Erin Doman on May 25, 2016 14 Comments Everyone has probably heard the phrase, “Good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” It may seem harmless, but bed bugs can be a serious problem. Bed bugs can be more harmful to certain people than others, causing health concerns ranging from itchiness to allergic reaction. Regardless of your susceptibility, you should take the necessary steps to prevent bed bugs from entering your home and seek extermination if you discover them. You put yourself at risk of various health problems if you allow an infestation to develop, and you will need to seek the necessary treatments to take care of yourself and your home. Health Problems That Arise From Bed Bugs For most people, bed bugs are going to be an annoyance as opposed to a serious health hazard. These pests bite whatever host is nearby, sucking blood for nourishment. This leaves behind red bumps that can get itchy. Mild treatments are available to stop the itching, but other problems can come up with bed bugs if you are not careful, so be mindful of the following health issues. Allergic Reaction: Some people have mild to extreme reactions to getting bitten by bed bugs. This is similar to what some people experience when stung by a bee. If you are allergic to bed bugs, then you need to seek medical attention right away for treatment. Infection: It is incredibly rare for a bite from a bed bug to lead to an infection. However, it has been known to happen from time to time. This usually occurs when a pest bites a human, the individual scratches and then germs and other pathogens are introduced into the wound. Monitor your bed bug bites to ensure that none of them are becoming infected. Insomnia: Bed bugs are nocturnal, which is why they generally wait until you are asleep in your bed before pouncing. While the bites may not be painful in and of themselves, they can cause you irritation any time of the day or night. You may wake up in the middle of the night to scratch the affected areas. This leads to a lack of sleep, which has been linked to a variety of health issues, including depression, irritability, loss of appetite, anxiety, difficulty focusing and psychosis in extreme cases. In addition to these detriments to your health, having bed bugs also comes with a social stigma. People may stop coming to your house because they do not want to bring the pests back to their homes. Additionally, you may be more hesitant to go out because you do not want to spread the bugs yourself. Bed bugs can attach themselves to clothing, so it is not difficult for them to spread throughout a town. It is best for you and everyone around you to deal with the infestation sooner rather than later. Treating a Bed Bug Bite on Your Own Many times, a bite from a bed bug will not pose too much of a threat. However, you may experience a certain amount of discomfort, and there are steps you can take to alleviate some of the pain. The first thing you should do is thoroughly wash the area that has been bitten. You will want to stick with a mild soap and run water over the area. The important thing to keep in mind is that you do not want to rinse off the soap. By leaving it on, you should get some relief from any itchiness you feel. If soap does not work to alleviate the itching, then you can try some home remedies. One of them is creating a paste out of water and baking soda. Apply the paste to the bite, and let it stay there for at least an hour. You can wash it off afterward, and the itching should be significantly reduced. You should also be able to get anti-itching cream over the counter at most pharmacies that can provide you with relief. If you are going to use creams, then make sure to follow the directions exactly. In the event that the bites are causing you any amount of pain, then it can be a good idea to take aspirin or other pain medication. These treatments are for any mild cases of bed bug bites. If your condition appears to be more severe than it should be, then it would be in your best interest to consult with a medical professional. Treating a Bed Bug Bite With the Help of a Doctor If the bites you are getting are causing you extreme distress, then it would be wise to visit a doctor for additional assistance. Keep in mind that a doctor will only be able to give you a proper diagnosis if it can be definitively proven that the bites are coming from bed bugs. These bites tend to look like bites from other insects, so you will need to know for yourself if you have bed bugs. This includes checking your mattress and sheets for the presence of the pests. If possible, try to capture one of them so that you can show without a doubt that bed bugs are to blame. Chances are that your physician will prescribe a stronger topical corticosteroid ointment to help you manage the itching. The ointment your doctor prescribes will be a lot stronger than what you will be able to purchase over the counter. Although some people will like the peace of mind they get from a medical professional, it is generally not necessary to take this step. It is only really mandatory to see a doctor if you start getting blisters or if there are signs of an allergic reaction. You should also be aware if there is any indication an infection has developed because this will also necessitate prompt medical attention. Discovering bed bugs in your mattress is not the worst thing in the world for your health. However, it can significantly impact your quality of life, especially if you do nothing to stop the problem. There are plenty of ways to get rid of bed bugs and regain control over your bed once again. Contact a professional as soon as you notice a problem so that the pests can be eliminated. Until you can get an exterminator to come out, there are plenty of ways to manage the itching and redness.