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How to Treat Hives From Bed Bugs

author image Adam Cloe Ph.D./M.D.
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.
How to Treat Hives From Bed Bugs
Woman putting ointment on her hand Photo Credit: curtoicurto/iStock/Getty Images

Bed bugs are small insects with six legs that spend the day in hiding and then come out at night to feed. They get their name from preferring to feed on people while they are sleeping. When bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic to keep their victims from feeling anything as well as an anticoagulant to keep the blood flowing. Bed bug bites commonly cause small hives that cover any area that the bugs have fed upon.

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Step 1

Use topical creams. There are a wide variety of cortisone creams that are available over the counter. Application of these creams to the affected area three or four times a day will help relieve the itching.

Step 2

Avoid scratching. Scratching the affected area can cause irritation and can also damage the skin, potentially causing infection.

Step 3

Take antihistamines. Antihistamines (the same ones that can be used to treat allergies) can help reduce some of the itching and inflammation that bed bugs can cause.

Step 4

Be wary of severe allergic reactions. For some people, the hives from bed bugs can cause itching all over their body and difficulty breathing. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids.

Step 5

Get rid of the bed bugs. The only way to get rid of the hives that bed bug bites can cause is to get rid of the bed bugs. You will need to freeze your pajamas, sheets, and other bedding items for twenty-four hours as well as spray pesticide around your bed. You will most likely need a professional, however, to completely get rid of the infestation.

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