Bedbug bites take three to six weeks to heal, according the National Pest Management Association. Healing time varies greatly based on a person's individual reaction to the bites and whether or not an active bedbug infestation is present. Bedbug bites should be kept clean by washing them with soap and water to prevent a secondary bacterial infection as they heal.
Using a topical steroid cream or oral antihistamine halts the itching from bedbug bites, thereby preventing skin breakage and the introduction of bacteria, as stated by the National Pest Management Association. Swelling, a heat sensation on bites and overall painful discomfort are signs of infection. If these occur, one should seek medical help promptly to prevent complications. While, bedbug bites look similar to many other types of insect bites, they are typically characterized by occurring in a row or cluster on skin that is exposed while sleeping, such as the face, neck, hands, arms or feet. Reaction time to bedbug bites varies from person to person. Reactions can occur immediately or up to two days later. For some people, there is no visible skin reaction, while for others, the reaction produces large, red and itchy welts. If someone has been repeatedly exposed to bedbugs and becomes sensitized to them, the reaction may become more exaggerated.