Are these Bed Bug Bites ITCHING QUESTION HELP!!!!(13 posts)
First, Thank you to "nobugs" for your help.
I have been bitten by about every bug imaginable as I used to live in Florida. I have never experienced any type of allergic reaction and normally the longest anything would itch would be a day. Over the counter creams/sprays would aide in the itching.
I attempted to post photos: Do these look like bed bug bites? http://www.flickr.com/photos/8622898@N05/526347150/in/photostream/
I got my bed bug bites from a Hotel we stayed in. I think the room was in the beginning infestation stage. I have about 15 of them around the left side of my ribcage (I sleep on my left side). The classic "breakfast, lunch, and dinner" pattern. We left the hotel on the 21st. I didn't notice them until they started welting and itching on the 25th of May. Its now June 2nd. I am about ready to tear my skin off. I have never felt such intense itching in my life. I finally went to the doctor yesterday and he prescribed a steroid cream which made the itching even WORSE!! I have a few questions as my doctor was not NOT helpful nor sympathetic!!
QUESTION: How long does the itch continue? I am on my 9th day. The itching is driving me CRAZY!! I have tried oral benadryl, topical benadryl cream and spray, caladryl, rhuli calimine spray, campho phenique, and the steriod cream desoximetasone. Ice seems to help the best. But I can't leave the house with an ice pack on my ribs. I just took some Drixoral 12 hour allergy relief so I'll see if that helps. When I try something new I will put it on lightly, wait about 15 minutes (unless it causes it to itch worse). The caladryl helps for a bit as does the benadryl spray but not long enough to leave the house.
QUESTION: Did anyone have any 'very minor' pain (like tiny little stabbing pains every so often) on an off around the bite area/areas along with their itching?
QUESTION: Has anyone felt any type of phantom tingling, crawling sensation around the area's of your bites or any type of pain?
Any information would be helpful. My doctor kept referring to it as a rash. HELLLOOO, not a rash. You can see the bites. I brought photos of downloaded internet bug bites to his office along with additional info on bed bugs. He completely ignored what I was saying and continued to call it a rash. I'm changing doctors.
Thanks in advance for any comments.
Now I've read your short story--yes switch docs ...
But don't expect the new doc to be overzealous in diagnosing bed bug bites either. Not even a dermatologist. Bed bug Phenomenon is relatively new: the whole (bb) epidemic is fairly new--right? Just to be fair to some Docs ... they may be concerned with some degree of understanding, by me, (a former RN) to say yes--But then if a lawsuit ensues ... they are on record of saying yes, bb's--when they did not see the bed bug actually biting you!
Suggestion: Try Orajel and some triple anti-biotic ointment mixed into. You can take them both along with you and if they wear off re-apply. Steroid creams may not be so helpful, as ... we unconsciously itch (and scratch) and that moist environment from steroid creams can create an increase in swelling and infection.
We really need a steroidal cream with antimicrobial properties. One may exist that I don't know about. What does the label on what you used say--the ingredients???
However, nobody has ever come back to me and said to me that Orajel with triple antibiotic cream did not work or even that it made it all worse.
I know it worked for me for up to an hour.
Yes! Many of us get stabbing or pinching feelings--and that could be anywhere not just near a bite: Heck though I'm no expert just a guy with an old Nursing degree.
Over all I'd say 75% likely to be bed bug bites especially because of travel associated with bites increases to a small degree. What degree?
i.e.--Obviously--it's not a rash at all! Yet some people listen intently to a Doctor as if the Doc's advice is infallible. They are subject to the more stringent scientific protocols in diagnosing things. They are not of course--infallible. My own doc did not even ask to see my skin. Cool to warmish baths help--Don't scratch is one of the best treatments. Ice cubes help too. I'd suspect a mentholated gel with aloe vera would do the trick too! But even there I'd want to put some triple antimicrobial ointment into the mix. Any wet surface with an exposed opening in the skin is subject to gather ore microbes--not good for increasing an infection.
FYI--any reaction to a bug bite is in part allergic response, so--your post as stands above is not totally accurate. The redness swelling and heat is the immune response reacting to either a substance creating an allergic response or a pathogen. Th body normally does do that. Some people jsut don;t get that response or so barely ... it goes by undetected.
It is fairly similar response wise to just a cut--so the only thing missing in that is the itching.
60--70 % guess it is Bed bug bites, not too helpful, but better than saying nothing or 50-50 deal here. It is/they are obviously bites! Or at the most extreme--a reaction to some other chemical or substance on this planet--so that narrows it down to billions of substances. But even a laundry detergent reaction could cause this too! In this case I guess 30/70% â€¦ any insect bites which could be bed bug bites in particular.
Since I have no RN Licence--there is no risk in my humble assessment here.
Also--tiny stabbing pains is a reaction often associated wit hthe healing of any scabbed area. So that's good to knoww too. But i'm tlaking about "HEAVY" pins and needles all over--that is more common with an increased exposure to prolonged bites--even there not everyone gets that either!
Please read the most recent post on the blog--it might have some ideas for you on reducing itching. The best thing is NEVER to scratch, even though that is really hard, each scratch make the itch worse. I have felt occasional pains as you describe.
I would not bother trying to convince your doctor, or even seeing another doc. Many of us have internal med docs and dermatologists who cannot diagnose our bites. It's really common (search for dermatologist on the blog and see more on that). As the bite photos page on the blog attests, bites present differently on different people, period. It's a histamine reaction to the allergen, which is the bed bug's saliva, injected as anaesthetic when you're bitten.
Because they arose during a hotel stay and still itch 9 days later and look like bites other people have shown me photos of, I guess bed bugs. The itch may go on for some time but the key question is, did you bring any bed bugs home???
Any more bites appear since you came home?
A BIG THANK YOU you willow-the-wisp and nobugsonme for your comments, suggestions and support. I was fearful that I may have brought some home. I immediately called my pest control person, took everything off the bed, washed everything we brought with us in hot water, along with linens, fumigated my entire room & the suitcases and have been looking for any signs. I haven't seen any nor have I had any additional bites (or my husband). I have two small dogs that sleep on the bed, carpet, etc. and check them as well. I will keep looking for signs as I know this little things can hide really well.
I can't say I am happy to hear the itch may go on for some time.
How much is some time? Days, weeks, months? It makes me not want to travel anymore!!
I am heading to the store tomorrow to try the oragel/triple antibiotic formula. I feel I have been chained to the house because clothing just makes it itch worse. I have not scratched at all (that I know of. I caught myself scratching in the middle of the night when I was sleeping). Its difficult not too but from what everyone says, I don't want to make it worse.
The oral Drixoral I tried this afternoon seemed to help better then the oral benadryl but made me really tired all day long (its a 12 hour formula). I'll take that over the itching. I thought I might be loosing it with the occasional stabbing pin like pains. I was relieved to hear that others have this pain as well.
As I stated my doctor tried to convince me it was a rash. What I didn't mention is he then tried to tell me it was shingles. I went home to do research on shingles and what I have doesn't remotely look like shingles. He kept insisting I must have had water-like blisters on my rash. I kept telling him I had huge welts with knots under it and no water-like blisters.
Thank you again. I feel a bit better after reading both comments. I am hoping the end of the itching stage is near. I will keep a daily lookout for any signs of bed bugs coming into my home.
Youâ€™re so welcome!
I hope that what you did and these few ideas also will help!
Since they lay eggsâ€”like other than biting itâ€™s their other favorite pastime--it would not hurt to re-wash the bedding and a few sets of clothes that you all stick to wearing for three or four weeks. Keep them strictly separate from the rest: wash these clothes twice as much i.e. twice a week for each of three outfits --that will more likely ensure an increased success--and do good vacuuming!bedding was twice weekly too for a few weeks--i.e. three weeks or more.
This extra 20-30 hours of work will save hundreds of $ AND hundreds of hours of worry and work hours later on.
Skin is so sensitive to our thoughts let me say it like this: most people generally decrease in itchiness as the bed bug bites and # of bites fade off into the distance ...MOST,
Usually all, of it will fade from what I've heard. Expect the best in this respect and if it gets worse slowly over time instead of better--worry. i.e. bites have happened or bed bugs may be near. If soâ€”PCO again and then be sure to let us know either way about your skin. Since youâ€™re allergic you can sort of gauge the PCO and self treatments to some degree.
Our FAQS are great! Huh?
Thanks for the cleaning tips. I have all the bedding ready to be washed again and will make sure we only use certain clothes over the next few weeks. I'll be vacuuming daily!! As well as all the other tips. I certainly don't want to have an infestation.
Your comment if it gets worse over time ... bed bugs may be near? Can you elaborate on that a bit?
I want to try to find information on tips regarding traveling. We travel very frequently and I don't want to bring anything home. I'll post any questions after I read some of the other postings regarding travel tips.
Hi kitty, sure: Generally, skin is very prone to auto suggestions â€¦ I therefore don't want to leave you with any â€œillâ€ thoughts that might cause you excess stress or any undue paranoia. If you are fairly allergic to bed bug bites (which it seems you are) the majority of people experience a lessening over time of skin problems. Some willâ€”get a reaction that is like a brand new biteâ€”but it is an old bite re-surfacing for some reason.
Overallâ€”you may be able to use your skin as a bed bug barometer so to speak, with some level of accuracy. But that is the short version, of a long story about different skin reactions to Bed bugs and their bites.
Better you read up on the skin ideas on the blog and in the forumsâ€”but donâ€™t dwell on it/them. That alone can cause us increased anxiety and increased skin problems. Some good advice was put on the blog yesterdayâ€”I hope you saw it. You seem to already know enough to call in a PCO again, immediately, should there be any signs of bed bugs (hatched eggs now searching you out and biting you).
But that is probably unlikely yet it is also entirely possible.
You could isolate the beds (without having to encase them yetâ€”just to help limit or stop any few bed bugs or eggs SHOULD there be any. Encasements are costly but some Vaseline on bed posts or putting the bed posts into metal bowls filled with some oil or smeared well with Vaseline and keeping the bedding from EVER touching the floor for a month is not costly so costly.
In essence youâ€™d be half isolating the beds in addition to the clothing precautions.Also pull the beds away from all walls so they are free-standing.
Hope that helps and that it is enough.
Can never know too much about bed bugsâ€”read on!
Kitty, you called a PCO--but did they come and treat? Or what did they say?
I found a bug that I thought was a possible bed bug. I had my PCO come out to look at it. After freaking (thinking I brought them home) and looking at a website called "Pest Control Canada" http://www.pestcontrolcanada.com/Questions/What%20is%20this%20pest.htm which has photos of various bugs that individuals email to them I identified the bug as a carpet beetle. I got my camera out and took close up photos. I have a 30X loupe for examining things close up and it had tons of hairy legs. When my PCO came out I didn't tell him what I thought it was and he said it was the same thing a carpet beetle. But just to be on the safe side I am sending it to an Insect Identification Lab. Its been 15 days since I have been home with the possibility of bringing home an uninvited guest. My PCO can't treat unless they see something. I am keeping a watchful eye. So I am going to continue to clean, bag, vaseline, etc. At the very least my house will be extra clean And if I do have an infestation later on I will be ahead of the game.
You can search this site for great bug images for your identification.
I have founf carpet beetles also. I wonder if the appearance of carpet beetles had anything to do with bed bugs.
My wife's ankle swelled and hurt for a couple of days, that was just days before we discovered our infestatation.
I still itch a little. I hope this helps.
We find all kinds of bugs, but that does not mean we do not also have bed bugs.
You need to tell the PCO you were bitten in a hotel, came home, and are still being bitten. PERIOD. Call another PCO. Some of them understand this situation.
bittennotsmitten - 1 minute ago »
why did BB's pick me? My husband was right there and not one bite! the bite site (or dinner plate) is discolored, itchy bright red spots that are driving me nuts. last night it felt like I was rubbing glass shards over my skin - not very pleasant. surface of spots are rough, could bugs have left stingers behind that I can tweeze out? I need action. cortisone creams just numb briefly, then the burning and itching are back full force. this all from a "reputable" hotel in Minnesota. calamine lotion also a bust. anybody have any similar reactions?!!!!!
I have found that hydrocortisone and caladryl creams, gels, etc. are only effective for a short time, but very hot water can often relieve the itch for a whole day. The water has to be as hot as you can take it [so this is not a good solution for children]. Running the hot water directly over the bite is best, but there may be some times when that is not possible, so in that case you can repeatedly apply a very hot cloth. Obviously caution is in order not to burn yourself. Apparently this works because you are giving your skin's pain and itch receptors something else to pay attention to.
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