Home Bed Bugs Bed Bug Rash on Skin, Pictures, Treatment, Allergy & Symptoms

Bed Bug Rash on Skin, Pictures, Treatment, Allergy & Symptoms

Rashes are very common when you encounter bed bug bites. They may at times lead to an allergic reaction in some individuals. Read on to find out symptoms, how they look like in pictures, how they differ from bites in addition to how to treat them.

Can Bed Bugs Cause Skin Rashes?

According to WebMD, the initial sign of the bites by bed bugs is the appearance of red, itchy rashes usually around your arms and the shoulders.

The bed bugs will leave straight rows of the bites, contrary to other insects that bite at no particular areas.[1]

A number of people who confuse the bites from bed bugs and other insects. The rash could be similar to those of the fleas, ants, mosquitoes and ants. You are also likely to confuse the rash with a common allergy.

What does a bed bug rash look like?

The bed bugs rashes look like raised bumps that appear on your skin and come in a clustered manner or at times in a row. This is because the bed bugs bite and feed on one particular place for a long time.


Attached are some pictures that are essential to help you have a visual guide for better understanding of the rashes from  bed bugs bites.

Bed bug rash
Rash from bed bugs
bed bug rash allergy
Rash picture

Bed Bug Bites Rash Symptoms

There is a great likelihood of the development of complications. These complications are mostly unforeseen and they might turn into allergic reactions.


The rashes differ from one person to another, depending on a number of factors, the skin type being one of them.

However, studies show that about 60% of people do not encounter the reactions to bed bug bites.

The commonest symptom to scout for is the itchiness. The itch appears to be about 2 to 5mm in a week.

If you get repeated bites, the size of the itch is likely to increase and even become bigger. The good news is that it could still heal within a week.

Further, there might be the development of red and raised bumps on your skin. These mainly occur when you have bites on previously bitten areas.

This blisters would grow into forming papules and hard bumps. The skin then becomes irritating and thus you get the urge to scratch often.

Allergy-Do they cause an allergic reaction?

Allergy is one of the common complex reactions that come after bites from bed bugs. Literature has it that itchy wheals surround the bite. They are likely to occur in the future in case of new bites. The allergy may also manifest like itchy papules and hard bumps.

Allergy is a reaction of the immune system of the body to some foreign substances called antigens which include saliva of the bed bugs. The poison from the saliva may irritate the immune system to display some signs of allergy.

Once the saliva is introduced in the body, it prevents the blood from clotting. The commonest manifestation of this reaction is inflammation (redness and swelling) around the bitten area.

As mentioned earlier, they are also itchy. This makes you feel so much pushed to scratch from time to time. The swellings are also tender and at times painful when touched.

If you have an allergic reaction to the bites, your immune system will produce a similar reaction any other time you encounter a toxin or antigen.

Inasmuch as allergic reactions are known to be harmless, some of them can cause a lot of harm to your body. When you get to an extent of panting, hives and anaphylaxis, then you should seek medical intervention because they are life threatening.

This condition can even affect your breathing system which will lead to breathing difficulties.

Bed Bug Rash Treatment

The following are some of the treatments that you can undertake:


This comes when your rash becomes redder and then infected. This is the last resort that your doctor would go for. They will look into among other factors side effects and many others before administration.

Over the counter medications

The commonest ones are anti-inflammatory ones like hydrocortisone. You can also obtain anti-histamines from your local pharmacist.

Some of the local antihistamines include Benadryl that deals with any kind of swelling. Your pharmacist should be able to give you the best medication to use.

Calamine lotion

This is a remedy that has been used for long in the treatment of bed bug rashes. When you apply the lotion to the affected area, you will be able to reduce the itching that comes with it. Further, it also acts as a barrier to the future attack by the rashes.

Ice pack

This is particularly useful in dealing with the burning sensation and the itch that is brought about by the bed bug rashes. It also helps to deal with any swelling that comes with the rashes. If your skin is sensitive to some tropical medication, this could be useful for you.

There are also some home remedies that you can use and they include oatmeal baths or pastes that are made out of baking soda and water. You could as well get a cold compress to get rid of any itchiness and swelling.[2]

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is recommended that you wash the bite and rash using water and some soap. This remedy helps to reduce the itchiness and any infection that is impending.

Bed Bug Bites or Rash? What is the Difference?

There is a thin line to differentiate bed bug bites from rashes. The two are used at the same time to mean the same thing. However, there are some characteristics that make them different.

When having the rashes, you may present with a burning sensation and some itchiness. The symptoms in this case may come after some time.

In the case of a bite, you will have some swelling, itch and even red spots. Further, you may immediately develop irritation symptoms that can form hard bumps with a clear center. The area surrounding the bump is always largely swollen.

Further Reading


[1] https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/picture-of-bedbug-bites

[2] https://www.medicinenet.com/bed_bugs/article.htm