We often hear people asking for remedies for the itching caused by bed bug bites.
Here are some suggestions for dealing with the itch from bed bug bites:
Keep your skin well-hydrated with a hypoallergenic, non-fragranced moisturizer applied twice a day (Aveeno and Cetaphil are great and among the reasonably-priced). Dry skin itches more. Frequent showers make skin drier (and you should keep the water as cool as you can, since hot water also dries skin.) Before bed bugs, I used lots of fun products. Once my skin was dry and under constant irritation, my usual moisturizers (which contained dyes and fragrances as most do) just dried my skin further. A dermatologist put me on to Aveeno and Cetaphil, and I have to say, things got much better once I started using a good plain unscented, un-pigmented moisturizer twice a day.
Most importantly, do everything you can to resist the urge to scratch bed bug bites. It takes a tremendous act of will power, at first. However, once you do scratch, the itching will be magnified by many times, and the act of willpower required to resist will be even greater. When I finally, finally, stopped scratching, the bites became much smaller (sometimes unnoticeable), scabs healed, and I was so much more comfortable. I had to make a conscious choice not to scratch (and re-make that choice every day), but it was so much better than when the scratching was irritating my skin further.
Specific remedies for itching due to bed bug bites which have been recommended by Bedbuggers:
Early Bedbugger forum regular Willow-the-wisp recommended ice to numb the itch.
Parakeets, another early forum regular, strongly recommended Corticool:
A number of readers seemed to find Benadryl helpful:
Benadryl for kids and a generic for adults are both available via our Amazon store.
Note that if you have a severe allergic reaction to bed bug bites (swelling or trouble breathing may be two signs), seek emergency medical assistance immediately. A severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to bed bug bites seems to be rare, but does occur, and has happened to at least one Bedbugger regular that I know of. (Luckily, she got swift medical assistance and survived.)
One reader wrote me once insisting that Glyerin USP could be used on skin (dabbed on with a Q-tip or cotton bud) to relieve the itchiness of bites. (Note: it can also cause drying; if you want to try this, dab only a little on your bites. Let us know if it works for you!)
As of 2013, David Cain of Bed Bugs Ltd. (UK) and our forums recommends Caribbean Breeze Aloe Burn Relief with Lidocaine for bed bug bite relief (assuming you are not sensitive to the ingredients).
Similar products from other brands which are based on aloe and lidocaine may be equally helpful– be sure and let us know about your experiences if you try them:
If you have recommendations for anti-itch remedies, please share them below!
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