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Health & Nutrition
Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By CaffeinePremium member Comments: 2902, member since Wed Aug 08, 2007
On Thu Feb 25, 2010 09:51 PM

... and what are some good home remedies for managing the pain/itch and trying to avoid further bites?

Right now, my legs are a seething itching mass of welts and wheals, courtesy of something that has been biting me in the night. They're not fun, and it's kind of frustrating that my partner hasn't been bitten even once.

Why is it, then that certain people get bitten - by spiders, mozzies, ants, what-have-you- while others don't get touched?

Three bites, I can attribute to mosquitoes, but the others - I have no idea. It's not fleas; perhaps a bigger sort of mozzie? Or a spider? Or ants in the grass while I was wearing a skirt? Or all of the above. All I know, is that they itch like mad. I'm currently using Stingose, on them, but it's barely scratching the surface (no pun intended). What are some other remedies and old-wives-tales you've heard of to help ease the itch and bring down the swelling? (I'll try almost anything!)



Ooooooo scratchyscratchyscratchyscratch! (I need mittens)

19 Replies to Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others?

re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16117, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:19 PM
We taste sweeter. ;)

Get some cortisone cream. Oatmeal baths help, too.

kk~
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11510, member since Thu Dec 16, 2004
On Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:48 PM
I grew up in the freakin wilderness, so I know the answer to this one: ammonia. Smells bad, but works like a charm. Try it. You can thank me later.

I should mention that if you've been scratching, ammonia will burn like a mother. But it still works better than anything else for itching.
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By Sumayah Comments: 6096, member since Wed Nov 12, 2008
On Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:53 PM
Meat tenderizer. Get some meat tenderizer and add water til it makes a paste. Apply the paste to the bites. It draws the poison out - I've used it on spider bites very effectively. I've heard you can also do something similar with asprin.
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 12093, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:15 AM
Ugh, I'm one of these "why do I get bitten x1000 times more than everyone else?" people too.

My solutions:

a) Avoid bugs wherever possible - be an indoor person, esp around dusk, keep any pets regularly de-flea'd (I know animal fleas aren't meant to affect humans but I've noticed they affect me for some reason!) and keep a fan or two on where appropriate as flies hate moving air.

b) Ice bites until it all goes away. Sometimes I'll even sleep with ice-packs strapped onto my bites because it's the only way I'll fall asleep comfortably - I gave up on all those anti-itch creams a long time ago because they do jack all for me. I also put band-aids on my bites ASAP, as being physically incapable of scratching = faster healing time. :) I've also noticed that when bites get to the stage where you can get rid of the clear stuff/start weeping clear stuff, the itching sensation quickly goes away...

Apparently you can also 'chemically neutralise' bite stings with things ranging from human saliva to various pastes, but I don't have much experience with this sort of thing.
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By UberGoobermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6373, member since Sat May 15, 2004
On Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:51 AM
They make anti-itch stuff with ammonia in it. It is called afterbite. It's the only thing that helps me.
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By DeeDeesPremium member Comments: 4147, member since Fri Jan 26, 2007
On Fri Feb 26, 2010 01:15 AM
I find this cream helpsImage hotlink - 'http://www.comparestoreprices.co.uk/images/eu/eurax-cream.jpg' also the afterbite mentioned ^. If it is too bad take an antihistamine. All 5 of us at home get bad reactions to insect bites.
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By pokomember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 8925, member since Sun Oct 31, 2004
On Fri Feb 26, 2010 05:32 AM
So, I have been told you are more likely to get bitten if you have a good level of b vitamins.Which makes sense to me. I have VERY low B6 and B12. I never ever get bitten. I went camping once and everyone got eaten alive. I was fine. Day I got home, I was covered in spots. I was like, woah, mozzies finally got me...turns out I had chicken pox. But yeah, I cannot actually remember ever being bitten by a mozzie.

Wives tail, coincidence et...whatever.

My mum swears by Vinegar on bites.
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 17049, member since Thu Jun 06, 2002
On Fri Feb 26, 2010 05:41 AM
You know that alcohol gel that people went mad for during the eternal let-down that was the swine flu pandemic? I had a bottle of that, and I put some on a bite, and it stopped itching straight away and dried up overnight. I then had a different brand and that one didn't work. I can't remember the original brand. Oops :(
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12253, member since Fri Aug 27, 2004
On Fri Feb 26, 2010 09:54 AM
I don't know why but spiders love me. I've had a number of dangerous spider bites. If there is a spider in our bedroom it will completely ignore my husband and come and get me.

Super hot showers release histamine in your skin which causes intense itching while under the water but when you get out you will be very much relieved of the itching because you've unloaded a whole bunch of the chemical. At least this works with poison oak.
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By pondflyPremium member Comments: 1099, member since Thu Dec 24, 2009
On Fri Feb 26, 2010 05:44 PM
Edited by pondfly (218838) on 2010-02-26 17:50:29 Added the flu portion.
Well, first choice is Benadryl gel followed by calamine lotion. But if you want home based care then use meat tenderizer like above, but it stinks. You can also make a paste of baking soda and water.
I used to use that all the time when I got stung.

Louise, don't think the pandemic is over. The true virus is still not humanized yet and when it is completed it has the potential to be more infectious. I was one of the first in the US last year to get it and really kicked my butt. I took 3 liters of fluid by IV, untold amounts of pain killers and it took almost two weeks to recover.
It's still the flu but the secondary infections are the ones causing the fatalities. I've seen people with little to no problems and others who didn't make it.
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By LingScot Comments: 988, member since Sat Apr 09, 2005
On Fri Feb 26, 2010 08:40 PM
Another home remedy is to use Listerine . . . presumably the same idea as other disinfectant-type solutions, but sometimes easier to come by!
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By dancegal2member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 919, member since Sun Jan 05, 2003
On Sat Feb 27, 2010 01:14 AM
The best thing I discovered by accident is TIGER BALM! I had sore calves and was putting it on for my muscles and happened to have an itchy mozzie bite. The itching went away so I experimented on other bites and it always works. Better than anything else - Stingose is hopeless on me, roll on deodorant is another one that sometimes works.
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By CaffeinePremium member Comments: 2902, member since Wed Aug 08, 2007
On Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:07 PM
Y'all are awesome - I had no idea there were so many different home remedies for the relieving of itching!

I don't have a bath at home (only a shower), so oatmeal baths are out of the question.

I didn't try the ammonia, meat tenderiser or baking soda and water pastes, nor Listerine or Tiger Balm.

I did try the vinegar (apple cider vinegar, actually, because I had some and it's meant to be a great cure-all), but as soon as it started to dry it prickled like mad. Prickling+itching= an impressive display of willpower! Cross that one off the list.

Vitamin B - oddly enough a friend elsewhere suggested that a lack of B1 made me meals-on-feet. I take multivitamins everyday, so I'm leaning towards the vitamin overload as a possible cause.

Gel hand sanitiser did the same as the vinegar - OK while wet, but prickling like mad when drying.

Super-hot showers - nah. I'm a wuss with low blood pressure and I suspect those temperatures would have me faceplanting the tiles. I'll put up with the mad itch!

It's been a week, now, and after blistering, the worst of them have got to the attractive slightly-oozing-clear-stuff stage, and as Glitters said: no more itching! I'd still be happier if I knew what it was that bit me, though...
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 12093, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Mon Mar 01, 2010 01:40 AM
Ooh, I heard about the B vitamin thing too from a local chemist and take that sometimes when I'm feeling desperate. I've heard that Garlic tablets have a similar effect?

In terms of 'attracting' bites, I've heard that eating bananas does this for some reason.

Most of the things that bite me are common Aussie sandflies. I get the occasional mosquito as well. In addition to the fans, we bought one of those automated aerosol things that's meant to drive away insects whilst being unhamful to humans and animals - www.mortein.com.au . . .
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By Snuffymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3386, member since Wed Jan 02, 2008
On Mon Mar 01, 2010 02:48 AM
I'm not sure about other bugs, but in the case of mosquitoes, hormones play a big role in who gets bitten. Specifically, I believe that it's oestrogen. That's why women tend to get more bites, and some women get even more bites, and a lot of women find that they're more susceptible to getting bitten at particular times during their cycle.

Since you're an Aussie, I'll recommend "Soove" (it used to be called Dermocaine before they decided that a stupid name would be better!). It a gel-like ointment that works pretty well - and it really helps if you keep it in the fridge. It won't be a brilliant match for those *seriously* itchy bites, but it certainly helps, especially if you get it on ASAP.

You can also take antihistamines. Even just the mild ones like Claratine are supposed to help a little. If you're not going out the next day, then you can take something a little stronger and enjoy the side-effect of a good night's sleep!

Whoops, I guess these aren't exactly home remedies per se, but hey, they're things that you can buy in Australia. I'll second (or third or whatever) the ice, too!

Hope those nasty itchy bites are starting to settle down now. I got a few (from what seemed to be different bugs, too!) about four months ago. Man a couple of those bites drove me mad. They turned into blistery things in the end, too, and even left scars for a little while. No idea what those bites came from, but wow they were itchy. I feel your pain (or itch, to be precise).
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By CaffeinePremium member Comments: 2902, member since Wed Aug 08, 2007
On Mon Mar 01, 2010 05:54 PM
^ The hormone thing does sound pretty reasonable, actually - I was just coming into sharkbait season when I got the majority of the bites, which were mostly mozzies.

I haven't heard of "Soove" - is it a regular chemist or supermarket thing? I'll keep an eye out for it...

Glitters, I'm glad the aerosol sprays are working to keep you bite-free. I'm trying to avoid them - we're kinda organic hippie types, and don't even own a can of flyspray between us! i guess it's a trade-off: chemicals or bites...

Last night the worst of them gave one final sting, and they've all settled back to little red spots instead of the raised blistery welts they were. I suspect at least one is going to scar...
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By novicedancer1991member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1442, member since Fri Aug 28, 2009
On Mon Mar 01, 2010 09:14 PM
It doesn't seem to work for other people, but what I've found works for my bug bites is to make a paste out of baking soda and water. The odd thing is it doesn't always have the same effect. Sometimes it makes the swelling of a bugbite go down, but not the itching, and sometimes it cures the itching but not the swelling. And then sometimes it doesn't help at all.
re: Why are some people more susceptible to bug bites than others? en>fr fr>en
By Snuffymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3386, member since Wed Jan 02, 2008
On Tue Mar 02, 2010 04:17 AM
This is Soov (heh, I spelt it wrong before, because it's a stupid name for a good product!)...

www.egopharmaceuticals.com . . .

You can definitely get it at the chemist, mayyybe the supermarket too. :) I recommend this particular on- the gel type stuff in the pink tube. I'll repeat what I said in my previous post just because it really helps to soothe (ahem, soov?) an itchy bite: keep it in the fridge.

Comment #8873876 deleted
Edited by houndrfriend (103518) on 2010-03-04 21:36:08 forgot something
Removed by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2010-03-05 14:10:47 Completely off topic and unhelpful to the OP.


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