Is it bed bug bites on my face or pimples?
Do bed bug bite marks resemble acne?
Yes, they certainly could resemble each other and this is the reason why bed bug bite marks are often mistaken for acne. Many people are even known to have spent hundreds of dollars on acne creams and face washes only to find out much later that they have a bed bug infestation and not acne. In this guide, we will study the main differences between bed bug bite vs. pimple marks and also find out what bed bug bites look like at first if you happen to get bitten.
Bed bug bite vs. pimple: Main differences
Let us discuss common symptoms of bed bug bites followed by the symptoms of acne.
Symptoms of bed bug bites on face
Bed bug bite marks are usually seen on face, arms, chest, upper back, neck etc. Mild bed bug bites have following clinical signs and symptoms:
- Often the bite goes unnoticed. Some people may be immune to the bed bug’s saliva as a result of which they do not show any symptoms despite getting bit.
- Bites on the face and arms are typically flat, round and itchy.
- They may be red.
- In some people, the bites cause an allergic reaction leading to itchy, red welts
- Highly sensitive people might develop pus filled blisters that could be hard and lumpy at first. Later the lump develops a small opening with pus underneath.
Symptoms of pimples
Pimples are typically present on the face on the chin area, cheeks, or forehead. Some teenagers and adults are also known to develop pimples on their neck and back. Pimples and acne marks may also be seen on buttocks.
- People with pimples usually tend to have whiteheads and blackheads as well, usually on the nose, cheeks and chin region.
- In case of cystic acne, the pimples may be hard and painful. In this regard, they do resemble bed bug bites.
- In severe acne, several small clusters of pimples may be present in a single area.
- In majority of people, pimples develop pus and squeezing these not only spreads the infection to other healthy parts of the skin but also leads to permanent scars and acne marks.
Can you pop and squeeze bed bug bites?
It is very tempting to squeeze both bed bug bites and pimples especially when they are filled with pus and are present on the face. Both acne and bed bug bites look ugly and could shatter one’s confidence. However, it is very important not to squeeze the bites and especially avoid touching one’s acne. This is because; when you touch either bed bug bite marks or acne with unclean hands, you are transmitting bacteria to the already fragile skin which could cause secondary skin infections.
Also, bed bug bites are typically harder and lumpier than acne, so squeezing and popping them is out of question. What you could do is use a hot compress to reduce the swelling. Make a hot compress by soaking clean sterilized cotton wool ball in hot water. Squeeze out the excess water and apply the cotton ball to the bite on the face or arms. Press down gently but firmly and keep the pressure on for 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat several times a day and follow up with some Hydrocortisone cream. This home remedy will help your swelling go down quickly and ensure that the bite clears away within a matter of days.
Summary of difference between acne and bed bug bites
Here is a brief recap of the difference between bed bug bites vs. pimples:
- Bed bug bites are harder and lumpier than acne. Acne or pimples and zits are softer than bed bug bites. It is possible to squeeze and pop acne but you cannot really pop bed bug bites. In some cases, people with very sensitive skin could develop pus filled blisters in the bed bug bitten area. These can be squeezed but you must not do so if you wish to avoid further complications.
- Bed bug bites are usually seen on face, arms, upper body, neck, chest and back. Acne is usually only seen on the face. You certainly won’t find acne on legs, thighs or feet. Acne can however be found on shoulders, butt, neck and upper back as well as the chest region.
- The acne and pimples come to head after a few days of occurrence. When this happens, you will see a clear opening with pus underneath. Do not pop the pimples if you wish to avoid permanent scarring. Your dermatologist will recommend an anti-acne cream and face wash based on your age and skin type. Use these products as prescribed. Bed bug bites typically do not come to head. However, in young kids, scratching the bites could lead to pus filled blisters or even secondary skin infections that may require steroidal creams or antibiotics for healing.
I hope this guide answers your question “Do bed bug bites look like pimples?” I recommend browsing through other resources on this website to help you answer other questions like what do bed bug bites look like at first and more importantly what do bed bug bites look like on humans to clearly understand whether you are suffering from acne or bed bug bites.