SURE FIRE RELIEF FROM NO-SEE-UM BITES
By David Eidell (01/08)
Let's face it, some of us are allergic to no-see-um insect bites. While the more fortunate may endure tiny red bumps which may disappear in an day, others develop pea-size welts which last for a week or longer. They itch like crazy and can put a damper on an otherwise perfect trip.
No-see-ums are tiny sand flies that bite. Like their moniker, they are tiny (until they bite). No see ums or "NSU" can be held at bay with DEET mosquito repellent. But it is "those times" that we may forget to apply DEET that this article is aimed.
Conventional relief remedies usually fail miserably. I have used unbelievably potent 10% cortisone cream with no results. Same for calamine lotion. I have even tried 11% lidocaine spray and had little if any relief. It was relentless itching that led me to the following remedy. Fellow travellers have tried the remedy as well and it really works.
Common sense has to be utilized because the "cure" involves the use of boiling hot water.
I use Q-tip swabs and a small tin of water that has acheived a termperature of at least 180 degrees. Carefully dunk the tip of the swab into the water and then quickly dab the swab onto the bite. Of course it will sting just a bit, but the sting feels great on top of that darned itch and it (the sting) lasts only a second or two.
Important: The tiny quantity of scalding water on the q-tip limits the amount of "scalding" to the area of which it is applied. I would never use anything else that a q-tip. Too much of a good thing will scald your skin.
I would limit the total number of applications per bite to two or three. Relief is usually instant. Make very sure that whatever is used for a vessel to hold the hot water is extremely secure (sometimes the jolt of hot water can make us jump a little).
I use zinc ointment over the treated bite.
Last Note: Be Careful With Hot Water!