"I think I have Bedbugs, what do I do?" How do I treat Bedbugs? Do I need to see a Dermatologist to treat Bedbugs?
Bedbugs is a common household infestation that results in itchy, welt-like (hive-like), small bumps (the size of a pencil eraser or smaller) on the body that are usually grouped together and often appear in a zig-zag pattern.
It is not a serious condition as it causes no serious problems other than itchy bumps. The bugs do not live under the skin, so you are not "infested" or contagious. Like other biting insects, such as mosquitos, bed bugs jump on a person, bite them, and then jump off. They don't live on people or under their skin.
Here are some things to look for:
- A musty odor that the bugs produce.
- Tiny blood spots on the sheets, mattress, bedding, or couches.
- Shells that look like bugs (their exoskeletons), which they shed and can be seen on the mattress, mattress pad, or under the cushions of the couch
- Tiny black dots on the bedding, mattress, headboard, or under the couch. These could be feces from the bugs.
- Oval small, yellowish eggs, the size of an apple seed, found in cracks and crevices.
The American Academy of Dermatology has created a great online resource explaining how to find out if you have bedbugs. Click here to find out about Bed Bugs
There is no diagnostic test that a Dermatologist can do. A biopsy does not confirm the diagnosis and is usually not recommended. A dermatologist will look at the area and might say that what you have is consistent with bed bug bites and may prescribe treatment to help with the itch. Most of the work is on you--to see if you have them at home and to get rid of them. Look at the list of things to look for on this page.
If you have many bites, have blisters, have signs of infection (warmth, drainage, pus , fever, chills), or have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, itch, skin swelling), you should see a Dermatologist.
Now that you are 100% sure that you have them, let's get rid of them. You do not need to treat yourself, as you are not "infested", but inanimate items, such as mattresses and couches, can be.
The Environmental Protection Agency has set up some tips for you to get rid of these bugs on your own. CLICK HERE to see.