Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed bug bites, skin, etc.

Pinhead-sized scabs, are they bites?

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  1. Deathtobedbugs

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 12 2007 12:15:48
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    I'm on my third month fighting the bugs, and I think it's going well. I've had a PCO treat three times, and I've taken many precautions like caulking, mineral oil, DE, and spraying with alcohol 91%. When I first had the bugs, the bites would be large, itchy, red welts. I have only had one or two bites like that since my first PCO treatment. But, I keep discovering small pinhead-sized scabs on some parts of body. They are almost always exclusivley on my shins or lower calves. They do not itch, nor does the skin raise. I cannot tell if these are bites, or due to dry skin, reaction to chemicals, or me scratching phantom bites and making myself bleed. Is it possible to build up an immunity to the bites after having a normal reaction to them? Also, I've been noticing that I've been getting new moles on my body. Has anyone experienced these phenomenons?

  2. angie

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 12 2007 12:27:52
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    I don't know about the moles, but my bites did the same as yours. I started out with big, itchy,red welts and now I get tiny raised bumps that itch a little (especially when I'm reading the bedbuggers).I don't remember the thread but someone commented on this before. Theory is that you could build up a tolerance to the bites or it could be from baby bb's. As I sit here now, my skin is crawling and making me want to scratch.

  3. stamps

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 12 2007 12:40:56
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    YES. I have been noticing new moles as well.

  4. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 12 2007 14:39:01
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    If they are true moles then you really need to see a dermatologist. Any changes in moles on your body should be examined to make sure it is not a serious skin problem.

  5. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 12 2007 15:40:51
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    An occassional tiny red round with a little pin prick in center like a puncture that is me. No bug signs and bed isolated. No poop or blood smears so go figure. It could be anything but I do not think that I had this shit before bbs and chemicals and stress due to bbs.

  6. lil_bit_obsessed

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 13 2007 22:57:54
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    my bites sound exactly like that, little pin pricks. i don't know about having MORE moles, maybe we just notice more moles than we realized we had because we are scrutinizing our skin more carefully than we normally would? however i HAVE noticed my bites are almost always close to moles. my theory on that? we're more likely to have moles in places that are exposed to sun... and we're also more likely to have bites in places that are exposed when we sleep. maybe they are the same areas. just a thought.

  7. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 14 2007 1:12:52
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    I have small red pimple-like bites similar to lt dans. But I also have noticed a couple of scab-like pricks here and there. (These I wonder might be chemical related?) And the mole thing is not crazy. I have bites that indeed look just like moles. And I know they are bites. That they are mole colored and not red welt-like has made it hard to tell if I have new bites on my shoulder and upper back (where I have lots of moles and freckles). But I have bites in my lower back that look JUST like moles. The only reason I know they aren't is because they are new and I never had "moles" there before.

  8. parakeets

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 14 2007 9:20:05
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    I have both the red moles and the pin prick scabs. At first I thought my bedbug bites were just an incredible outbreak of the small red moles. Not true. You have to look at them closely, and a magnifying glass will help.

    When you look closely, the red moles have a slightly raised, almost puffy raspberry-colored latex-textured smooth surface. They rise up very slightly from the skin and have a distinct, smooth edge where they join the skin where you can see the mole tisse bursting forth and up.

    The bedbug scabs are different. The center can be slightly depressed. The edges are harder and sometimes a bit crinkly. The color is not the slightly-greyish raspberry tone, it is more a sharp, brownish red.

    If you watch the markings over a few weeks you can tell, too. The red moles (cherry angiomas, I think they are called) do not go away (except with laser zapping, which some people have for costmetic reasons). The pinprick scabs do go away. Do not do what I did--don't scratch the scabs off. If you do, you'll find that the wound, maybe because it still has some of the anticoagulant the bedbugs injected, stays open and gets bigger and then you get a bigger scab.

  9. buggedmama

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 8 2008 15:39:51
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    Your explanation, Parakeets, is really helpful. I believe I may also have gotten some of those "pin prick" scab marks between our 2nd and 3rd treatment and there may have also been some new ones after the third treatment. Over the past several days they have begun to vanish but a number of what must be cherry angiomas remain. See pic (not me, just found via Google Image Search)

    http://missinglink.ucsf.edu/lm/DermatologyGlossary/img/Dermatology%20Glossary/Glossary%20Clinical%20Images/CherryAngioma.jpg

    If you look at this pic, you can see three large cherry angiomas identified with arrows--but if you look closely you can tell that this person has a number of other more "pin prick" sized red blemishes. Also cherry angiomas, I think? I seem to have a lot more markings like that than I thought I did.

    Back to the pin prick bites: while considering all of this I am wondering if, indeed, in many people who are allergic to the bites, nymph bites do not produce a big red welt like adult bites do. (I've seen "S"'s test, but even she acknowledged its many limitations). This would explain why their presence can go unnoticed a month or more, until there is enough adults to leave enough bites that you can't help but notice... any thoughts?

  10. lil_bit_obsessed

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 8 2008 15:47:48
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    pin prick bites, that's mostly what i get too. usually two in a row. sometimes accompanied by a tiny red slashy spot nearby (not broken skin, just a tiny red mark on the skin). i was at the allergist today and apparently allergic reactions to insect bites can cause broken capillaries, hence the red slashy spots. initially i thought these spots were small moles, but apparently they aren't, at least not on me. *sigh*

    i think i would have preferred the mole explanation though.

  11. parakeets

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 8 2008 16:10:15
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    buggedmama--from my own experience, I have observed (as you mention) that I get different-looking skin responses from nymph bites than I do from adult bedbug bites. However I have been told by entomologists on these boards whom I respect that there is no difference in the size of bites between nymphs and adults. I would thus assume my bites look different due to allergic reactions, not due to the size of the bites themselves, and that what I am allergic to is the saliva the bedbugs inject. Since nymphs feed for a shorter time, they inject less saliva and I apprently have less of a reaction.

  12. buggedmama

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 8 2008 16:34:21
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    Parkakeets - OK I think I am getting a bit confused by wording. What I was referring to was that perhaps many people's allergic reactions to nymph bites (from what they inject) are smaller (smaller red bump or even only the pin prick mark where the nymph punctured the skin)... I am not sure what you mean by the entomologists say that the "bite sizes" are the same. By this do you mean, the size of skin punctured? Thanks in advance for clarification.

    lil_bit_obsessed - what your allergist said is in line with the description of Petechiae which can show up after trauma...

  13. DRKSD4848

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 8 2008 16:46:29
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    interesting about the anticoagulant: I had what I thought/hoped was a pimple on the tip of my nose one morning... So I (bear with me) I decided to squeeze it... And it popped... and bled.... and bled and bled... more so and a normal zit. (more so than I've experienced anyway). I had to hold a tissue on it to get it to stop.

    So, was it a bite?

    Here, I'll answer my F-ing question: Who knows? Every F-ing bite looks different on every single F-ing person. Zit/mole/welt/pin prick/rash = possible bed bug bite... possibly not. What the F- can you do? Just resign yourself to the fact that sucks in every way and it ruins your F-ing life.

  14. parakeets

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 8 2008 16:57:58
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    I guess maybe the entomologists were referring to the size of the puncture of the skin when they told me nymph bites were the same as adult bites and that there was no difference. I certainly see a difference in size on my skin, so the entomologists and I must be talking about two different things--I was talking about how big what I called a "bite" LOOKED on the skin (and my version of bite included the allergic reaction) and maybe they were talking about the size of a "bite" being literally that, how big the hole in the skin to insert the probiscus and suck out blood is. Or mabye when non-allergic entomologists feed bedbugs in the lab with their own skin, none of their bites get a reaction so they all look the same?

  15. persona-non-bugga

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 8 2008 17:40:20
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    Re: nymph bites vs. adult bites.

    Since I'm kinda obsessed with collecting anecdotal info about bedbugs, I hafta ask: How do you guys know what's a nymph bite and what's an adult bite?

    Do you observe the nymph and/or adult actually feeding, then make note of the reaction that results from the bite?

    Or is it a case of seeing different types of reactions, then imputing that bedbugs at varying lifestages must be the reason for the differences.

    Thanks for indulging me.

  16. buggedmama

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 8 2008 18:02:29
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    For the most part, persona, we're just throwing ideas around. We can't figure out why some of our bites are tiny or represented only by a pin-prick scab (like the title of the post) while others are big, itchy as hell, red welts. There is a series of posts on the Blog that a woman, yes intentionally, gets bit by both a nymph and adult and shows that her bite reactions were the same for both... http://bedbugger.com/2007/04/20/bitefest3/
    also important to the debate is her fourth update:
    http://bedbugger.com/2007/04/23/bitefest4/

  17. parakeets

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 8 2008 18:03:36
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    With me it is partly imputing. I have only seen an adult bedbug feeding on me once (arrgh!) so I know exactly what that adult bite looked like. I had many other bites like it. I had to guess about the nymph bites since there was a cycle of treatment in my building where all the adults seemed to be killed (at least I was not getting what looked like those adult bites anymore). Then some bedbug eggs hatched, the landlord did not retreat, and the new-ly hatched nymphs--only one of whom I saw, but which I did not catch in the act of biting--started to bite. I observed those new bites and what they looked like (different than the adult bites, smaller, less itchy, less reaction) and after a while the bedbug nymphs matured and the bites turned into what I considered fully-mature adult bites. But I have to yield to entomologists who say there is no difference in bites so it is only an anecdotal story. It's hard for me to contradict entomologists even though I had this experience. I'm only one person and not trained in entomology or dermatology. I have had different kinds of bites on my skin, and I attributed them to nymphs and adults.

  18. persona-non-bugga

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 8 2008 18:33:04
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    Hey, I think there can be a lot of wisdom and validity in anecdotal experiences. Reading your observations and the details behind them is so helpful. Thank you, buggedmama and parakeets.

    Just so I contribute my experience ... as far as I know, the only reactions I got were large, pale itchy welts - often surrounded by an even larger pink halo. The welts themselves would range in size from about 1 to 2 inches in length. But they were basically the same "type." No scabs whatsoever. Not even the pinprick kind.

    S.'s experiments definitely helped me think back and consider that any size differences in my reactions could've been attributable to feeding time and lifestage.

  19. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Jan 9 2008 21:01:13
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    I posted a few weeks ago about me having those pimple and "pin-prick" cherry angiomas also. Well folks, interestingly enough, I apparently have more than just bed bugs! In fact, it's very likely that my bed bugs are gone now. The reason I say this is that I know I had bed bugs in Nov and the nature and timing of the bites indicated bed bugs. (Besides physically finding some). However, after my PCO sprayed Phantom (because mine seemed resistant to other treatments) our bites changed. We got less bites...but still small pimple bites and cherry angiomas (or "pin prick" bites). Our bites started happening at all times of the day. This last Thursday was the worst. I was sitting at the computer and it felt like things were crawling up my legs. I even pulled something out of my leg at a place that was tickling me. It got worse that night and I didn't sleep a wink. The next day I went to the doctor who (again) told me that we don't have scabies, but gave me Elimite anyways. We all did that (yuck) and the little pimple marks have started clearing up. However, we are still getting new ones. In fact, I felt a tickle in my bed yesterday on my knee and when I looked at it, there was a red spot (mosquito bite-like) that faded pretty fast (hour-ish? and left a pin prick mark). (I still don't see the bugs)
    Today I went to a dermatologist and he also said our bites look nothing like scabies and that it was probably a mite. I gave him the thing I pulled from my leg and he looked at it with a microscope and said that it was indeed a mite, but had no idea what it was. He prescribed more Elimite and has decided my family will use it once a week until there are no more bites of any kind....from whatever is biting us.
    So I found that really interesting. I'm wondering if our PCO happened to kill a mouse or something in the process of bed bug elimination and its mites came after us...or if it could possibly be like straw itch mites. They live off other bugs, but, in the event that their bug host disappears, will come after humans. Maybe....who knows, huh?

  20. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Jan 9 2008 22:10:27
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    CurrentInsomniac

    Strongly recommend that you have a qualified entomologist identify the mite specimen. Obtaining a reliable ID on the mite specimen should help you customize your treatment plan for a specific pest & identify potential harborages / hosts.

  21. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Jan 10 2008 11:46:20
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    Thank you. Unfortunately my dermatologist still has the specimen. But I'll see about getting that back to have it ID'd by someone. I should've asked him what it looked like at least. It would be a waste if it was just a demodex (a mite that most people have and occurs at the hair follicles- not harmful)
    I'm thinking it could be rodent or bird mites. Not necessarily rat mites because apparently their bites you can feel. But I thought I heard something in the hallway moving around at about 3am last night. Mouse maybe...though I have no other evidence. The other option is birds in the dryer vent (had that happen before in my last home).
    But thanks for the advice. I would like whatever is causing this to be taken care of. If I have a nest of something those bugs might never stop coming after us!

  22. MixedFeelings

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Feb 15 2008 14:36:53
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    I get only pin-pricks (no bumps or welts). Both my first and second PCO have now implied that these marks are not BB bites. I think they are, and probably from nymphs. My current PCO is now suggesting I visit a dermatologist. However, I have samples of what I believe are actual bedbugs (caught in Dec, haven't seen any since).

    We've now had 4 treatments (3 Tempo WP (Cyfluthrin) + 1 Propetamphos). The pin-pricks continue.

    This is so frustrating!

    Did anyone ever get the tiny pin-prick scabs, only to later find out they were caused by something other than bedbugs?

    MF

  23. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Feb 15 2008 15:24:06
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    Mite pictures and some info.
    http://www.whatsthatbug.com/mites.html

  24. persona-non-bugga

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Feb 16 2008 18:25:17
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    MF - I get tiny pin-prick scabs on my legs sometimes when a hair follicle gets infected. 100% positive that it's not bedbugs that cause these. But others report their bedbug bites look like this. It's so tough to diagnose based on bites alone. Do hairs push out from the little scabs within a few days after they've formed?

  25. MixedFeelings

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Feb 16 2008 19:49:11
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    Thanks lieutenantdan and persona-non-bugga.

    No, I checked that first, the scabs are in random spots, in-between pores. So not hair/follicle related.

    They appear mainly on my arms, occasionally neck or face. They bleed a little when new, and then fade to purple (and shrink in size) over a few weeks.

    I have never seen them before in my life. I have dry skin on my arms, and so am inspecting them regularly (ie: way before the BB thing). So I doubt the pin pricks ever occurred before this BB stuff. They first started 3 weeks after our first Tempo treatment (so a total of ~4 weeks after we first found BBs in our couch). The timing is what made me think they must be nymph bites.

    During our BB treatments, my husband did receive a total of 3 "typical" BB bites, so I'm pretty sure *something* in our apartment has been here biting us, at least up until he was last bit a few weeks ago. Currently, he and my son haven't had detectable bites in awhile, so I'm wondering if it's just me getting bitten, or if there's a small chance these pin-pricks are something else. That's probably just wishful thinking...

    Open to any ideas,

    MF

  26. pleasehelp

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Feb 16 2008 22:19:39
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    Hi MF, I have a confirmed bb infestation & I get pin-prick bites... also get other types. The ones on my face are usually the pin-prick type; have also gotten them on my arms. They get a hard tiny scab on them. I've stopped picking at them, but when I did at first, the scab would get bigger each time I removed it.

  27. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Feb 18 2008 13:42:50
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    I have been wondering for some time now if mine are pesticide related because my reactions started after treatments with Suspend SC and Gentrol.

  28. pleasehelp

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Feb 18 2008 16:25:57
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    My house hasn't been treated with any chemicals yet. Have only put DE (the kind with no added pyrethrins) into cups that the bed legs stand in.

  29. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Feb 18 2008 17:21:42
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    pleasehelp,
    Maybe DE can also be a skin irritant.

  30. pleasehelp

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Feb 19 2008 11:46:41
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    LtDan, I agree DE could also be a skin irritant. But I'm sure what I have is pin-hole size bites... from location, timing, sensation, other bites, examination w/10x magnifier, etc.

  31. MixedFeelings

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Feb 19 2008 12:40:13
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    Yeah, I feel like pleasehelp too. My "pin pricks" are light red and bleed a little (when squeezed) the day they are "fresh". After that, they form a teeny tiny scab over them which then slowly turns darker purple and shrinks. And after a few weeks, eventually disappears.

    The bleeding when fresh is what makes me think they *must* be puncture wounds (versus broken capillaries or some other form of skin irritation). Also adding to my suspicion is the fact that my pin pricks tend to occur in the same places (upper/outer arms) and often in groups (where there is 1 new one, there is often another 1 or 2 new ones nearby).

    I really, really wish these were not BB bites, but the factors I've mentioned and the timing (ie: 1-2 months after spotting what I think are BBs) is just so suspect.

    MF

  32. St.BarthsBites

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Feb 19 2008 14:49:47
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    My bites are just like those of Mixed Feelings. I have finally been able to catch one of the bed bugs (in mattress encasement and also crawling right across the floor in a room I emptied). THe bites first started out about 6 weeks ago like big itchy red wheels (really itchy) but now my bites are little pin pricks that don't even itch. They are obviously bites due to puncture and bleeding...they also tend to be grouped together. If they are recent bites I seem more likely to get bit in the same vicinity on my body, like they are drawn to the scent blood or something.

  33. MixedFeelings

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Feb 19 2008 17:11:08
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    Like St.BarthsBites, my pin brick bites never itch. When I was first bitten in NYC (where my infestation came from, fond memories, not!), I initially had NO REACTION. No pin pricks, no itching, nothing. But 8 days later... wow!! Tons of bright red bumps, mostly on my hand and neck. They were a little sensitive, perhaps ever-so-slightly itchy when touched. But nothing like what many people here say about their own itchiness. But again, the pin pricks I get now at home do not itch at all.

    Bedbugs suck!!

    MF

  34. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Feb 20 2008 10:32:54
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    I think that there may be more to the picture than meets the eye in the pin prick skin reactions thing. I understand that during the height of a bed bug infestation and for a while after the reaction thing could definitly be bed bug bites but some people are experiencing these type of reactions months and years after they have not seen a bed bug. Nobugsonme, what about it have you had a similiar experience or have you known others that had a similiar experience? Please tell us your thoughts.
    One of my thoughts is that what ever bed bugs had injected into my body it may have changed my body and immune system. Maybe this is a sign of a possible disease that bed bugs are said not to transmit.

  35. MixedFeelings

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Feb 20 2008 11:53:30
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    Hi everyone,

    I just went to my GP for an unrelated reason and showed him my pin pricks. He looked for literally 1-2 seconds and casually pronounced them to be Campbell de Morgan Spots (also know as cherry hemangiomas or senile angiomas). Supposedly these are harmless capillary marks that usually occur in older people.

    I found the following websites for those who may be interested:

    Description:
    http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/40025977/

    (Of the few sites I read, this is the only one that lists possible causes that include certain types of chemical exposure, or pregnancy. But I digress.)

    Sample photo:
    http://www.dermis.net/dermisroot/en/25693/image.htm

    (Mine are much smaller and more needle-like than those shown.)

    BTW, I believe my GP was *wrong* and that my pin prick are in fact BB bites (puncture wounds while feeding). Part of the reason is that my pin pricks shrink and eventually disappear on their own, while these Campbell do Morgan spots usually do not. Also, my husband has a few new marks on him now also. But I thought I'd post this info for those who may be interested.

    My GP did refer me to a dermatologist as I'd requested, so once I've seen him/her, hopefully I'll have more news. Will post again if that's the case.

    MF

  36. MixedFeelings

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    Wed Feb 20 2008 12:02:46
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    Wooo, just noticed that first URL I just listed above mentions that a differential diagnosis for Campbell de Morgan spots is insect bites!! Hmmmm! The link to that does mention BBs among other insects.

    http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/40001044/

    MF

  37. pleasehelp

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Feb 20 2008 12:04:07
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    Interesting, MF - good catch! RE the debate on whether pin-prick sized lesions can be bed bug bites... Bed bugs puncture skin. Many people get swelling and itching around the punctures, and others don't react to or notice their puncture wounds. Do we all agree? Doesn't it make sense that some people can see bb puncture wounds, but their skin doesn't react to those bites by swelling, turning red, itching, etc???

  38. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Feb 20 2008 12:17:46
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  39. MixedFeelings

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    Wed Feb 20 2008 12:27:45
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    Yes, I agree. And that's what I think is happening to me and some others here (we see the punctures, but don't otherwise react).

    However, I do think there's a chance that a few people out there in the world with prior BB experience (past or current) may experience skin weirdnesses that are not BB-related. So I posted the info from my GP in case we have a few such people here who are not sure what's going on (maybe they have what my GP said, or maybe it's something else unknown).

    I'm a firm believer that my own pin pricks (and most other people's here) *are* BB bites.

    MF

  40. pleasehelp

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Feb 20 2008 12:31:26
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    Yes, I have a growing collection of Campbell de Morgan spots as well... And hope that the hive attacks will decrease once the bbs are gone.

  41. MixedFeelings

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Feb 20 2008 12:32:33
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    Do you think yours are real Campbell de Morgan spots?

  42. pleasehelp

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Feb 20 2008 12:34:45
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    Don't know - they haven't been diagnosed by a dermatologist... they just look like them to me.


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