Need help dealing with bug bites

Nov 11th, 2008, 12:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 344
Need help dealing with bug bites

I'm leaving for Costa Rica in a couple of weeks and I'd like to learn how to better deal with bug bites.

Last year, once the itching got bad, I began using Benadryl. It helped me cope somewhat but the more bites I acquired, the more difficult it became. After a few days, I was popping Benadryl like tic tacs. Would another product work better for the itching? The lotions I've tried do almost nothing to help. I try to cover up but they find exposed skin.

I must confess, when I get out of the shower and head off to dinner in the evening I don't always spray myself down with those yucky sprays. I take a small bottle in my purse and end up with bites before I get out the stinky spray or I don't even realize I'm getting bites until it is too late. I plan to use more spray this year, but sometimes that is difficult if you have been scratching and your skin is already irritated and inflamed.

Any ideas of what I might try this year? I'm hearing that applying oil, from the foot to the knee, helps avoid sand fleas while out on the beach but I know I'm going to get a least some mosquito bites. They really love!
Linda137 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 12:47 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 23,804
We each took a small bottle of spray with Deet in it that we got at REI; we got very few bites. For the ones we did get, I had a little tube of anti-itch gel that we applied. It immediately removed the itch. I don't have it in front of me, so not sure of the name but I don't think it would be hard to find. We applied our repellent every day consistently.
volcanogirl is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 144
I brought along Avon's Skin So Soft repellent with Picaridin - picaridin being the key ingredient -since I, too, get bitten a lot. I read that picaridin works even on the no-see-ums on the beaches and I have to say that it worked a charm: I didn't get bitten at the beach at all.

It also worked for the mozzies but you do have to apply liberally and often especially when you're perspiring or swimming. I used it on my arms, legs and neck and didn't get bitten. Having said that, when I forgot to wear repellent in Tortuguero and Rincon de la Vieja, I was bitten everywhere.

With regards to the scent, it smelled mildly of lemon and at least to me, smelled better than other sprays I've used in the past. I also made sure to apply while I was in a well-ventilated area so that any fumes dissipated quickly.

I've read somewhere that certain organic repellents actually attract insects and that one in particular even attracts pigs!

With bites, I've used After Bite which comes in a pen form and available at REI - I think there's the regular one which I bought, and another formula that includes anti-itch for jellyfish stings.

Vick's Vaporub also works as the cooling menthol helps with the itching.

I think your best bet is to never forget the repellent and apply it everywhere; I didn't usually apply it to my back or stomach so I got bitten there but on the places I did apply I was spared for the most part. I wore pants and long-sleeved shirts but where I didn't apply repellent, I was bitten even through clothing.

Eressea is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Insect Repellent Moisturizing Lotion ...
My husband was actually the one that first ordered the Avon Authentic Skin-So- Soft Bug Guard Plus. My son is a mosquito bite magnet, actually if it bites ... - 80k -
qwovadis is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 02:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,222

Mosquitoes LOVE me, and I was covered with huge welts on our honeymoon in Aruba a few years ago. I went to the concierge and begged him for advice, and he told me to go into the sundry shop and buy a small tub of...hemhorroid ointment balm! I was desperate enough to try it, and I'm telling you, it was INSTANT relief. It was amazing. Might work for you!

karameli is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 02:45 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,197
I cover up at key times and use Sawyers Time Release Deet formula lotion. The smell isn't bad, the lotion is soothing and the bugs hate it. Because it's time release less deet is absorbed by the skin. Ultrathon is a similar product.

The thing that works best for me if I have insanely itchy bites is Orajel, a product that comes in little tubes for numbing mouth pain. Check the levels of the active ingredient because they vary. Dot it on and the itch is gone.

With dengue fever on the rise it's more important than ever to avoid bites as much as you can. Happy trails!
hopefulist is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 03:04 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 23,804
Yes, After Bite - that's what we used too and also got it at REI. It's miracle stuff.
volcanogirl is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 06:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 344
Thanks so much for all the great ideas. I'm going to be taking many of these products with me, including the Preparation H.
Linda137 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2008, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,707
Hi, Linda -

You might consider using picaridin instead of DEET - its almost odor-free and it isn't "yucky". Here's a link to a post about it, or search this forum for "DEET":

kja is offline  

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