Insect Bites and psoriasis
Insect bites are common occurrences and generally are not harmful aside from inflammation, itchiness, and redness at the site of the bite. These occur due to the toxins and pathogenic materials that are carried by the insect. In most people, the swelling and redness subside after a short period of time, but for people who have hypersensitivity or allergies to certain insect bites, these symptoms may be prolonged, more intense, and may be dangerous to their health. Common insects that bite include: mosquitoes, spiders, ticks, fleas, and bed bugs. Many insects bite or sting as a defense mechanism, while some bite to suck blood for nutrients. An insect that carries and transmits a disease, such as malaria or dengue fever, is called a vector.
One insect that can be found in homes and hotels is the bed bug. Bed bugs are a type of parasite from the cimicid family of insects, and it exclusively feeds on blood. The species that feeds on humans is known as Cinmex lectularius. Bed bugs are not vectors for any disease, but their bites may induce adverse reactions in people, which include: skin rashes, hypersensitivity, and even psychological effects. They can survive in a wide range of temperatures and humidity, but prefer warm and moist environments.
For people with psoriasis, even a small breaking of the skin, such as an insect bite, can trigger a breakout of psoriasis. The insect’s venom or other fluids will not directly cause psoriasis, but rather the physical bite itself is what can trigger psoriasis and flare ups. It is important to maintain a clean living environment by changing bed linens regularly and washing them with hot water and bleach, in order to kill and prevent the spread of bed bugs in the home. An exterminator may be necessary if the infestation of bed bugs is too heavy and widespread throughout the home.