Skin Reactions To Bed Bug Bites Vary, And Sometimes Bite Wounds Can Lead To Serious Medical Conditions
Bed bugs can be found in various harborages within a house, but most dwell within 3 to 7 feet of a bed, couch or any other location where people remain stationary for long periods of time. Bed bugs are largely nocturnal creatures that feed on the blood of their human hosts for a period of 5 to 10 minutes shortly before sunrise. Bed bug saliva contains numbing compounds that prevent humans from noticing bites when they occur, and most bite victims will begin to experience itchiness within hours or possibly as long as two days after bites are sustained. Skin reactions to bed bug bites vary from person-to-person.
Most people develop 2 to 20 millimeter raised bumps, or “papules” on their skin in response to bed bug bites. A tiny spot of dried blood can often be readily seen at the center of these papules, and in some cases, bite victims may develop small asymptomatic lesions in response to bites. Bed bug bites vary in number, but they are typically located in clusters on uncovered areas of the body, most notably on the neck, face and limbs. Bed bug bites are almost never located behind the knee, as feeding at this location may crush a bed bug. The cluster of red papules that form over bed bug bite wounds resembles a rash, and the itchy papules may be noticed immediately upon waking or several days after sustaining bites.
Excessive itchiness generally results from bed bug bites whether a person develops papules or lesions. Incessantly itching at bed bug bite wounds can cause tissue erosion, scarring and super infections that can lead to impetigo, cellulitis or folliculitis. Once a person stops sustaining bed bug bites, red bumps and itchiness normally disappear within two weeks. In rare cases, bed bug bites cause systemic symptoms, such as asthma, iron deficiency, anemia, and in extremely rare cases, anaphylactic shock.
Have you ever experienced a rare reaction to bed bug bites?