If you wake up in the morning with swollen, red and itchy skin, it is possible your sleep was disrupted by bites from bed bugs. While bed bug bites are harmless, the itching that accompanies them can lead to a bacterial infection, if you continue to scratch your skin, according to MedicineNet. You can stop the itch from bed bug bites with oral medications. However, you can best prevent the itch from recurring by getting rid of bed bugs with preventive treatments.
Avoid scratching the skin where you are experiencing the itch of the bed bug bite. Take an over-the-counter antihistamine pill, or apply steroid creams and calamine lotion over the itchy skin, or creams containing diphenhydramine to get quick relief. You can also place a hot washcloth over the affected area to experience relief from the itchy sensation. If you have scratched the itchy skin quite badly, you might need to see a doctor who will prescribe antibiotic medication to prevent a bacterial skin infection.
Cover your body when going to bed by wearing pajamas and sleeping under a mosquito net because bed bugs do not burrow beneath clothing. Regularly inspect your mattress, bed and furniture for signs of bed bugs. Look for dried feces that resemble black spots, mottled shells caused by shedding skin, and blood spots. Treat bed bug infested bedding and discard heavily infested ones.
You can use several nonchemical treatments to get rid of bed bugs. Regularly vacuum your bed and the areas surrounding it. Once you have finished, put the vacuum cleaner bag in a disposal bag and place it in an outdoor garbage bin. Wash your bedding and clothes at a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and run them in a clothes dryer set at high heat for 20 minutes to destroy resident bed bugs and their eggs.
Eradicate bed bugs by applying a low-odor insecticide spray or dust specially designed for bed bugs, in areas of your home frequented by these pests. Do not apply the insecticide directly on your bedding, mattress or clothing. You should also be aware that bed bugs tend to build resistance to insecticides, which can prove ineffective over a period of time. If you have a bed bug infestation, get in touch with a pest control service to professionally exterminate them.