We continue to hear news about those creepy little bedbugs popping up in mattresses, particularly in hotels. With summer underway, travel season is in full swing and many of our clients have been asking how they can protect their families from the itchy bites caused by bedbugs.
Bedbugs can live behind walls and wallpaper, in the seams of upholstered furniture, behind electrical outlets, under wall-to-wall carpeting and inside bed frames and mattresses. Contrary to popular belief, there is no association between bedbugs and dirt. They simply feed on blood from animals and humans and like to live nearby their food source. That is why infestations are commonly found in areas with high rates of turnover – like apartment buildings and hotels. Getting a bedbug infestation can be as easy as one jumping into a suitcase and traveling back home with you.
Bedbug bites are characterized by itchy, red welts that typically appear in clusters, with each cluster containing three to five bites in a zigzag pattern, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
Here are some tips for treating bedbug bites:
- Clean the bites. Wash the affected area with warm soap and water.
- Treat the itch to prevent scratching. Scratching can cause the skin to become infected. Apply a corticosteroid cream to the bites to minimize itching.
- Seek treatment. According to the AAD, you should see a dermatologist for treatment if you have several bedbug clusters, blisters, infected skin (where bites feel tender or ooze pus), or if you form an allergic skin reaction resulting in red, swollen skin or hives.
Treatment may require an injection of an antihistamine, corticosteroid or epinephrine for a severe allergic reaction. An antibiotic or over-the-counter antiseptic medication may be necessary to treat any infections. For itchiness, an antihistamine pill or liquid medicine might also be prescribed. It is important to visit a dermatologist during these circumstances to determine what treatment is right for you. Consult a pest-control company to find out how to get rid of bedbug infestations.
If you think you might have bedbug bites, follow these tips and call Greenville Dermatology today at 864-282-5872 to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.