Do Roach Bites Itch (Causes and Natural Treatment)

Do cockroaches bites itchy? Yes, they do, and this article discusses the causes of itching in cockroach bite and how to overcome them. Well, insect bites generally give humans itching and pain. Likewise with cockroach bites. Cockroach bite marks look bigger than bed bug bites.

When the cockroach lacks food supply, the cockroach will look for food debris attached to parts of the human body such as nails, hands, and mouth. When you are bitten by a cockroach, your body experiences a hyperactivity response known as an allergy. The first reaction of an allergy is in the form of inflammation/swelling.

Why Do Cockroaches Bite Itchy?

Cockroaches have proteolytic enzymes, namely enzymes that are able to break down PAR-2 ​​(Protease-activated Receptor) or receptors that can be activated by protease proteins. PAR-2 ​​is found in body tissues, one of which is in the epidermis layer. If PAR-2 ​​is activated (with proteolytic enzymes that cockroaches have), then there is the release of inflammatory mediators.

Based on this article, the release of inflammatory mediators can increase sensory nerve responses, thereby delaying skin barrier repair. Also. the release of these inflammatory mediators can trigger a rash on the skin. Followed by an increase in sensory nerve responses in the form of itching or pain due to irritation. After that the repair of the skin barrier becomes hampered, causing dermatitis or eczema on the skin.

Inflammation is a protective response caused by tissue damage, which serves to destroy or reduce agents that cause tissue damage and the damaged tissue itself. Inflammation aims to stop bleeding and clean the wound of foreign objects, such as dead cells and microorganisms to prepare for the healing process. There are two types of inflammation, namely:

  • Acute inflammation, which is inflammation that lasts for a short time
  • Chronic inflammation, which is inflammation that lasts for days

The acute inflammatory response occurs in 4 phases, namely:

  • Blood vessels in damaged tissue signal the immune system
  • The immune system neutralizes agents that cause tissue damage by releasing histamine. The release of histamine causes the skin to become itchy and irritated
  • Broken tissues fixed
  • If the repaired tissue does not heal, the inflammation is categorized as chronic and must be treated further. Chronic inflammation is an implication of infection because the healing process of the skin barrier is disrupted. Healing of the skin barrier will be hampered if the bite marks are scratched continuously.

Histamine is found in the immune system, namely in eosinophil cells in white blood cells. Eosinophil cells function to release histamine. Histamine is produced in white blood cells, namely Basophils. Basophils play a role in fighting germs that cause infection, heal wounds, and destroy foreign objects that have the potential to be toxic in the body.

Here, histamine itself plays a role in regulating the function of the digestive system and functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain, spinal cord, and uterus. Histamine is involved in the inflammatory or inflammatory system and has a major role as a mediator of itching.

Part of the immune system that attacks foreign pathogens, histamine, is produced by basophils and mast cells from the surrounding connective tissue. Histamine increases the permeability of capillaries so that white blood cells and proteins for the immune system can enter the body’s tissues that are infected and fight the germs that cause the infection.

Histamine causes the blood vessels around the bite to become inflamed, causing the skin to become red and swollen. Histamine also makes the nerve endings in the skin inflamed, causing itching. The itch stimulus starts from an impulse originating from the free nervous system triggered by Histamine, then is transmitted to the posterior horn of the spinal cord through the dorsal root, then ascends to the thalamus, and finally reaches the cerebral cortex which translates the impulse into itching. Once translated, the motor nerves give signals to scratch the itchy area.

Itching is caused by:

  • Allergies or hypersensitivity (insects, food, dermatitis, and jewelry)
  • Infections (fungi, viruses, and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria)
  • External factors (soap, detergent, cloth, and some ingredients used in cosmetics that cause allergies)
  • Stimulus (temperature and humidity)
  • Emotional (anxiety and stress)

Cockroach bites cause red and swollen skin. Not infrequently this swelling causes itching so you want to scratch. But keep in mind, if you scratch this swollen area, there will be a wound that is at risk of infection. Infection is very likely to occur due to the entry of microorganisms into the wound.

So it is necessary to take precautions before the itching gets worse and infection occurs. The best prevention is to refrain from scratching the cockroach bite area. Given that the response to itching is the urge to scratch, here are alternatives to reduce itching due to cockroach bites.

Natural Ingredients That Can Reduce Itching

Based on the Practical Guidelines for Itch, apart from using antihistamines, there are emergency alternatives that you can apply to reduce itching, including:


The acidity of the vinegar is able to rebalance the pH of itchy skin. You can dissolve vinegar in warm water and then apply it to itchy skin.


You can apply lemon on itchy skin. Dermatitis due to insect bites is alkaline, so it has a high pH value. The acidity of the lemon and vinegar can neutralize or balance the pH of the skin. However, this method will not work if you have scratched the itchy part of the skin to the wound, because it will sting.


Salt can absorb moisture, thereby reducing swelling. Salt can also work to calm nerves due to itching. However, this method will not work if you have scratched the itchy part of the skin to the wound, because it will sting.


Onions contain flavonoids that act as an anti-inflammatory. So that onions are able to reduce swelling and itching after being bitten by insects.

Another Alternative That Can Reduce Itching

  • Use cleansers and moisturizers that have a low pH to maintain the skin barrier function so that the skin is not damaged by scratching too often
  • Use cold powder or powder containing menthol or phenol. Menthol and phenol can provide nerve stimulation that gives the sensation of cold. But keep in mind that menthol and phenol are derivatives of alcohol compounds, which can cause skin irritation if used excessively
  • Apply anesthetic cream, which can be used in conjunction with cold powder to reduce excessive itching
  • The use of capsaicin compounds, which are found in chilies. The heat generated from capsaicin is able to stop the disruption of the nerve endings triggered by Histamine.
  • Itching can be overcome by applying an antihistamine cream.

Itching is a response to allergies. The body’s immune system or white blood cells detect a disturbance so that it releases compounds to protect the body so that allergens are not spread. Itching is triggered by several factors and can be prevented by living clean so that no insects enter the house.