keep the discomfort and burning sensation from returning back.
20. Soap And Water
Soap and water is another great remedy to deal with bed bug bites. As soon as you notice the rashes, rub some bathing soap on the affected area and let it dry out completely. Then, wash it off with plain water and pat dry. Soap will act as an antiseptic and will prevent itching.
21. Natural Oils
A combination of unique natural oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, oat oil or argan oil may prove to be an excellent remedy for bed bug bites. The healing properties of these essential oils promote a faster relief from itching and discomfort. Also, the anti-inflammatory properties further help in reducing swelling and redness.
22. Cinnamon and Honey
The natural anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon are beneficial in combating the rashes caused due to bed bug bites. Honey helps in moisturizing the rashes and keeps the skin from drying out. When combined together, cinnamon and honey can act as a potent home remedy for skin rashes. for this remedy, all you have to do is mix both ingredients to make a thick paste and apply it to the affected area. Allow it to dry completely and wash off with water.
23. Preparation H
Preparation H is commonly used for treating burning and itching of the skin. Preparation H can greatly help in reducing rashes and discomfort associated with bed bug bites. Preparation H is readily available in drugstores. Just dab some of the ointment on the affected area and watch the rashes vanish.
24. Tea Tree Oil
The antiseptic and antifungal properties of tea tree oil make it an important ingredient for many skin care products. Tea tree oil can also soothe skin irritated from insect bites. Dilute some tea tree oil with water and apply it on the skin with the help of a cotton ball. Apply this remedy three times every day for a faster relief.
Onions contain a high amount of sulfur which is useful in reducing itching and discomfort. All you have to do is take a slice of freshly cut onion and rub it on the affected area. Reapply it a few times in a day to effectively reduce the symptoms associated with insect bites.
26. Herbal Tea
Drinking a herbal tea 3 times a day can relieve skin irritation caused due to bed bug bites. It soothes the body and reduces inflammation and redness. For example, sipping chamomile tea is known to have a beneficial action in reducing inflammation.
Mud is made up of silt and clay particles. Wet mud will not only help in cooling the area but also ward off bacteria. Therefore, natural clay is one of the best ways to reduce skin rashes. Simply take some wet clay on your fingertips and apply it over the bed bug bites. Allow it to dry and rinse off with water.
Sugar is another incredible remedy for bed bug bites. Furthermore, sugar is readily available and would greatly help in reducing itching and burning sensation. To prepare this sugar remedy, put some crushed sugar cubes in a wet cloth. Apply it to the affected area for some time to get rid of itching and discomfort. Reapply it as needed.
29. Nail Paint
If discomfort and pain are bothering you severely, you can apply a bit of nail paint on the affected area. Nail paint seals the bite and eliminates the exposure of the affected area to the air. It will instantly reduce the burning sensation and itching.
Potatoes are high in starch which promotes healing and reducing skin rashes in no time. Potato also softens and soothes irritated skin in a natural and effective way. Take a normal size potato and peel it. Put it in a refrigerator. Then, cut thin slices of the chilled potato and rub it on the affected area. Let it stay for a few minutes and wash off with water. You may reapply it as many times as needed.
31. Spoon Treatment
You can easily use a spoon to relieve itching caused by bed bug bites in a simple and effective way. All you need is a clean spoon and a bowl of hot water. Start by dipping the spoon in the hot water for a few seconds so that it is warm enough to soothe the irritated skin. Then, apply it on the affected area for a few seconds. Repeat it several times until the problem subsides. Make sure you check the temperature of the spoon every time before putting it on your skin. Very hot spoons may burn your skin while a spoon which is not warm enough may not work properly.
32. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm has astringent properties which aid in a faster relief from itching and irritation associated with bed bug bites. Lemon balm also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent which relieves swelling and redness and promotes healing in an excellent way. Due to its beneficial actions on the skin, it is often used in skin care and beauty products. Apply crushed lemon balm leaves on the affected area to get rid of the irritation.
Eggs have a beneficial effect on the skin, especially when it comes to irritations such those caused by bed bug bites. Eggs help in combating the toxins released by the bed bug bite and reduces inflammation and itching. Take an egg and whip it. Apply it to the entire affected area and allow it to dry completely. Now, wash off with water and pat dry. You may apply it several times a day to deal with skin rashes and itching.
The presence of ethanol in a mouthwash makes it an excellent antiseptic agent. Therefore, applying mouthwash to the bed bug bites will help in reducing itching while promoting healing. Take some mouthwash in a bowl and dip a cotton ball in it. Then, apply the moist cotton ball to the skin rashes and let it dry. Repeat this as needed or a few times in a day.
35. Cold Milk
Cold milk soothes the skin irritation and relieves burning sensation and itching. Take some cold milk in a bowl and mix it with equal amounts of water. Dip a cloth or a cotton ball into the diluted milk. Remove the excess milk and apply it to the affected area. This remedy would help in reducing pain almost instantly. Being a natural remedy, you may use it whenever needed.
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