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Old 06-27-2005, 10:40 PM   #1
melidasaur
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bug bites!

I can't stand bug bites... in fact, i have the nasty habit of scratching them until they bleed. Then I pick my scabs... I know, TMI!

So, does anyone have any good remedies for post-bite relief? I've tried a lot of over the counter stuff, like Benedryl cream and spray - they take too long to work.

How about bug repellants? Any suggestions for those - anything besides Off!?
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Old 06-28-2005, 07:48 AM   #2
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The best bug repellants contain DEET, the active ingredient in OFF. I've seen a chart, I can't remember where, that showed the delay before first bite after sticking your repellant covered arm into an enclosed space with bugs. All the "alternative" repellants like Avon's Skin So Soft, etc. gave you like a minute or two before the first bite. Products containing 20% Deet gave you something like an hour, products with 40% Deet gave you something like 3 hours, and products that were 100% Deet gave you something like 4 hours before the first bite. I don't remember the exact numbers, but I do remember that the basic lesson of the experiment was that a product containing 25%-40% of Deet was the best trade-off for keeping the bugs away without completely bathing in funky chemicals. Deet is probably harmless, but I understand there have been a few isolated cases of people having serious reactions to it after bathing in the 100% Deet for weeks at a time without ever washing it off.

With the spread of West Nile virus, I think the possible risks of some sort of chemical poisoning through Deet are much lower than the risks of being bitten by a virus carrying mosquito.

In my experience, once you get bitten by a bug, you're gonna itch, no mater what you do.
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:24 PM   #3
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a paste made of baking soda and vinegar works pretty good, not sure why.

so does tobacco juice.
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:55 PM   #4
wolf
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I am a BIG fan of the high deet products, especially Deep Woods Off (the liquid concentrate, not the aerosol. The liquid is 95% deet).

Some of my hippie friends suggest something called "Bugg Off," an all natural product, and recent studies tout the effectiveness of lemon eucalyptis.

Many of my hippie friends have been treated for lime disease or other bug-bourne infections.

I stick with the deet.

Post exposure I recommend a Sting Kill Pen (dabs a contact anesthetic onto the bite) or Aveena Anti Itch spray from J&J. I actually like the Aveena stuff better.
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Old 06-28-2005, 01:07 PM   #5
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100% DEET is great. Just don't accidentally get any on your lips. Or eyelids. Just really watch the whole face area.
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Old 06-28-2005, 01:15 PM   #6
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According to the chart I saw, the 100% Deet was only slightly more effective than the 20%-40% Deet. It was more effective to apply 20% Deet and then re-apply it a while later than to break out the 100% stuff. Also, the 100% stuff can disolve some synthetic fabrics and zippers. Not completely, but gets them all gummy. Plus, it feels all greasy.
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Old 06-28-2005, 01:17 PM   #7
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I lost a plastic watchface to the 100% deet ... but don't ever pull a tick off myself.
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Old 06-28-2005, 01:27 PM   #8
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Alright, here's a study of the effectiveness of various repellants. You may even find some alternatives here, melidasaur. The Bite Blocker For Kids looks interesting. Soybean oil, huh?

New England Journal of Medicine repellant article

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Old 06-28-2005, 01:46 PM   #9
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I also have one of those keychain devices that makes a high pitched noise that bugs aren't supposed to like. That also seems to work.

Just so long as I wear enough Deet.
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Old 06-28-2005, 03:30 PM   #10
melidasaur
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thanks for all of the suggestions... it's been dry here this summer, so bugs haven't been too bad yet, but i got this bite over the weekend and scratched the hell out of it. i'm going to have to give some of these things a try.
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Old 06-29-2005, 09:22 AM   #11
mrnoodle
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she's asking for post-bite solutions, you DEETaholics.
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Old 06-29-2005, 09:43 AM   #12
melidasaur
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the pre-bite DEET cocktails are good too... then I won't get bites! DEETaholics... that was funny.
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Old 06-30-2005, 05:47 AM   #13
LCanal
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I run with a group in Thailand and we finish our runs at 6.00pm prime mossy time. There are the OFF brigade but everyone seems to end up sharing while we stand and drink beer whilst donating blood! One type that seems to work just as well is heavy on Citronella, I think I spelt it correctly. Its an all natural insect repellent.
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Old 06-30-2005, 06:33 AM   #14
bluecuracao
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The best thing for bug bite itch is Rhuli gel. I've had a tube of it in my cabinet for a long time, so long that it is coated in perma-dust. But it STILL works, amazingly enough. Come to think of it, I think it works better now than it did when I first bought it.

Look for it under Bandaid brand--I don't think it's called Rhuli gel anymore.
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Old 06-30-2005, 05:28 PM   #15
plthijinx
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for post bites, this is a concoction that the late Dr. plthijinx used to have made:

1/2 cake camphor
10 asprin
1 bottle of isopropyl alcohol

dissolve camphor and asprin in the bottle of alcohol and apply as needed.
works good for chiggers, ticks, etc.....
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