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Bed Bug Bites on Arm

Didn't Know What These Were Until an Expensive Trip to the Doctor

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Updated October 21, 2010

Bed Bug Bites
(c) Claire Houck

Claire shares this picture taken after mysterious sores showed up. She went to the doctor to figure out what was happening and discovered that bed bugs had infested her New York City apartment.

Bed bug bite reactions are similar to mosquitoes. Bed bugs feed on blood and have a saliva that keeps blood from clotting so they can eat freely, just like mosquitoes. The two species aren't related, but like mosquitoes, the reaction from bed bug bites comes from an allergy to the saliva. Some reactions are very mild, while others can cause significant swelling.

Claire's experience in her own words:

The doc was really useless. I went to a clinic in my neighborhood. He told me that they were bed bug bites, and gave me two prescriptions. One turned out to be a lotion meant to treat scabies (and thus completely non-applicable) and the other was an anti-itch cream which I decided not to buy (I don't like using stuff like that, I just exercised some will power to not itch them). Even without itching them, some of my bites scabbed over, though.

Have your own pictures of bed bug bites? Share your bed bug bites pictures here.

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

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