Bed Bug Bite Marks

Do Bed Bugs Leave a Mark?

Bed bug bites can be irritating, itchy, or even become open lesions from scratching. However, bed bug bites are not the source of any known disease. Several years ago, a paper was published reporting on a study in The Gambia in Africa in the 1990s. The study examined whether bed bugs play a role in transmission of Hepatitis B. After control measures were performed, the incidence of Hepatitis B did not change so it was concluded that bed bugs do not transmit this disease either through biting or by contacting skin broken by itching.

There are situations where scratching a bed bug bite to the point of bleeding may result in scarring. This is pretty rare; however, if possible, people should be discouraged from scratching bed bug bites, especially to the point of causing an open wound. Open wounds should be treated by an antibiotic topical cream or other product suggested by a physician or pharmacist.

The elderly are particularly susceptible to scratching and if they are predisposed to bleed easily, wounds can occur. Children are also likely to scratch to the point of abrasion.

Psychological problems are generally temporary but it is commonly found that people who have experienced bed bugs can have symptoms resulting in depression, frustration, and even thoughts of suicide. While suicide is not common, the frustration level is such that some victims readily talk about deep depression and suicide suggesting that bed bug marks are a symptom of deeper concern.

Image of bed bug bite marks on a woman’s arm:
picture of extensive bite marks from bed bugs on a womans arm