Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are bed bug bites bad for your body?"
I know that the bites itch, but are multiple bed bug bites bad for your body and your health too? We have them in my apartment and it has been terrible trying to get rid of them. Other than them being annoying though, should I be worried about my health?
I am sorry to hear that you are having a bed bug problem in your home. Bed bugs are really difficult to get rid of, and you may want to talk with your landlord (if you rent) or with a bed beg coalition (many departments of public health have one) for additional information on how to get rid of them. Fortunately, bed bugs do not cause any serious medical problems. The redness and itching that you experience at the site of the body is a minor allergic reaction to the bite. It can usually be controlled with anti histamines, such as diphenhydramine, and with topical over the counter anti itch medications. It is important to try to avoid itching the bed bug bites. This is because if you scratch excessively, you may cause small openings in the skin which might allow a more serious infection to develop. For example, if you notice that any of the bites are very warm or painful or if there is an area of redness spreading rapidly around a bite, these might be signs of a skin infection. If you have any of these signs, you should go see your primary care doctor right away.
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