One Monday morning a few weeks ago, I woke up with four red bites around my ankle on my left foot. One on the top of my foot, one under the inside of my ankle bone, one up my heel a little, and one above my ankle bone, on the outside.
It was early in the morning and we had just sat down on the lounge after being woken by our terrific two. I unconsciously started scratching and mumbled to hubby that something had bitten me. As the day went on the bites became itchier and I realised that there were four bites around my ankle.They were the biggest itchy bites I had ever seen.
By the next day they were unbearable. I had tried a bite cream that we had in the medicine cupboard, and it was doing nothing. The twins were asleep so I couldn’t go down to the chemist and I was beside myself, trying not to scratch but not able to leave them alone.
I went in search of some help. And in my efforts, I gathered together a huge, handy list of various ideas (some funny and some genius) to treat itchy bites. Some from websites, some from forums, and some from asking those around me. Some sounded like they might work, a few sounded like old wives tales. But if you are being driven as crazy as I was, you are ready to try anything.
Some of these I tried. Smearing the bites with toothpaste being the most memorable. In the end I do think that the good old Stingose gel soothed them the best.
The bites lasted over a week. Four nights in a row I was up at all hours reapplying cream and tossing and turning with annoyance, (I think the bed sheets irritated them). If they lasted much longer I was going to take a trip to the Doctor.
I don’t know what they were. Though I have a vague memory of stating out loud while at the park the day before they appeared, that something was biting me. I suspect that they were sandfly bites.
Whatever they were they drove me insane!
So, in the hope of helping anyone out there who is ever in the same predicament, here is my list of things to try that apparently can soothe the dreaded itch:
note: I have not tried all of these ideas myself so cannot say how effective they are. If you have any bite that causes you pain or to much discomfort I suggest seeking professional medical advice.
- If possible, when the bites first appear clean them with alcohol wipes, or wipe over with water.
- Bicarb soda- Mix the Bicarb with warm water to make a paste and apply to the area.
- Apple cider vinegar- dab with a cotton ball soaked in the vinegar, hold it on the area for a while.
- Apply calamine lotion.
- Apply witch hazel.
- Apply either quiet hot water or very cold water.
- Hold an ice pack on the area.
- Apply cooled tea bags.
- Cover with toothpaste.
- Rub with a wet aspirin.
- Apply mouthwash to the bites.
- Rub a bar of dry soap over the bites.
- Apply Lavender oil.
- Apply Tea tree oil to the area.
- Apply Aloe Vera gel. Either store bought or directly from the broken plant.
- Cover with Vick’s Vapor rub.
- Citrus fruit. Rub a cut lemon over the bite.
- Rub with the inside of a banana skin.
- Rub with a cut onion.
- Oatmeal. Make in to a paste with warm water and apply, or have an oatmeal bath.
- Cover with honey.
- Stick a piece of sticky tape over the bite. Remove after a few hours.
I recommend you try not to scratch as this increases the itching. If you can’t keep your hands off try gently patting the area or smacking it.
If you think they look infected see your doctor right away.
I also found as they healed the skin was quiet dry all around the area, and this added to the itch. So lathering my skin with moisturiser helped.
My bites have pretty much been and gone, although I still have a red mark where each bite was. I know I will be keeping this list handy for future reference.