Plant and Insect Reactions

Many plants produce chemicals that irritate skin and cause contact dermatitis. Stinging and biting insects can cause allergic reactions, rashes, and severe itching. Topical treatments and oral medications often help with these reactions. The best solution is prevention. Avoid contact with poisonous plants and stinging or biting insects.

Bedbugs

Small, oval brown insects the live on the blood of humans and animals are commonly called bedbugs. They live in closets, rugs, mattresses, and bedboards. They come out at night and bite humans while they are sleeping. Their saliva causes itching and irritation in the skin, but they do not transmit any known illnesses. It is best to call an exterminator to clean your home of bed bugs. Do not accept any used mattresses or bedding for your home. Always vacuum well in the bedroom and vacuum your mattresses especially in the corners. Encase your mattress in a plastic sheet that keeps bugs away from your skin at night. Clean around box springs and head boards on a weekly basis. Medical treatment for bedbug bites is supportive only. Anti-itching creams, steroidal ointments, and oral antihistamines are the major types of therapy.

Lice

Lice are tiny insects that live on humans and feed on their blood. Head, pubic, and body lice are the three types that infest humans. Close contact and shared clothing items spread the disease. Body lice live in clothing and only come onto our bodies to feed. Head lice and pubic lice live near hair follicles and shafts of hair. People with pubic lice need to be evaluated for sexually transmitted diseases, since pubic lice are linked with these disorders. 

Treatment includes a body lotion or hair wash that can kill the lice. Over the counter anti-itching products and steroid creams for inflammation are also used. All contacts and members of the household must be treated at the same time. Recurrence is not uncommon. Cleansing of bed clothes, regular clothes and the home must be performed to kill lice in the home. Items that cannot be washed must be placed in a plastic bag for 24 hours and hung in the sun. Lice infestation is a constant problem that requires very aggressive treatment.

Plant Reactions

Many plants produce chemical that irritate skin and cause contact dermatitis. Stinging and biting insects cause allergic reactions, rashes, and severe itching. Topical treatments and oral steroids often help with this reaction. The best solution for this problem is to avoid contact with poisonous plants and stinging or biting insects.