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Everything You Need To Know If You Woke Up With Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bite is usually painless but the fact is that they do cause itching. An adult bed bug usually takes 3 to 1 minutes to extract a full blood meal and when it is done feeding it eventually high tails it back to the shadows to digest the meal.

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Everything You Need To Know If You Woke Up With Bed Bug Bites
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Last Updated On October 20, 2017 By surekha

Fleas are tiny black colored bugs which can cause painful bites. It is difficult to control them without the help of professional team. You are more prone to flea bites if you have pets at home than others. These tiny black or brownish insects about 1/12 inches long but can jump easily to any height and are capable of reproducing in no time. They mainly live on cats and dogs in your home and can easily bite you without your knowledge.

Flea bites can be itchy and painful and you may have signs of red spots on the affected skin, rashes, and swelling around the bite. Flea bites can cause distinctive reddish halo in the site. Apart from these problems fleas can easily transmit diseases like plaque and typhus. Often, your legs and ankles are vulnerable places of flea bites apart from wrist, armpits and groin.

If you observe your dogs/cats licking and scratching a lot, it could be due to flea bites. Mild flea bites can be managed with home remedies like Aloe Vera gel, ointments and ice packs but severe forms have to be treated medically if hives are formed in the skin. It is true that fleas are able to store volumes of blood measuring about 15 times of their weight.

When compared with fleas, bed bugs would not have wings and both are tiny oval shaped insects. Color of both bed bugs and fleas are of brownish black or reddish black. Bed bugs feed on humans and animals like that of fleas. The symptoms of flea bites and bed bug bites are similar. Bites of both these insects would produce swelling on the skin with tiny red spot on the affected site. It can also cause hives and blisters in severe cases. Like fleas, areas like arms, legs and face and other exposed parts of body, are highly vulnerable for bites of bed bugs.

Symptoms :

Both fleabites and bed bug bites have similar symptoms of itchy feeling and tiny red blisters on the skin.

Symptoms Of Flea Bites :

Symptoms Of Bed Bugs Bite :

Flea bites can cause itching almost instantly and they appear in clusters. Bed bug bites are often found in rows and not in groups. Both can trigger allergic reaction in your body causing swelling and rashes.

Where Do They Live ?

Read more on Insect Bites

Which Is More Harmful?

Fleas are obviously more harmful than bed bugs, because it transmits disease by injecting bacteria and other micro-organisms during their bite. Bed bugs generally do not carry any parasites and they bite only to suck your blood.

Treatment :

Home Remedies :

Ways To Prevent Flea Bites& Bed Bug Bites :

Firstly you need to check the health condition of your pets. Get it checked with a Vet who can give suitable medication to control fleas in them.


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Flea Bites Vs. Bed Bug Bites - Diseases Pictures
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Flea bites vs. bed bug bites knowing the difference can help you know what has infested your house. Most insect bites can be itchy and produce mostly similar symptoms. Yet, if you know how to tell the difference between flea bites and bed bug bites, you can get rid of them faster. Here are pictures and a comparison of bed bug bites vs. flea bites.

Flea bites and bedbug bites are caused by two different insects as are their obvious names. Although they are caused by different insects, they both manifest themselves on the skin in the same way.

They cause the skin to be itchy, and the area around the bite may be very sore, feel painful and you may experience some redness too.

These similarities notwithstanding, one has to be careful to differentiate them in order for them to be properly treated.

This article will show you how to differentiate them, outline the various symptoms and pictures for easy identification.

What do insect bites look like? Flea bite vs. bed bug bites pictures, images and illustrations shown below will help you distinguish the two. Compare the pictures with your symptoms. They can help you if they are flea bite marks or bed bug bite bumps.

Heres a photo of bed bug bites:

Below is a photo of flea bites.

If you have ever found bite marks on any part of your body then you must have wondered whether they had been caused by fleas or from bedbugs. It may be somewhat difficult to differentiate between the two but there are some distinguishing features which can help you identify the two.

Sand flea are tiny insects which feed on their hosts blood. Bites from fleas can be easily confused with bites from ants, spiders and may be hard to distinguish. There are two types of sand flea bites.

The first one looks like a mosquito bite and happens when the fleas suck your blood and then moves on to another host. The second one is a little worse and is caused by breeding female sand fleas.

However, they leave clues that would help one easily determine the cause.

The foremost way of telling whether a bite on your body has been caused by a flea is to check on the bite mark. Fleas leave a bite with a centre puncture mark.

A flea bite also manifests as a red swollen mark and often appears in clusters. The skin might also have blisters near the bite mark. Fleas also bite around the legs, feet, waist and armpits.

Bedbugs are tiny insects which also nourish themselves using the blood they draw from the bodies of humans.

Blood spots found on ones sheets, bites and the presence of bed bug feces and cast skins are some of the indications of a bed bug infestation. Bites are commonly found on the parts of the body that are more likely to be exposed to bed bugs during sleep the hands, neck, face, shoulders, legs and arms.

While not always the case, bed bug bites are often grouped together in a small area and at times may occur in a line or a zigzag pattern. Bites normally look like small, flat or raised areas that may become inflamed, itchy, red or blistered. Bed bug bite reactions dont always appear immediately after youre bitten and may take a few days to begin causing symptoms. However, not everyone reacts to bed bug bites in the same manner.

The size of bed bug bites varies with a number of different factors. Bed bugs inject an anti-coagulant along with their saliva when they pierce the skin to take a blood meal. This anti-coagulant is mostly responsible for how a person reacts to the bite and determines the size of the bugs bite.

Since people will have various sensitivities to the bed bugs bite, the size of the bite will vary, as well. Another factor that influences the size of a bed bug reaction is the number of times a person is bitten. Bite reactions of people bitten many times are also variable, and their response may be either more or less intense as the number of bites increases.

They prefer to congregate around beds and bed frames. The bites manifest themselves as small hard swollen/inflamed lumps that almost always appear in lines.

The bites always appear on the hands, neck and arms and are periodic.

Flea bites on humans can also be seen on the arms, after you have held your pet. The reason why the bugs attack the legs is that they live in carpets, rugs, fleece throws put near the floor and whatever else is close to the floor.

Here are the most common symptoms of flea bites:

The symptoms of a bedbug bite are usually almost non-existent, they are very mild in nature and often individuals will not experience any symptoms at all. Bedbug bites can occur on any exposed part of the body, with the face, neck, arms, and hands being areas commonly affected. Here are symptoms to help you with flea bites vs. bed bug bites comparison.

Initially, a victim may detect a slight burning sensation. The burning area then develops red bumps, known as papules or wheals (rash). In extreme cases, bites may swell dramatically or turn into blister-like skin inflammations.

If you develop a rash after being bitten by a bed bug, avoid scratching the affected area. If the rash persists or becomes infected, contact a medical professional immediately.

A chigger bite is not easily noticeable. Chiggers bite areas that are in close contact with vegetation. The symptoms usually manifest two to three hours after they have caused the biting. This is after they have injected their digestive enzymes into your skin.

Symptoms include of chigger bites that you can compare with those of flea bites and bed bug bites include:

The difference between these bites and what distinguishes the bedbug and flea bites from chigger bites is that the chiggers usually bite one where the skin typically folds or areas where clothes fit tightly.

Scabies infections are caused by tiny parasites. These parasites make their way into ones skin to lay eggs. The mites generally die off after a few weeks, but they continue to cause discomfort to humans, particularly if the source is left untreated. The symptoms of scabies include:

Scabies can also be spread through human contact with a person who is infected.

Since bed bug bites can turn out to be itchy and red, you need a few remedies to help get rid of the itch fast. Soothing and treating bed bug bites and flea bites helps avoid scratching that can cause scars and dark marks on skin. Here is a quick home remedy with baking soda.

You can also use the get of the leaves of the Aloe Vera plant. Simply trim a tip and apply on the bite area.

First of all, stop scratching your bites! I know its difficult but if you continue doing so, the bites can get infected with bacteria that will enter your bloodstream and cause havoc on your body. Save yourself from nasty infections by leaving the area alone.

How can you get rid of mosquito bites naturally? Natural treatments for the itch, rash and allergic reactions include vinegar, aloe vera, baking soda, onion etc. You can use these treatments once you are sure about flea bites vs. bed bug bites vs. mosquito bites. It is important to know what insect bites they are you are treating. Here are home remedies to try.

When you first notice the itchy bite:

Aloe vera is another excellent remedy for mosquito bites, as well as many other conditions. Not only will it help ease the itching and swelling from the bit, but it will also aid in healing the wound. You can use fresh inner leaf gel directly from an aloe plant or organic aloe juice. They both work well at providing relief.

Another remedy for mosquito bites is to rub a bar of dry soap directly on the bite. This will help provide temporary relief to the itching. Remember to wash it off thoroughly after the itch fades away.

Another simple remedy for mosquito bites is to make a thick paste of baking soda and water. Then apply this paste generously to the affected area. You should feel the swelling and itching subside shortly afterwards.

A fresh slice of onion can also help take the sting out of a bite. Simply place a fresh slice on the affected area for several minutes until the itching subsides. Be sure to wash the area thoroughly afterwards.

For quick relief from mosquito bites, try applying a small amount of all-natural peppermint or neem-based toothpaste. Allow the paste to dry and leave for as long as desired.

Simply, take a small amount of honey and apply directly to the bite. Honey also has anti-microbial properties that can help prevent infection. I would personally recommend using local raw honey.

There are many essential oil that can help provide temporary relief for mosquito bites. My favorites are tea tree, rosemary, neem, lavender, witch hazel and cedar oil. Take a small amount and dilute it with water, then apply directly to the bite.

Take finely ground salt and mix with a small amount of water until you have a thick paste. Apply this salt paste directly to bite. Himalayan salt works best, but iodized salt will also work. The important thing is to make sure its finely ground.

Try rubbing a piece of raw garlic on the wound. It is possible that you will feel a small amount of mild burning, but you should feel some major relief afterwards. This is not one that I use with my children, and is wise for to use caution when using this natural remedy. The smell of garlic (and neem) will also help repel the mosquitoes from biting you more later.


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Bed Bug Bites: photos and information

Post date: February 23rd, 2018

These are photos of bed bug bites submitted by Bedbugger readers or found on the bed bugs pool on flickr.

Click photo to get to flickr, and choose all sizes to see larger photos.

Bed bug bites look very different from one person to another. Some bedbug bites are larger, some smaller, some have a red dot in the center, or a scab, others dont, some look like mosquito bites or pimples. Some bed bug bites are in groups of 2 or three (a pattern sometimes known as breakfast, lunch, and dinner), or in a line, or in a circle. Others are single bites. The idea that bed bug bites will be in a particular pattern is a myth, according to experts.

Ive heard from experts that whether you get multiple bites in a pattern may have to do with whether the bed bug is disturbed while feeding (if you move, they may move and start over) and also whether your veins are easily accessed by the bed bugs (if they are, they need pierce only once).

Dermatologists and PCOs cannot identify a bed bug bite or distinguish it from something with another cause.

A dermatologist can test a skin reaction and determine its an insect bite, but cannot be certain its from bed bugs.

Many people dont even react to bed bug bites.

For this reason, you cant be sure you have bed bugs unless you find visual evidence (bed bugs, a cast skin, bed bug eggs, or fecal stains). See this gallery for pictures of bed bugs and signs of bed bugs.

However, people still do ask what bed bug bites look like, so below are some examples.

Note that we have a FAQ on remedies for itching caused by bed bug bites, and additional posts about bed bug bites, photos of bed bugs bites and bed bugs biting, and other related topics.

Now for the examples:

Amys photo:

Bassommeijers photos:

The caption to this one mentions bigger bites that did not itch:

Note the shape of a devil in this one also from Bassommeijer (couple bitten in Argentina):

Ss photos:

BittenWomans photos

BBsBlows photos are here.

You can see some of Lou Sorkins photos here and here. The first photo shows no difference between a nymph and adult bite.

For some background on bed bug bites, heres a post from October 2006 about doctors (not) diagnosing them, which links to a number of photos of bed bug bites that do, and dont, look typical. Also, see this series of articles (with additional photos) about Ss experiments with intentionally being bitten to see how nymph and adult bites compare, and to see if apparently unbitten G reacts when bitten.

To see additional bite photos, click on any of the following DermAtlas, and APictureofMes Bite Photos. Also, additional bite photos can be found at the bed bugs / bedbugs photo pool on flickr.com. And these are photos of entomologist Lou Sorkins arm after he is bitten by many bed bugs at once.

If you want me to post your photo of bugs, bites, or mattresses on flickr.com and link to them from Bedbugger, please post them on your flickr.com account and send me the link, and I will add them here. You can start a free, anonymous flickr account by going to http://flickr.com

If you have your own flickr account, please join the bed bugs / bedbugs photo group, and post your bedbug-related photos there (I can link to those photos here if you let me know!)

Thanks for helping people see the variety of ways bed bug bites can manifest themselves on people.

Comments for this page are now closed. Please post a message on our Bedbugger Forums if you have questions or need support. If you have suggestions or want to share your photos, please contact me.

Last updated 3/7/2015


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Bed Bug Bites on back

Here you have some pictures of real bed bug bites. Bed bug bites most often look like a reddish rash of raised bumps on the skin. The exact reaction from the person bitten can depend on the severity of allergic reaction, skin sensitivity, your skin color, etc.

If you have bed bug bites, you will likely also have redness, swelling, and itching to accompany the red bumps. Keep mind that physicians are often not able to if it is a bed bug bit or note, because in all honesty, it is not easy to pinpoint exactly what bit you. The reason, as mentioned, is because the reaction varies from people to people. It is possible other insect bites could cause a similarly looking rash.

However, as you can see from the pictures, common places people get these bites are on the:

In case you have severe itching, aloe vera skin cream can relieve the discomfort to some degree.

If you have any questions about bed bug bites, post a comment below.


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Bed bug bites can happen in as little as 5 minutes for full feeding allowing one to multiply into thousands in a months time. If only a portion of that colony were to feed on you while youre sleeping, you could wake up to a body covered in bites!

Attacked by bed bugsThese blood suckers lock on to the carbon dioxide (CO2) release when sleeping. Once they have you, they head toward a warm part of your body and begin to bite. Two tubes are inserted into your body; one is used to inject a mixture of anticoagulant and anesthetic while the other is used to suck up your blood. You never notice the bites until you wake up and realize you were the main course!

Unfortunately, some victims dont realize they have been bitten for up to two weeks while others may react right away. Two weeks is a long time, and if you slept in multiple locations, it might be impossible to figure out which place had the infestation.

Below is an excellent example of how most bites turn out a clear pattern.

Notice the pattern on the hand? These bites are another great example of how bed bugs move on your skin when feeding.

These seven bites are all line up on the back of the arm(3) and also fed on the back of the leg near the vein. Visitor Concerned 80 said that the bites became swollen from scratching while half asleep.bed bugs bites on arm showing pattern of feeding

Just because you where bit seven times does not mean you have seven bedbugs these bugs will move in a pattern looking for the perfect feeding spot, so its possible that only one could have caused all that irritation!

These bloodsuckers love exposed areas of flesh such as closest to their nest such as the face, forehead, arms and known to attack babies.. Those repeatedly bitten over time are more likely to become sensitive. You may even find the person sleeping next to you does not show any signs of bed bug bites while you do. In fact, the person next to you may not have been bitten at all a good sign that the infestation is closest to you.

Julio didnt react well not to these bites, and they took a long time to heal!Julios arm was badly bitten and he didnt react well not to mention how long it took him to heal!

If you are unlucky, you may have a severe reaction like that shown below, which is unusual but may happen when attacked repeatedly.

Vanessa took her young son to the doctor and had confirmed these bites were from bed bugs. Look at the damage they did to his face! Its important not to scratch the area or scabbing may leave a scar. Vanessa explains what happened:

Vanessa: I am so glad I found your website. My family and I just returned from vacation two days ago, and my youngest children are covered with bed bug bites. At first, we did not know what they were. The bites started after the first night of staying there. They got increased in number and became worse over the week. We had no clue. Bed bugs never crossed our minds. I took them to the doctor as soon as we got home and we got the news. BED BUGS!

I was totally disgusted and freaking out! I still am! I cant sleep at night. I worry that we brought them home and feel my childrens pain, they are pitiful! The bites do not seem to be clearing up and itch like crazy. My husband and I only have a few each. I will never go on vacation again!

Another visitor, Ava, had her neck badly bitten by bed bugs. For many months, her baby boy had bite marks which doctors initially suggested might be scabies or fleas.

A few months later when Avas older son complained of his skin crawling in the middle of the night, she checked on the baby and found his bed frame and mattress covered with bed bugs with many in the process of feeding!

This poor child was helpless to do anything while being fed upon by bed bugs. If you ever see something like this, its an indication of an infestation close by, and it should be easy to locate the nest.

This is what can happen to you when you stay at an infested hotel. Here, Richard crashed out in his hotel room and was viciously attacked while sleeping can you imagine yourself waking up to this?

Below is Richards arm covered with more than 50 bites!

His thigh with multiple bites:

His calf was bitten as well!

Both his legs were covered with bites!

50 bites per arm! (ouch!) Many on his back including both the front and back of his legs. The itching was so bad that Richard ended up at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Urgent Care. The doctors prescribed Antibiotic and Anti-Itching medicine. He ended up missing two days of work on top of it all.

With that many bites, Id say that this was a massive infestation and would guess the room improperly treated or not treated at all. If this ever happens to you, document everything and if possible, capture the bugs and confront the hotel there are multi-million dollar lawsuits over bites from bed bugs, and your attorney will love you for it!

The number of bites on Adams stomach helps emphasize how fast an infestation can grow in as little as 30 days! He is from Canoga Park California, and its clear just how red and swollen these bites can become.

The grouping of bites are circled in black.

After a lot of searching and almost giving up, Adam found, and collected the bed bugs and placed them in a plastic baggie. Needless to say, they were full of his blood.

The new problem is that he cant sleep now because hes afraid of being bitten again. He has used multiple bug bombs (which typically dont work and not the ideal solution) and also sprays which drove them into the walls.

Ross says this happened in a cabin while staying at Yellowstone National Park and his head wasnt the only part of his body they fed on; unfortunately, bed bugs bites covered his entire body!

Most disturbing is that Ross never felt a thing! These little blood suckers waited until he fell into a deep sleep, injected a form of anesthetic into his skin, and feed until they were full! Ross was clearly the main course!

Easily swipe through our many pictures of bed bug bites but be warned Some may cause you to have nightmares!

Afraid, a name used by one of the mothers visiting our website, shares the bites on her arm and what happens when you scratch them.

These appear all over her body, but this is the top part of the arm near the elbow.

Scratching will cause bleeding and can lead to infection.

Her whole body is covered in bites and gives you an idea of how much damage these bugs can really do.

WARNING! Do NOT scratch your bites, it can leave permanent scars!

HOME REMEDY: Baking Soda paste is the #1 home treatment for bites. Mix water with baking soda to make a paste that you then place on the area and let dry. Here are more details:

Other natural remedies for treating bed bug bites include:

OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATION:

MEDICATIONS PRESCRIBED BY A DOCTOR:

In Richards case, his doctor prescribed Calamine Topical Suspension USP, Cephalexin and Hydroxyzine HCL for the bed bugs bites.

The dermatologist did a biopsy: Below is Robs story of being repeatedly bitten by bugs and after a lot of research found out that indeed he had bed bugs thanks for sharing Rob!

I just discovered the cause of my skin reaction this morning. Been spending a lot of time at a friends place and started to get red spots that were intense and itch. It just got worse and worse. The dermatologist did a biopsy and found no bacteria or virus. Skin scrapping found no fungus. It was a matter of finding out what was causing my skin to become so swollen I couldnt see some of the bite marks. It only affected my legs, feet, arms, upper back, chest, neck, and shoulders. No midsection bites.

On Tuesday my arm became worse after spending the night at my friends place. At home, when I got out of the shower a bug near my jeans and killed it. I called my doctor to treat my arm and mentioned the bug. He saw me that day and put me on prednisone. Last night I took the antihistamine he prescribed, and it knocked me right out. I fell asleep on my friends shaggy carpet for about an hour and a half. As I awoke, I saw another bug run across my shorts.

I have a phobia about bugs, and so my friend helped me capture it so that I could show the doctor as he requested; the doctor put it under the microscope and pointed out the telltale signs.

In short, I was bitten by bed bugs from visiting my friends apartment. Ive sent in some pictures of the symptoms on my arms. Its such a relief to know what is causing my skin problems rather than thinking I had some disease.

Ive found that the locoid lipocream he gave me to be the most effective. He also gave a sample of foaming medication in a small can which didnt seem to work. The swollen areas were much worse that you would imagine, I experienced flat out pain by nighttime. I treated my arm 3x that day with the lipocream and by morning it was 100x better with significantly reduced redness and swelling.

Good luck to those dealing with similar issues, I feel your pain!

Rachel had a doctor prescribe her betamethasone valerate to relieve the itching. She says it works but doesnt get rid of the bites.

Bridgets Dr. prescribed a topical cortisone cream to stop the itching and told that diphenhydramine (Benadryl) would halt the itching too.

Julies Doctor suggested using teatree oil as a repellent and fucidin H on the spots. He suggested that I should spray everything with the green baygon even the mattresses.

More Photos? This is what bed bug bites look like on people eaten alive!

There are 10 pages of discussions about Bed Bug Bites, P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P9, P10


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1. Apply wet soap to the bite and allow it to dry.2. Try a home remedy, such as baking soda and water or lemon juice.3. Consider a steroidal anti-itch cream or calamine lotion.4. Take an oral antihistamine or pain relief medication if needed.5. See your doctor if the bites become infected or do not clear up within 1 to 2 weeks.


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Childhood Skin Problems

Photo courtesy of Phil Pellitteri, University of Wisconsin

The first sign of bedbugs may be red, itchy bites on the skin, usually on the arms or shoulders. Bedbugs tend to leave straight rows of bites, unlike some other insects that leave bites here and there.

Bedbugs do not seem to spread disease to people. But itching from the bites can be so bad that some people will scratch enough to cause breaks in the skin that get infected easily. The bites can also cause an allergic reaction in some people. Read more about bedbug bites - symptoms, treatments and prevention.

Slideshow: Slideshow: Bug Bites Pictures Slideshow: Identifying Bugs and Bug BitesSlideshow: Bedbugs Pictures Slideshow: Photos and Images of Bedbugs

Article: Don't Lose Sleep Over Bed BugsArticle: Bedbugs - Overview

Video: Tips to Stop the Bedbugs from Biting

Sources:

Image: Photo courtesy of Phil Pellitteri, University of Wisconsin

Text: "Bedbugs - Overview", WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise


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Scabies Rash

Many of us hesitate at the sight of bugs, insects, and spiders. Once you've been bitten or stung, your reaction may range from ouch and minor itching to infection or allergic reaction concerns and even emergency medical care. Learning to identify what a bite or sting looks like and how it feels can help you and your family determine whether home treatment or professional medical help is needed. This article will take a look at scabies, bed bugs, bees, tick, spiders, mosquitoes, lice, more and even some sea creatures that bite and sting.

Scabies is an infection caused by a mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. The mites burrow under the skin causing red, itchy bumps. Closer examination of the skin with a magnifying glass reveals lines under the skin, which are produced by the mites burrowing. Scabicide medications are used to treat the infestation.

Scabies infection appears as a red, bumpy, itchy rash on the skin. It is caused by infection by the human itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei. The mites burrow deep into the skin leaving tell-tale red lines (burrows) that are visible with a magnifying glass. The mites may favor the skin on the fingers and arms and any area covered by jewelry or clothing. Scabies infection is treated with scabicide medications.

The picture shows red, raised nodules characteristic of scabies infection in a young child. Other skin features that occur with scabies include burrows, pustules, papules, and vesicles. Patches of crusty skin areas may be evident.

This figure illustrates burrows that are diagnostic of scabies. Burrows are represented by slightly raised white to light-brown linear lesions. The superficial part of the burrow has a scaly appearance, and at the distal end there may be a tiny black dot representing the mite, eggs, and/or fecal material (scybala) in a small vesicle.

Bed bugs are insects that cause itchy bites and hard-to-treat infestations of bedding, furniture, clothing, and other household objects. Bed bugs range from translucent to reddish-brown in color. They are oval-shaped and one-quarter of an inch long as adults. Bed bugs are small and flat, so they can invade a variety of spaces. They may hide in cracks, joints, and small spaces of furniture, wall hangings, and electrical appliances. Bed bugs may also like to take up residence under cushions or wallpaper.

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, brown insects that feed off the blood of animals and people. Bed bugs leave red, itchy bites -- usually in rows -- on their victims. Bed bug bites may resemble bites from other insects like chiggers or mosquitos. The rash may resemble other conditions such as hives or eczema. Bed bug infestations can be hard to identify. Bed bugs may leave reddish stains, dark spots, or pale yellow eggs on bedding and infested materials. Bed bug infestations are on the rise as people unknowingly transfer the bugs in and on luggage, boxes, clothing, and furniture.

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Ticks harboring the bacteria are found most often on deer, raccoons, weasels, moles, squirrels, horses, field mice, opossums, skunks, and shrews. Most cases of Lyme disease are reported in the northeastern United States in Connecticut, New York, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Wisconsin.

Initial symptoms of Lyme disease may include a red, expanding bulls-eye rash, fatigue, fever, chills, headache, and swollen lymph nodes. Muscle and joint pain may also be present. Later stages of Lyme disease may manifest with neuropathy, nerve problems, and arthritis. Knee pain may be a symptom of advanced Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection caused by the spirochete bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. Hard-bodied Ixodes ticks transmit the infection. Lyme disease is endemic in many parts of the United States. Some people infected with Lyme disease develop a characteristic bulls-eye rash called erythema migrans. The tick bite is the central area from which the rash migrates outward. The rash may be evident on other parts of the body as well. Other symptoms that may occur along with the rash include burning or itching at the bite location, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and malaise. Early Lyme disease often responds well to antibiotic treatment.

In later stages, Lyme disease may cause more serious, systemic illness. Symptoms in this stage may include neurological dysfunction, joint pain, and cardiac conduction problems. Current testing for Lyme disease is often insufficient for many reasons. Many cases of Lyme disease go undiagnosed and inadequately treated.

This picture shows an inflamed lump (papulonodular lesion) that has developed on the scalp after a tick bite. The lesion is itchy and scaly. Scratching may result in a secondary bacterial infection. Corticosteroids may be applied topically or injected into the area to decrease itching, pain, and inflammation. A lump like this may persist for several months after a tick bite. Biopsy may be necessary to properly diagnose and treat the lesion.

Rickettsialpox (tche noire) is a crusty, scab-like lesion with a red halo that occurs at the site of a mite bite. The lesion is caused by the Rickettsia akari bacteria that is harbored by mites that are associated with rodents. Fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, rash, muscle pain, headache, and sweating may be associated with the condition.

There are many different types of insects that can bite or sting. The stings of members of the Hymenoptera family -- bees (honey bees, Africanized killer bees, bumble bees), ants, and wasps (hornets, yellow jackets, paper wasps) -- are most likely to cause potentially serious medical problems or even death. These insects live in colonies. If you are stung by one, others may not be far behind and repeated stings are possible.

The black widow is a venomous spider with a potentially dangerous bite. The bite may or may not be visible as one or two puncture wounds on the skin. A bite may initially go unnoticed and produce no symptoms. Some people feel pain soon after a black widow spider bite. Black widow spider venom affects the nervous system, and common symptoms include abdominal pain, muscle cramps, weakness, and tremors. Profuse sweating, fever, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing may occur in severe cases.

Symptoms and symptom severity after a black widow spider bite vary considerably. Those with underlying health problems, the elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems may suffer more severe consequences due to a black widow spider bite.

A brown recluse spider is a venomous spider that has a violin-shaped marking on its head. The spiders are most common in the Midwest and the South. Brown recluse spider bites are often painless, which can lead to a delay in treatment. Within hours of a bite, redness and a 'bull's-eye" rash may appear. In the ensuing ensuing hours, the tissue at the center of the bite may begin to sink, form an ulcer, and die. This so-called necrotized tissue has a blue-black appearance. The majority of brown recluse spider bites do not cause significant tissue damage.

The brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is a venomous spider with a potentially painful bite. About 10% of bites from these spiders cause necrosis (tissue death). The area of the bite can be ulcerated. The toxins in the bite produce fever, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, itching, and pain at the site of the bite.

Carpet beetles are not common insects in homes and buildings where good hygiene predominates. Rarely, sensitized individuals may develop dermatitis due to the insects crawling over the skin. The hairy legs of carpet beetles may puncture the skin, leading to an intensely itchy rash with papulovesicular lesions (raised bumps or blisters). The lesions may blister as shown in the picture.

Fire ant stings cause intensely itchy red lesions that resemble hives. The areas affected by bites can develop blisters that later may become filled with pus. Fire ant stings may cause uncomfortable burning that can be relieved by over-the-counter pain relievers. Antihistamines and cold packs can also provide relief. Some people may have life-threatening reactions to fire ant stings causing anaphylaxis. Anaphylactic reactions require emergency medical treatment.

Fire ant stings are apparent on this child 24 hours after the injury. Redness, pain, and swelling occur at the sites of the stings. The stings look like flat red lesions (macules) and solid raised bumps (papules), some of which may contain pus (pustules).

Flea bites can cause uncomfortable reactions in people who are sensitive to them. It is important to avoid scratching flea bites to reduce the risk of wounds and infections. Vacuuming daily, treating pets with insecticide, and keeping pets out of the bedroom can reduce the risk of flea bites.

Head lice are parasites known as Pediculus humanus capitis. Eggs and young lice are called nits. They live on the hair shafts on the scalps of people who are infested. Sometimes, head lice occur on other hairs of the body, such as eyebrows or eyelashes. Head lice can easily infect other hosts by jumping on to new victims who are in close proximity. Lice can also be transferred to others on clothing or objects. School-aged children and their families are often affected by head lice. Symptoms may include itching, tingling, irritability, and sores. Lice are very small but they are visible.

Head lice are treated with a combination of over-the-counter medicated shampoo and lotions and by physically removing all lice from the head with a special comb. Lice may be found throughout the scalp, but favorite spots may be the hair behind the ears and around the nape of the neck. Clothing, bedding, and stuffed toys should be washed in very hot water and dried on the hottest dryer setting to kill lice and their eggs.

Nits are the eggs of body lice. They may reside on clothing of someone who is infested with these parasites. They favor seams of clothing and areas including under the armpits and around the waistline. Nits hatch within 1 to 2 weeks.

The picture depicts itchy, painful papules on the leg of a victim who has suffered a jellyfish sting. The papules follow a linear arrangement due to the long stingers of the jellyfish.

Sea urchins are echinoids that have spines that can be up to several inches long. Stepping on, falling on, or brushing against sea urchins can cause spines to fall off and embed into the skin. The sting is painful and unless the spines are removed, an infection will result. The process is tedious, but every spine out of the dozens that may be embedded must be removed in order to relieve the symptoms and prevent infection.

Sea urchin dermatitis results when sea urchin spines pierce the skin. The condition is pictured here on the bottom of the foot of someone who stepped on a sea urchin.

Swimmer's itch, or cercarial dermatitis, is a type of acute dermatitis that occurs as the result of skin infestation by parasitic larvae acquired from swimming in fresh or salt water. The parasites are harbored by certain birds, mammals, and snails. While the larvae can infect humans, leading to skin irritation, humans are not suitable hosts for the adult parasites. The rash resulting from swimmer's itch can be extremely itchy. Treatment may consist of topical agents to decrease itching and antibiotics if a secondary bacterial infection occurs due to skin breakage from scratching.

Seabather's itch, or seabather's eruption, is a very itchy rash that develops after contact with Cnidaria. These organisms include coral, jellyfish, and sea anemones. The jellyfish are found off the Florida coast and in the Caribbean, whereas the sea anemone are found off the northeastern coast of the United States.

Seabather's itch causes raised bumps or blisters to appear. Other symptoms of seabather's itch may include nausea, vomiting, headache, and fatigue.

The Portuguese man-of-war is a brilliant blue-purple hydrozoan that has long tentacles capable of stinging victims with a whiplash-like pattern. The stings typically cause wheals that occur in stripes. The characteristic sting is not caused by whips from the tentacles but from irritants that the tentacles deposit on the skin of the victims.

West Nile virus (WNV) is a flavivirus that can cause encephalitis. It is transmitted by mosquitoes. West Nile virus is similar to other viruses in the family, including yellow fever, dengue fever, and Japanese encephalitis viruses. WNV is a positive-strand RNA virus, and the genome encodes for three structural proteins and seven nonstructural proteins. The functions of the nonstructural proteins include weakening the host response and regulating viral transcription and replication.

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