After you have been bitten by a bed bug, the bites do not always appear right away. Sometimes it may even take a few days for you to notice any symptoms. Red, itchy bites on the arms and shoulders are usually the first sign that you have been bitten by a bed bug. However, itchy in bed not bed bug may also happen as some other conditions may also lead to similar symptoms.

Bed bug bites are in straight rows, rather than sporadically placed across the skin. They can also occur anywhere, but most commonly are found on the skin that is exposed while you are sleeping. If you do not notice any of these signs, it may be something other than bed bugs.

Itchy In Bed Not Bed Bugs: What Else Could It Be?

Itchy in bed not bed bugs, it could be various other conditions such as scabies or allergies. It is important that you find the exact cause and treat it accordingly.


Over the past few years the occurrences of scabies has grown. It is caused by a tiny, sometimes unnoticeable parasite mite that burrows under the skin. The burrowing causes severe itching very relatable to that of an allergy. These irritable areas can occur anywhere on the skin; however the mites prefer to burrow into the areas between fingers, nails, elbows and wrists. It is not uncommon to find them on the buttocks, belt line, penis, and nipple areas of the body. They like to be in warm, moist locations.


The symptoms can take days to weeks to appear depending upon whether or not the infected person has had them before. The main signs and symptoms of scabies include:

  • Nighttime itching

  • A rash of little bumps in a line that look like hives, tine bites, or pimples

  • Sores are formed from constant scratching

  • Crusty spots on the skin from severe scabies called crusted scabies

All these symptoms cause severing itching. When you continuously scratch to relieve this itch you can develop an infection or even a life-threatening condition when the infection gets into the blood stream.


The good thing is that scabies is completely curable. It is easy to treat scabies with Permethrin, which is an insecticide that will kill the mites. An alternative treatment is using Malathion lotion.


Dust Mites

For itchy in bed not bed bugs, the culprit could be dust mites. A tiny relative of the spider that lives on mattresses, bedding, upholstery, and carpets are dust mites. These insects feet on the flakes of skin that are left behind by people and pets. Warm humid locations are best for breeding dust mites. These tiny mites are also common causes of asthma and other allergies.


Why am I itching like crazy? There are a wide range of allergy-like symptoms related to dust mites. Everything from sneezing, runny nose, hay fever, and sinusitis are all signs that you may have dust mites. Dust mites may also cause wheezing, persistent coughing, and/or a shortness of breath. On the skin you may even notice eczema and dermatitis. Those who are extremely sensitive to dust mites may even encounter joint pain, muscle aches, or swelling of tissues.


Using topical corticosteroids or an oral antihistamine will help ease the symptoms and give you relief from the itching. Antimicrobial therapy is another option for burrowing mites.

Mites that do not burrow may bite you and cause a similar reaction as those that do. You can use a topical corticosteroid or an oral antihistamine for these as well to control the pruritus.

Note: Avoid picking at and scratching your itchy, irritated skin. Doing so can cause permanent damage to your skin that leaves scars. If the itching does not stop with the above methods, you may need to visit a doctor for a stronger treatment.


Flea Bites

Smaller than the tip of a pen, fleas are small black or brown bugs that cause a lot or irritation for both humans and animals, which could account for itchy in bed but not bed bugs. Although they are small, they move quite fast by jumping from place to place and are nearly impossible to get rid of without using a pesticide. Their bodies are extremely flat and take extra effort to effectively kill.


Within hours of the initial bite, you will start to notice the symptoms of a flea bite. The symptoms include small rashes that may bleed at times, itchy skin, hives, and swelling. One answer to the question, “Why am I itchy in bed?” may be small groups of three to four bites around the ankles, armpits, and waist caused by fleas. You may also find that this rash turns white when you press on it and the more you scratch, the larger is gets.


Eventually flea bites will go away on their own. However, you can help relieve the symptoms with over-the-counter anti-itch creams and medications. The irritation will go away faster if you avoid scratching the affected area. If you do notice infections, white pockets, or the itching is not subsiding, you need to visit your doctor for medical attention.

The best way to stop flea bites is to kill the fleas. You can do this by treating your home, furniture, and pets with pesticides.


Allergies to Bedding Materials

Another reason you are itchy in bed not bed bugs is because you are allergic to the bedding materials. Many times the polyester and other synthetic materials can cause an allergic reaction. Even natural materials such as down feathers may cause allergic reactions that create the itchy sensation. Once way to avoid the itching is to purchase cotton, wool, and bamboo options within your home.


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