How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bite Scars

Treating bed bug bites can become a problem if you don’t act on them promptly.  Though hardly noticeable at first, these bites end up becoming irritable and embarrassing scars. So, how can you treat bed bug bite scars? 

In summary, to get rid of bed bug bite scars, use (1) over-the-counter medications like corticosteroid creams and lotions, retinoid creams, Mederma advanced scar gel, vitamin E oil or (2) home remedies like baking soda, aloe Vera gel, and lemon juice.

Use Over-The-Counter Medications 

Wash the skin area with an antiseptic soap and clean water. This will help reduce the itching and also prevent occurrence of a skin infection.

1. Corticosteroid creams and lotions

Corticosteroid creams and lotions have antipruritic properties that make them potent remedies for skin allergy and itchiness.

They reduce histamine release to the areas that have been bitten by bed bugs, thus minimizing inflammation and itching. One of the best corticosteroid cream in the market is Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength.

Directions for use:

  • Wash the affected area with cool water and allow it to dry naturally
  • Apply a thin layer of the cream and massage gently until it disappears
  • Do not exceed 1-2 applications in a day
  • If you are using other skin treatments, allow about 30 minutes before applying to avoid them mixing on your skin
  • It is also advisable not to use the cream for more than 3 days since it can get absorbed into the bloodstream

2. Retinoid creams

Retinoid creams can be used to reduce scarring and improve the appearance of scars from bed bug bites. Retinoids are not meant to treat the scars, but to diminish them. I recommend using Retinol Serum.

Directions for use:

  • Wash your skin with clean water and soap
  • Allow your skin to dry completely. Damp skin allows retinol to be absorbed deeper into the skin, leading to irritation.
  • Apply the retinol serum using your fingertips.
  • Add a broad-spectrum sunscreen if the skin is to be exposed to direct sunlight.

3. Mederma Advanced Scar Gel

Mederma gel can be used to enhance the appearance of bed bug scars by making them soft and improving their texture. This gel also protects the scars from the damaging effects of UV rays, making them to heal quickly.

Directions for use:

  • For new scars apply the gel once every day for eight weeks
  • For existing scars, apply the gel once every day for 3-6 month
  • Do not use the gel on fresh bed bug bites- wait until the bites have closed up
  • Also do not use it on children below 6 months old

4. Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E has been proven to be a potent remedy for skin rejuvenation. When applied to a bed bug scar, vitamin E cream will promote skin healing, thus reducing the scarring.

Directions for use:

  • Clean the scar thoroughly to remove oils and bacteria
  • Break the capsule with a pin and squeeze out the oil on a cotton ball
  • Dab the oil on the scar lightly without rubbing
  • Do not touch or spill the oil on clothing.
  • If you have to cover the wound, let it be for a while, to avoid trapping bacteria and fungus.
  • Allow 4-5 hours and wash within 8 hours
  • Use Vitamin E oil once every day until your scars disappear

5. Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel contains natural Salicylic Acid which has a drying effect on scars. When used on bed bug scars, this natural remedy will disinfect them and promote the healing and scar reduction process. It is enhanced with Aloe Vera for soothing and easing the itchiness.

Directions for use:

  • Wash the affected skin thoroughly and allow to dry
  • Test the sensitivity of your skin on a small portion of your skin. You know that your skin is sensitive if there’s irritation, redness or rashes. Do not use witch hazel if you have a reaction
  • Use a cotton ball or pad to apply witch hazel on the affected skin
  • If you are using witch hazel for the first time, apply once in a day. Once your skin becomes used to it, you can apply 2 times a day

Related: Will Spiders Eat Bed Bugs?

6. Salicylic acid

Some over-the-counter scar reduction treatments contain salicylic acid as the main ingredient. Its main purpose is to get rid of dead skin cells and prevent scaling.

Directions for use:

  • Put argan oil and shea butter in bowl. Mix them thoroughly to get a creamy mixture
    Add salicylic acid powder and whisk thoroughly
  • Add organic lemon oil and mix evenly to get a fine cream.
  • Apply a small amount of the cream to the affected areas every night until you get satisfactory results.

7. Silicone Gel

Silicon gels are some of the newest scar treatment products in the market. Though new, silicon gels have proven to be very effective at improving the appearance of scars resulting from insect bites, sunburns, rashes etc. One of the best silicon gel in the market today is the ScarAway Scar Treatment Gel.

Directions for use:

  • Clean the affected area thoroughly and allow it to dry
  • Apply the gel in a thin layer
  • Rub the gel gently on the scar in a circular motion
  • Allow 4-5 minutes before removing the excess gel with a soft cloth.
  • If necessary, apply a sunscreen
  • For good results apply twice daily until you achieve the desired results
  • How to Identify Bed Bug Bites

Although bed bug bites resemble those of other insects, it is possible to distinguish them using the following observations.

Bed bug bites exhibit a unique pattern. They appear in straight lines or zigzag.

Bed bugs like to attack the exposed parts such as hands, neck shoulders, arms, legs and face. The bites appear as either flat or raised, inflamed, itchy, blistered or red areas on the skin.

Bed bug bites can take as little as a few hours to as much as a whole week to appear on the skin.

Related: Do Roaches Eat Bed Bugs?

Use Home Remedies

1. Baking Soda

The chemicals in a bed bug bite can easily be neutralized using baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate. Being an inflammatory agent, baking soda also helps in reducing the swelling and redness of the bite.

Directions for use:

  • Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with three teaspoons of water
  • Clean the area to be treated.
  • Apply the mixture evenly to the affected areas and allow about 10 minutes before washing it off
  • In case the discomfort persists, the process can be repeated after one hour

2. Cucumber

The anti-inflammatory nature of cucumber peelings and slices makes it an ideal remedy for easing pain and inflammations. They contain vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which are capable of relieving itching and swelling.

Directions for use:

  • Clean the areas that have been bitten by bed bugs.
  • Gently place the cucumber slices or peels on the scars
  • Retain the slices on the affected area for at least 15 minutes
  • This process can be repeated until the effects of the bite go away.
  • For a more soothing relief, you can use the slices or peels after they have been chilled in a refrigerator

3. Aloe Vera Gel

The soothing effects of Aloe Vera gel on the skin can never be underestimated. Aloe Vera gel contains amino acids as well active compounds that are capable of easing the itching that results from bed bug bites. In addition, it helps keep the skin moisturized, making the bites to heel quickly.

Directions for use:

  • Split open a clean Aloe Vera leaf and collect as much gel as you may require
  • Clean the area to be treated
  • Apply a thin layer of the gel on the scar
  • Allow enough time for the Aloe Vera to get absorbed
  • Apply the gel 2-3 times daily
  • The remaining gel should be stored in the fridge for later use.

4. Lemon Juice

As an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent, lemon juice is a perfect remedy for easing the swelling from bed bug bites as well as preventing infection. Also, as an astringent agent, it makes the rashes from bed bug bites to dry quickly.

Directions for use:

  • Clean the affected area
  • Apply lemon juice extract on the scars using a cotton ball
  • Allow enough time to dry before washing it off
  • Repeat the process a number of times in a day
  • Remember that your skin might become susceptible to sunburns because of the lemon juice.
  • So, it is advisable to apply a suitable sunscreen or avoid direct sunlight.

5. Apple cider vinegar

The anti-inflammatory properties inherent in Apple cider vinegar makes it an effective agent for relieving itching that comes with bed bug bites. Alternatively, you can use the regular white vinegar if you can’t easily find apple cider vinegar.

Directions for use:

  • Clean the affected area thoroughly
  • Apply the raw vinegar solution using a cotton ball or soft cloth
  • Allow sometime to dry before washing it off
  • If the inflammation does not go away, you can repeat the process after some hours until the symptoms disappear

Related: Can Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?


Dealing with bed bug bite scars can be quite disturbing, especially when they appear on visible areas such as hands, neck, legs and face.

Moreover, the scars are made worse and more evident when you constantly scratch on them. With the above remedies, you can easily get rid of bed bug bite scars without using antibiotics.

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