Small bites on skin: Skin Tags: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options
Skin Tags: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options
Skin tags are extra pieces of skin that stick out beyond the surface of the body. They are harmless and more of a cosmetic issue than anything else, but understanding what they are, and aren’t, can be reassuring. And though what causes skin tags isn’t always known, skin tag treatment is pretty straightforward — they are easily removed.
How to Identify a Skin Tag: What They Look Like
Skin tags can be as small as 1 millimeter and as large as 1 centimeter, occasionally even larger, says Rebecca Baxt, MD, a dermatologist in Paramus, New Jersey. Skin tags, also called acrochordons, are mostly flesh-colored growths, although some may be darker in color, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD). They can be right on the skin’s surface or seem to sprout from a thin stalk of skin and hang off the body.
They are common on the neck, under the arms, in the groin, and on the eyelids, says Dr. Baxt, as they tend to grow in parts of the body with folds, but they can appear elsewhere as well. Once formed, they typically don’t get any bigger. You may have just one or two, or you may have many; they might be in isolated spots or in a group with many skin tags. They are usually asymptomatic, and they are diagnosed by visual inspection. However, since it can be difficult to self-diagnose skin tags, it’s important to see a dermatologist if anything is growing, changing, bleeding, itchy, crusty, flaky, or changing color on your skin, says Baxt.
A Common Condition: Skin Tag Causes and Risk Factors
Skin tags are very common. It is estimated that almost half of adults have at least one skin tag, according to the AOCD. They are common as people age, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).
No one knows what causes skin tags, but they are more common with pregnancy and weight gain, says Baxt. There is no way to prevent skin tags other than staying a normal weight, she adds. They are also more common among people with diabetes and a family history of skin tags, according to the AOCD. One theory is that the friction created by skin rubbing against skin, a side effect of being overweight, causes skin tags in certain people, which would explain why skin tags often grow in body folds, according to the AOCD.
In rare cases, skin tags could be a symptom of nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS), which is a complex genetic disorder in which individuals are predisposed to developing a type of skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. Skin-tag-like basal cell carcinoma in childhood may represent a marker for NBCCS, according to one study.
Skin Tag Treatment Options: Simple Surgical Procedures
Sometimes skin tags fall off on their own as they get pulled and irritated, according to the AAFP. The only way to get rid of skin tags is to have a dermatologist remove them with a minor surgical procedure, says Baxt.
Depending on where your skin tags are located, you might not choose any skin tag treatment — out of sight can lead to out of mind. However, you might want to seek skin tag treatment for cosmetic reasons if, for instance, you have one on an eyelid and it detracts from your appearance. Another reason to have skin tags removed is if they are in an area that gets a lot of friction, even just from wearing clothes or jewelry, causing irritation and bleeding.
Options for treatment include cryosurgery to remove skin tags by freezing the skin or electrocautery to burn off the skin tags or destroy the tissue with heat. If the skin tags are hanging, cutting them off with medical scissors is another option. These are simple surgical procedures that cause minimal discomfort, minimal recovery time, and minimal scarring, says Baxt. However, in rare cases, skin tags can grow back, and new ones can form.
While not at all dangerous, skin tags can be a nuisance or cosmetic woe. But it’s also perfectly fine to ignore them. One word of caution: As with any changes on your skin, if the appearance of a skin tag changes, have your doctor or dermatologist take a look at it.
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How to Identify Bedbug Bites
Painful or itchy marks on your skin may be bug bites, but you could also have a rash or other skin condition. If you’re concerned about bedbugs, you can check your bed and bedding for signs of these insects or connect with a doctor who can make a diagnosis.
It’s estimated that one out of five Americans has had a bedbug infestation or knows somebody who has.
Despite the name, bedbugs aren’t only found in beds. They’re also commonly found in sofas, chair cushions, and furniture crevices.
If you’ve been finding red and itchy spots on your skin, you may be worried you’re dealing with bedbugs.
However, unless you find evidence of the insects in your home, the bites can be difficult to identify. They can resemble other insect bites or several skin conditions.
There’s no test that can specifically diagnosis a bedbug bite, but a doctor may be able to help you identify them by ruling out other conditions like hives or a fungal infection.
Keep reading to learn how to identify a bedbug bite and how to tell them apart from other insect bites and skin conditions.
A note on skin color
Bug bites and rashes can look different on different types of skin. Generally speaking, they are pink or purple on dark skin, and red on light skin.
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There are more than 90 types of bedbugs, but only two species commonly bite humans.
Most bedbugs are reddish-brown with a flat, oval-shaped body. They’re usually about a quarter-inch long, have six legs, and don’t have visible wings.
Identifying bed bug bites on humans
Share on PinterestBedbug bites generally run in a line on exposed parts of the body, such as the face, arms, hands, or neck. Getty Images.
Bedbug bites tend to look similar to other insect bites. The bites are very itchy, and smaller than a quarter-inch across. In white skin, the bites usually appear red. On dark skin, they can look faint-pink or purplish, and turn deep brown the longer they remain on the skin.
However, they can also develop into large weals (itchy, fluid-filled bumps) that can be larger than 2 inches.
Bedbug bites typically occur on parts of your body that are exposed while you sleep, such as your:
Bite marks often appear in the “breakfast, lunch, dinner” pattern — a line or zigzag of three or more bites.
Bedbug bites can closely resemble several other types of bug bites. The following bugs are known to be active at night.
Share on PinterestA brown widow spider bite can look similar to other spider bites, with the local skin reaction usually limited to redness and swelling. Systemic symptoms are often noticeable and can include muscle spasms, nausea, and headache, among others. Photo: http://wolfspiderpictures.org
Many types of spiders are more active at night than during the day. Getting bitten by a spider in your sleep is fairly uncommon. Spiders generally only bite when they feel threatened.
Most types of spiders have toxic venom. The majority of spiders don’t have strong enough venom to cause serious harm to humans and only cause minor injury.
Spider bites may cause the following symptoms:
- red or purplish welts
Unlike bedbugs, spiders don’t feed on blood. Spider bites are more likely to be isolated while bedbug bites are often clustered together.
Share on PinterestMosquito bites cause raised, itchy welts. They typically don’t appear in a line or pattern. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Mosquitos use their long tube-like mouth to penetrate your skin. Many types of mosquitos are more active at dusk and night than during the day.
Although mosquito bites usually aren’t serious, mosquitos can carry deadly diseases like:
- West Nile virus
- dengue fever
Mosquito bites leave an itchy welt that looks like a pimple. It usually goes away in a few days.
Although mosquito and bedbug bites can look similar, mosquito bites are more likely to be in a random pattern and are larger in size than bedbug bites. Bedbug bites are more likely to be in a straight line or zigzag.
Share on PinterestAn oak mite bite generally doesn’t have specific traits of identification. Oak mites are microscopic, so they can’t be seen by the naked eye. Getty Images.
Mites are small insect-like critters that often live on animals like birds and rodents. Mite bite symptoms can vary but generally include:
- a rash
- hard or inflamed bumps that are red on light skin or dark purple or brown on dark skin.
- swollen skin
Mite bites are very small and don’t create a noticeable puncture like most other types of bug bites.
Share on PinterestFlea bites tend to occur on the feet, ankles, or lower leg. Source: Getty Images.
Your chances of getting bit by a flea are greater if you have pets or if you sleep with your pets in the bed.
People often mistake flea bites for bedbug bites. Both types of bites are usually itchy and are found in lines or clusters. Fleas typically target your:
If you notice bites on your upper body or around your face, they’re more likely to be bedbug bites.
Some common insects that bite people include:
- Lice. These insects typically live on the hair on your head and bite your scalp. Symptoms of lice bites include extreme itchiness and the presence of sores.
- Scabies. These are a small type of mite that spread by sharing clothing or bedding. Scabies generally cause a rash and intense itching that gets worse in the evening.
- Ticks. Ticks tend to bite warm and moist parts of your body like your armpits or groin. Ticks can remain on your skin for more than a week after biting.
- Chiggers. Chiggers are members of the arachnid family. They live in tall weeds and grass, berry patches, and wooded areas. Only the larvae bite humans. They tend to choose warm, moist areas of the body. When the chigger falls off, you are left with bumps that appear reddish on light skin and pink or purple on dark skin. You may notice a bright red dot in the center. The bumps may look like welts, blisters, pimples, or hives.
Several types of skin conditions can resemble bedbug bites.
Hives are red bumps or welts that form on your skin due to an allergic reaction. The bumps are usually raised and extremely itchy. They can be red or skin-colored.
If the marks on your skin get larger or spread to another part of your body quickly, they may be hives.
Fungal infections usually target the moist parts of the body like:
- your feet
- your genitals
- under your breasts
Having a fungal infection can cause an allergic reaction that leads to an itchy and bumpy rash on another part of your body.
Miliaria, more commonly known as heat rash, is a common skin condition caused by inflammation or blockage of a sweat duct.
It’s most common in newborn babies and people living in hot, tropical climates. Symptoms can vary but often include red, itchy bumps.
Dermatitis hepetiformis is a rare autoimmune skin condition. It causes the formation of itchy blisters and redness on light skin, and purplish coloring on dark skin.
The majority of people with dermatitis also have celiac disease.
The condition is most common on your:
- lower back
The easiest way to know that your bites are from bedbugs is to find evidence of them in your home. Signs of bedbugs include:
- reddish or rust-colored stains on your sheets or mattress from crushed bugs
- tiny dark spots from bug feces
- specks of blood on your bed or upholstery
- finding eggs that are about 1 millimeter in size
Where bedbugs hide
Bedbugs are most active at night when they feed. During the day, they like to hide in tight crevices. Some places they commonly hide include:
- in seams of chairs and couches
- between cushions and in the folds of curtains
- around the edges of drawers
- in electrical outlets
- under loose wallpaper
- at the corner of the wall and ceiling
- in small cracks in your bed or furniture
When to call a doctor
If you noticed your bites after traveling, it might not be possible to search for bedbugs. In this case, you may want to call a doctor. A doctor may be able to identify bites visually or rule out other potential skin conditions.
It’s also a good idea to contact a doctor if:
- you develop a fever
- your bites become swollen
- your bites blister over
Bedbugs bites can look similar to other insect bites or skin conditions. The best way to know if you’re dealing with bedbugs is to look for evidence of the bugs in your home.
If you think your bites may be from bedbugs, but you can’t find any evidence of them in your home, you may want to see a doctor.
bites, what they look like, where they hide
Bed bugs are dangerous and tenacious insects. It is very important to order professional bed bug extermination services as soon as possible and not to delay the solution of the problem. The faster and better the treatment is carried out, the less risks for health and comfort.
How can you tell if there are bed bugs?
To find out if bed bugs are infested, you need to do a number of simple manipulations, but it is important to do this carefully and without haste:
- Check skin : Bed bug bite marks appear as redness with swelling and are most commonly located on the neck, shoulders, back, ribs and legs. Examine all family members and pets.
- Examine bed linen : blood stains from bites, black dots and dead specimens will definitely indicate the presence of a parasite and the need for treatment.
- Sniff : bugs, with rare exceptions, exude an unpleasant odor similar to the smell of cilantro, coriander, spoiled fruits and berries, bad cognac. It will not be strong, but it can be felt next to pest clusters.
- Ask your neighbors : bedbugs rarely start in only one apartment, it is highly likely that neighbors have similar problems.
Where do bed bugs come from
It is commonly believed that bed bugs appear due to dirt, uncleanliness and the accumulation of old and dirty things, but this is not entirely true. The most common reason for the appearance of parasites in the house will be their migration from really dirty rooms: basements, from infected apartments, both from neighbors and animal hair brought on clothes.
One contaminated room can be a source of problems for countless people. And not always the presence of bedbugs in you indicates that you are doing the housework incorrectly.
What do bed bugs look like? Well-fed bugs acquire volume and become darker, almost black, while hungry bugs become flat, brown or red.
Outwardly, bugs can resemble an apple seed if they are full or a rusty coin if they are still hungry.
The body of an insect consists of three conditional parts:
- Head . It has two bulging eyes, antennae and proboscis.
- Chest . Three pairs of legs and a pair of miniature elytra are attached to it, despite the fact that the bugs do not have wings and cannot fly.
- Abdomen . Consists of 10 segments and contains odorous glands, spiracles, reproductive and digestive systems.
The size of an adult bed bug is 4 to 8 mm. The body of an insect is capable of almost doubling after saturation, which justifies the difference in average size. The larvae barely reach 1 mm after hatching from the egg and grow rapidly. The size of the egg laid by the female bed bug is about 1 mm, one individual hatches from one egg.
Males and females
The number of males and females in populations is approximately the same, but there are differences in appearance. Females are slightly larger than males and have a much more rounded body in the back. Whereas males are slightly smaller than females, and their body is pointed towards the end.
Eggs and larvae
Bed bug eggs look like small grains of rice. In some cases, they have small dents along the long side. The size is about 1 mm. The color is white, sometimes with a pearly sheen. On one side they have a hole through which the insect subsequently hatches.
With the help of a secret, they are perfectly attached to vertical surfaces. The egg also contains a special component, which, coupled with a strong shell, makes the larva almost invulnerable to mechanical damage, poisons and temperature. That is why it is very important to process the masonry with a specialized composition and with special care.
Recently hatched individuals are much lighter than adults – they are light, almost yellow. Their size increases by 1 mm after each meal – 1 time in 1-2 weeks. Then the shedding occurs. The discarded chitin remains in the nests; it is not transferred anywhere by insects and is not used.
Differences from other species
Domestic bed bugs, in comparison with others, are quite small (from 4 to 8 mm) and not so diverse in their coloration (adults – from brown to black, young ones – from yellow to light brown ). They are easier to confuse with a small cockroach than with a wild relative.
Bed bug bites
What they look like
Bed bug bites look like small redness with swelling and swelling, with a pronounced center – a bump. Arranged “paths” – one after the other. Most often on the human body, bites can be found on the neck, shoulders, back, ribs and legs. Animal bodies are best examined in their entirety.
The insect spreads its proboscis, which is usually pressed against the abdomen, and punctures the skin with piercing bristles. During the bite, the insect injects the victim with a substance that temporarily numbs the area of the bite so as not to be detected. In the process of feeding, the bug moves along the body and makes 5-7 bites every 3-5 cm, each time sucking out an insignificant part of the blood. The duration of one feeding of the bug is from 3 to 10 minutes, if nothing disturbs it.
Do bedbugs bite?
No. The bug “takes care” of itself and its victim by injecting an anesthetic compound during the bite.
How fast do they go?
Usually the bites of these insects disappear within 5-7 days. If irritation and swelling does not go away for a longer time, there is a danger of an allergy and you should seek medical help.
Why bites are dangerous
Usually, for adults, bed bug bites are more dangerous from an aesthetic and psychological point of view, if there is no predisposition to allergies. Despite the fact that bedbugs are carriers of diseases, they cannot transmit them during a bite.
Biting irritation in adults can contribute to insomnia and irritability, but nothing more.
A feature of the harmful effects of bedbug bites on newborns and young children is the possibility of developing anemia, in addition to the problems that bites cause in adults.
Allergy to bedbug bites can be life-threatening for the bitten. If you have even the slightest suspicion of developing an allergy to the resulting bite or are predisposed to it, seek medical help immediately.
Signs of allergy to bed bug bites:
- Bite spot more than 1 cm in diameter
- Trail lasts more than seven days
- Rash develops
- Itching and irritation became unbearable
Treatment of bed bug bites
Bites can be treated with folk remedies, as well as with the help of medicines purchased at a pharmacy. All of them will be aimed at reducing itching, swelling and restoring the skin.
- Rescuer balm
- Gektor Gel
- Psilo Balm
- Erythromycin ointment
- Ice application
- Rubbing with rubbing alcohol
- Attaching a cut half of an onion
- Lotions from decoction of chamomile and St. John’s wort, crushed fresh mint leaves
Please note that folk remedies are a great way to temporarily solve the problem if medicines are out of reach, but they are not able to replace them.
Life cycle of bed bugs
The process of development and life span of a bed bug consists of three stages:
- Egg – 4-5 days
- Larva – up to 30-35 days
- Adult insect – up to 400 days
In the absence of food and the ambient temperature drops below +5°C, adults are able to fall into a state of suspended animation and live without food for up to 1 year or more. At an ambient temperature of more than + 50 ° C, adults, larvae and eggs die. Under adverse conditions, the development process can slow down and be up to 100 days before becoming an adult. This provides the insects with their extreme survivability.
Bed bugs reproduce in the adult stage. A female is capable of laying up to 5 eggs per day; for the entire life cycle, one female lays from 250 to 500 eggs.
Where can bed bugs hide?
Bed bug habitats are easy to find. All waste products and accumulations of the insects themselves are clearly visible upon close examination. You can find bedbugs where it is dark, dry and warm:
- In furniture: in slots and grooves, folds of linen and upholstery, mattresses, on bookshelves
- In walls and floors: under skirting boards, wallpaper, wooden window sills, paintings
Summing up, we can conclude that household bed bugs are moderately dangerous insects (don’t forget about allergies and small children!), With an extremely high survival rate and ability to reproduce.
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Bed bug bite: symptoms and treatment
Bed bugs are one of the most annoying pests that can live in any home, regardless of its cleanliness and well-being. Bedbug bites cause a lot of trouble and are a real problem. It is bites that make it possible to determine that parasites have appeared in the house. Let’s figure out what a bug bite looks like and what to do when it is found. Below you will find information about what a bedbug bite looks like, a description of the symptoms and treatment.
Signs of a bug bite on human skin
Knowing how to identify a bug bite will help you notice parasites long before they are visually detected. The main sign of a bug bite is the presence of marks lined up in a single chain. If mosquitoes need only one puncture in order to satisfy their hunger, then bedbugs have to make several due to the structural features of the oral apparatus. In this case, the insect moves along the human skin, without departing a long distance from the first bite. If you find a bedbug bite, treatment should be symptomatic.
A bed bug bite is accompanied by the following symptoms:
- presence of red spots-marks on the skin, lined up in a single chain. The number of marks can be any. It all depends on the size and age of the insect, as well as the degree of its hunger. Usually, after an insect bite, a person finds 3 or more spots;
- the appearance of new traces only in the morning. Bedbugs are parasites that lead a nocturnal lifestyle. That is why you can notice bite marks immediately after waking up. During morning and afternoon sleep, the bugs practically do not bite. If you are bitten by bedbugs, symptoms may not appear immediately, but after a few hours;
- swelling at the site of the bite. Immediately after detection, the puncture site looks swollen. The edges of redness have fuzzy boundaries, and their shape can be any. The reaction to a bug bite can have a different degree of severity in different people;
- severe itching. The bite of a bug itches just like the bite of any other insect. However, sometimes itching can practically subside and manifest itself with renewed vigor in the daytime or evening. Sometimes itching can be so severe that adults scratch the skin until blood appears.
Most often, bedbugs bite on open areas of the body, such as arms, legs, and even the face. At the same time, insects prefer areas of the body with blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. If there are small children in the family, then they will become the first victims of bedbugs. Men, due to their thicker and rougher skin, are the last to be noticed by parasites. If you notice a bug bite, what to do in this case?
How dangerous is a bug bite?
By itself, the bite of the parasite is completely harmless to humans. In addition to itching and burning, it is not capable of causing significant harm. These insects are not carriers of infections, however, their bites can provoke the following complications:
- sleep disturbance and insomnia. Bed bugs are especially bothersome for young children. Constant lack of sleep leads to a decrease in immunity and susceptibility to viral and infectious diseases;
- development of an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction to a bug bite can be accompanied by various symptoms, including severe swelling and fever;
- skin ulceration. Constant scratching of the skin is the gateway to most infections. As a result, ulcers and suppurations often form at the site of bites. In rare cases, this can lead to sepsis.
Knowing how to recognize a bug bite can save you a lot of trouble. The bug bite is a potential threat to human health. That is why, upon detection of the first signs of parasites, it is necessary to take urgent measures to destroy them. If you find a bedbug bite, the symptoms can be anything.
What to do if bitten by bedbugs, how to treat?
Since the sting of an insect is accompanied by severe itching, the task of first aid is to eliminate this symptom.