How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Julia Kizhner Your Own Question
Julia Kizhner
Julia Kizhner, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1126
Experience:  7 years experience working in Primary Care as well as Gastroenterology, Sleep Medicine & Weight Loss
Type Your Health Question Here...
Julia Kizhner is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Julia only......Hey Julia, I woke up from scratching the top

This answer was rated:

Julia only......Hey Julia, I woke up from scratching the top of my foot again & these tiny red bumps. I don't know if it is some type of bug biting me or that I'm allergic to something. It seems like certain times of year I get something on top of my left foot there is a little on my right, but not like my left. It itches at times like crazy, I wake up with scratching it with my right heel. I have a picture if you might be able to tell me anything. Could it be something due to the fall season? My dog has fall allergies, with his eyes. But what about human skin can it suffer itching from fall allergies or does it look like bites? Also a couple weeks ago I got a new pair of slide sandle flip flops where the wide rubber is across the foot.  Now I had another pair of these same thing & they never bothered me.  That is the only thing I can think that may be different, but the other pair like I said didn't give me a rash or whatever it is.

Hi Beth,

Are these the same bumps you were talking about couple of days ago?

It definitely doesn't seem like allergies, especially seasonal allergies - those usually come in the form of sneezing, coughing, runny nose, stuffy nose, etc.

When was the last time you wore you new flip flops? I don't think its from flip flops because the distribution is in places where the rubber doesn't touch the foot (from what it seems on the picture). Also, if the last time you wore your flip flops was 2 weeks ago, you should be getting these spots now. If you were allergic to a product within that rubber, the spots would show up within 24 hours.

It is very possible that these are bug bites. But bites come in groups around the same area. The reason they itch so bad is because your body develops an allergic response to the bite.

I would suggest that you put Hydrocortisone cream 1% on the itchy spots (if you have another topical steroid cream that is stronger than Cortisone, tell me and I will tell you if its ok to use) and also take Benadryl before you go to bed. If you are worried that Benadryl will make you too sleepy, take over-the-counter Claritin 10 mg. Its the same thing as Benadryl but non-drowsy. Of course, change all your sheets.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I wear the flip flops every day, but you are right I have the bumps in places other then where the band lays across my foot. No these are different bites from what I was talking about the other day which I thought were spider bites, but on the same foot. I also am sleeping in a different place then the first bites, I have for 3 nights, now I got these from the 3rd night. I don't have any idea what it could be. So since they are all around the top of my foot you would say they are bug bites & not some rash? I have checked my house for bed bugs (gross) & fleas I haven't seen either. My aunts bed & the other 2 places I sleep all have white sheets so I would think I would see something if it were either one of those. I don't even let my dog stay in the same room with us, he just comes through long enough to go to the kitchen then he goes back to the other rooms of the house with my uncle. I saw online bedbugs usually do a pattern or trail of bites mine is not like that. If we would have them one of the nurses would have had to bring them in, cause we don't have many visitors. I walked around the house in white socks & nothing jumped on my socks. We had a bout of gnats or something for a few weeks, but I have only seen a couple here & there now, or no see ums they call them. I kept feeling like something was biting my leg, but nothing showed up. I felt something biting me the first time & I have some red bumps they didn't itch much. Last night I woke up scratching & I didn't look at my foot til later in the day. The top of my foot is sore, because I was scratching so much. My uncle just walked through the rooms with white socks on that my dogs is in most & nothing jumped or was on his socks.

Good afternoon Beth,

My intentions were to write to you the first thing this morning but my baby was super sick all night long and I didn't get to work until 9:30am and then was totally overwhelmed.
So I can definitely tell you its not from the flip flops. Without touching and physically seeing the spots, it is very difficult to tell you exactly what it is but bed bugs are not always visible. As a matter of fact, they usually hide under the mattress or dressers and come out at night.

Usually bug bites come in patterns which is what it looks like on your foot. It is possible that this is also a type of eczema (inflammation of the skin) but the treatment would be about the same - steroid cream to decrease the itching and inflammation and Benadryl to decrease itching as well (especially at night).

You got to try something to treat it - see if the over-the-counter medications I recommended will work - if not, you might need something stronger which is only available by prescription.

Let me know what happens.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I put on anti itch cream for bug bites & irritations, you can still see the red specks, but it doesn't itch right now. I wore socks to bed. I checked underneath everything there are no bed bugs or droppings. I read online bed bug bites would look something like a mosquito bite & it doesn't look like that, and they aren't in a straight line like they say they do. It doesn't look like a flea bite either they have a red halo & a puncture bite in the middle, I don't have that either. i do have eczema behind my ears it cracks & at times oozes, it's a never ending battle. Nothing seems to work. But this on my foot doesn't crack I thought it might be from rubbing on the fiberbed mattress my mom washed it & I thought it could be from the detergent. My aunt nor my uncle have any bites. That is why I don't think it's fleas or bedbugs. My dog sleeps in the same room with my uncle & he isn't scratching. I check my aunt & she doesn't have any bites. Do you really think from looking at my foot it is bedbugs?

I'm sorry your baby isn't feeling well, I hope he/she is doing better! I'm sure it is very stressful to leave & go to work when your baby is sick.

The only reason I thought they were bug bites is because they were in a certain of linear pattern with a few scattered closer towards your toes. But again, the picture is blurry (because it is a large mega pixel picture) so its difficult to see the details of the spots.


If you are prone to eczema, it is very possible that this is a similar process. Eczema can come in different places on the body. You may get one outbreak and never see it again or it may occur on and off without any specific triggers.


If you used an anti-itch medication which had some Cortisone in it, chances are this is more related towards eczema rather then bug bites. Put that cream on 3x a day today and see if the redness also improves by tomorrow.


The baby was 11 months old yesterday and on his birthday he got a cold :( First one ever. Babies are so sad when they are sick and I feel so useless. It just takes time to clear (2-3 days) but for us, those 2-3 days will be quite difficult. Oh well...

Julia Kizhner and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you