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Treating Bed Bug Bites

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for bed bug bites. As is the case with most other types of bug bites, the best treatment is to relieve the itching and, in severe cases, reduce any swelling that may occur. The bites will usually run their course in 2-3 days for normal cases, however, severe reactions can sometimes take a week or more and may require medical attention.

Here are some suggestions for treating bed bug bites itching and/or swelling:

  1. Wash the affected area with soap and warm water.
  2. Apply your preferred type of OTC medication on the bed bug bites to stop the itching and help dry out the rash – calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream are popular choices. In severe cases where the rash affects large areas of the entire body, an oatmeal bath (the same kind used to treat chickenpox) can often help to reduce itching.
  3. Common antihistamines such as Benadryl, Claritin, Tylenol Allergy, etc. will help alleviate any swelling that may occur.
  4. If the above suggestions do not help, some people have found success using a paste created by combining water and baking soda. Apply the paste to the affected area(s) and allow to dry. Let the paste stand for about an hour and then gently wash the paste off with warm water and pat dry.
  5. It is important to keep in mind that treating the bites will not solve the infestation problem. New bites will surface almost daily until the infestation is eradicated.