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Bites from bed bugs, or a skin condition? Can't stop the anxiety

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  1. WorriedHuman

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    Posted 3 weeks ago
    Fri Nov 17 2017 21:13:23
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    Hi everyone on bedbugger,

    Lately I've been worrying more and more about marks that I get on my chest/upper body. I recently moved in an apartment in New York, and I bought a used bed and mattress -- newbie mistake. The bed had bed bugs, but my roommate, who had them before, knew the signs almost instantly (she began getting bites -- I did not), threw out the used bed and mattress, and got the apartment treated within less than 2 weeks of me moving in. She hired a company that had dogs sniff for bugs, confirmed they had migrated to a corner of her bed, and sprayed the floors. About 3 weeks later we had a second spray. Throughout this whole ordeal, I got no bites (at least I didn't react to any bites), but my roommate got some. She has not been getting any new bites for weeks, and she knows or sure that she reacts to bites.

    It has been a few weeks since our second treatment, and I had begun to think the chaos was behind us. However, recently I have begun to worry that perhaps they are still here -- but I'm also thinking I might just be paranoid.

    Every day after I shower, I discover little bumps on my chest and upper body. There are usually 3-6 ish bumps on my chest, no more than 3-4 mm in diameter across, and very round. Some are much tinier than that, only 1 mm in diameter. There is usually no discernible "bite" mark in the center, as far as I can tell. I have a couple on my back and at times on my upper arms, but often only 1 or 2, and placed very far apart (10-20 cm apart). I'm mostly not exhibiting the classic "zig zag" pattern or clusters of 3. Since I have a few more bites on my chest, which is a more concentrated area than my back, I see how the bumps could be in a zig-zag pattern or clusters of 3 there, but there are also some bumps on my chest that are kind of just *floating* by themselves. Only once did I have a definite pattern of 3 on my upper arm (straight down, about 2-3 cm apart), which is when I began to freak out and half-convinced myself the bed bugs were back.

    The bumps themselves only appear after I've taken a shower in warm or hot water. After I get out of the shower, I discover them. They're fairly round, only itch somewhat while I'm in the shower when they begin to appear (but a quick rub across them and the itching stops), the skin around the bumps is very red, kind of flaring out across my chest (even without any scratching), and they disappear after about an hour. There is no trace of them, and they do not itch at all except for the small itch I described in the shower. Every morning new ones appear after a shower, and as far as I can tell, they are in new spots. I usually sleep in a tank top and loose shorts, and all of these bumps appear almost exclusively on my upper body above the bra strap. Like I said, mainly chest, a little down on my breasts, some on my upper back and arms. I've only had 1 bump on my stomach and 1 on my knee, apart from that I'm bump-free except on my upper body.

    However, the reason I think I might just be in my head is that I know I have extremely sensitive skin, and I've had the kind of red, flaring skin on my chest for many years after I've gotten out of the shower. The difference is, before the bed bugs I never paid close attention to this red, post-shower skin, but I assume they probably had the same bumps in the center (at least it's strikingly similar, even to me as I write this asking for help). That is also why I feel a little silly asking about help -- these bumps on my chest/upper body are probably the same as whatever skin condition I've been having for years. Right...? My new worry is that I perhaps am getting bites, but that they're mixed up with the "regular" bumps that I get on my upper body.

    I cannot find any traces of dead bugs, shed skin, fecal traces, or blood splatter on my sheets. I have white sheets, so I would think I'd see it -- I check my mattress and underneath my bed fairly regularly, and I cannot find any bugs, eggs, fecal traces, or blood anywhere on my mattress/sheets/walls/, and I don't see anything. I also get up very early in the morning (5 am) and I always try to look for any bugs, but I haven't seen anything.

    Please, can someone weigh in -- is there a possibility they're still there, even if I cannot see any evidence and my roommate stopped getting bites? Does anyone know anything about a skin condition similar to what I'm describing that it could be instead? And if it is just nothing, does anyone have any tips as to how to lower my paranoia/anxiety/stress levels? I've been worried sick for weeks, and I cannot get out of my mind, I feel like I'm going crazy. The more I read about them, the more worried I get -- I haven't relaxed in my bed in weeks.

    Thank you all so much!

  2. Bedbugmom41

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    Posted 3 weeks ago
    Fri Nov 17 2017 21:49:19
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    Hi Worried
    If after close inspection of "hot spots" (please remove the duster from your boxspring, if you have one) you don't see anything, get passive monitors.
    I know now I didn't react to bites in the beginning, but reacted badly towards the end. Also, I had some old bites flare up after a while when under stress (bites I had no reactions to in the beginning). Passive monitors will put your mind at rest. They are worth it.

  3. WorriedHuman

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    Posted 3 weeks ago
    Sun Nov 19 2017 22:35:08
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    Bedbugmom41 - 2 days ago  » 
    Hi Worried
    If after close inspection of "hot spots" (please remove the duster from your boxspring, if you have one) you don't see anything, get passive monitors.
    I know now I didn't react to bites in the beginning, but reacted badly towards the end. Also, I had some old bites flare up after a while when under stress (bites I had no reactions to in the beginning). Passive monitors will put your mind at rest. They are worth it.

    Hi Bedbugmom,
    Thank you for your reply -- I will take your advice and cross my fingers! Here's hoping...

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 weeks ago
    Mon Nov 20 2017 1:36:04
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    Bed bugs poop every time they bite, so if you are being bitten regularly, there will be fecal traces. Note also there are no typical patterns.

    Monitors are a good idea.

    Also, try sleeping in something which covers you more on top and see if it still happens. Bed bugs generally don't bite non-exposed skin, but a tank top may be open enough for them, I don't know.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  5. WorriedHuman

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    Posted 3 weeks ago
    Mon Nov 20 2017 18:24:12
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    Nobugsonme - 16 hours ago  » 
    Bed bugs poop every time they bite, so if you are being bitten regularly, there will be fecal traces. Note also there are no typical patterns.
    Monitors are a good idea.
    Also, try sleeping in something which covers you more on top and see if it still happens. Bed bugs generally don't bite non-exposed skin, but a tank top may be open enough for them, I don't know.

    Good to know! Thank you -- I cannot see any fecal traces anywhere so far, so I'm crossing fingers that I'm just paranoid. Will try to sleep with something that covers my chest/arms and see if I get marks anywhere else


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