Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bug Bites No More...

If you were always eaten alive by bugs when you were outslide, what would you do to minimize the bites? Would you have your boyfriend inject you with Vitamin B12? Would you take Prednisone (a steroid) while you were out in the woods and bring along a topical steroid cream to help minimize the itch if you did get bitten?

I DID IT ALL when we went to Uganda! On our first trip to IITA here in Nigeria, I had over 100 bug bites all over my body and I was an itchy mess. I went to the clinic to get some topical cream to help control the itching. On another trip to IITA, I got about 65 bites when others had very few. I realized that others got bites but I just had a much more severe reaction to them.

When I was in the US, I saw a doctor friend whose daughter had the same issue and was getting B12 injections for general health (all the girls in the office were) and it helped her on the bug bite front on a trip to Yosemite. I thought it was worth a shot (Ha!) and got a prescription and a few syringes and needles. Prednisone is not a medication that you want to be on for much time but I thought I would try it to see if it would help. I think it helped with my tendon tear too! Bonus! ; )

OK... so I should be a bit better about bug spray but I hate the smell and feel of high DEET insect repellent. I did bring along repellent with Picaridin and it seemed to work on my legs, the primary place I applied it while in Uganda.

Once a month Bob gets to give me an injection and I think he is getting used to it now after just two shots.

Whatever it was, it worked. The B12 injections? The prednisone? The things we do for sanity!


knitty said...

I also have terrible reactions to bug bites. I finally bought some insect-repellant-treated pants and a shirt (made by ex officio) for a trip to the jungle, plus I used a picaridin spray, and the combination worked. of course, this did mean sweating a bit under the long sleeves and pants, but... better than the alternative!

rabiel said...

Wow! Lisa, that's big guns you are using to treat bug bites. Steroids do a heck of a lot more than just reduce your reaction to bug bites. Like slow healing, weight gain, bone absorption, increased risk of bacterial infections, facial hair etc., etc. Think about it...
I think picaridin would be a good choice if you don't want DEET. The stuff in ex officio "bugoff" garments is an insecticide, i.e. it kills bugs. But that's fine in the garment, just don't put those kinds of insecticides directly on your skin.
Good Luck!!

Lisa said...

I was waiting for you to respond! I know I was using big guns... but I thought it was better than the alternative... 50-100 bites, sometimes in one sitting, even when I use bug stuff. I only used it for 2.5 weeks while in Uganda. I thought about it hard adn Bob di not really approve but I might have been miserable otherwise. i react really bad to bites and I always get lots when my friends get none! I know it is because I am sooo sweet! ; )

Unknown said...

Skin so soft bath oil by Avon (the one in the blue bottle)works great. I'm also allergic to bug bits, so I feel your pain. I mix the oil with my lotion or just put it directly on my skin and bugs don't bug me..lol
I also use drier sheets. Pack my clothes with the sheets in them...put them in my pants pockets too.