One of my lovely patients who has young children told me that she has a sure-fire way to stop the itch and scratching caused by mozzie bites, especially when her family go camping. She simply applies sticky tape to the bite and she claims that the itch settles within a few minutes and the swelling is resolved by the next morning!
Why is this so? The only explanation I can come up with is that by excluding the air from the bite, it stops the skin reacting. I’m itching to try this out, and if any patients want to try this technique, I’d welcome feedback via our facebook page. Crying, scratching children can spoil summer fun.
Prevention is always superior to curing problems and many people have found that maintaining a good level of Vitamin B in their system generally reduces the incidence of insect bites. As the skin secretes Vitamin B, it gives out an odor undetectable to humans, but unpleasant and deterring to mozzies. The level needed for this effect is 100mg Vitamin B1 taken daily over summer. B vitamins don’t work well in isolation, they need the full orchestra, so a good Vitamin B complex meeting the 100mg B1 standard, taken daily, is the best preventative for adults.
Children fare better when there are plenty of B vitamins in their diet, so include nuts and whole grains (providing there are no food sensitivities), eggs, lean meats, fish, dried beans, lentils and bean sprouts.
Burning citronella candles near barbeque and outdoor entertaining areas can act as a deterrent and the electronic mozzie zappers are a good solution.
Some people aren’t enthused about the smell of citronella or the fire hazard risk, so one of our clever patients who supplies our clinic with a range of beautiful essential oil air fragrances, Jane Sever, has created a wonderful new product for our clinic.
It’s called ‘Alfresco Mosquito Deterrent Aid’ and it comes in a 250ml pump spray pack containing only natural essential oils. It needs to be sprayed on seat covers, hems of tablecloths etc. 10 minutes before using your alfresco area and lasts for at least 2 hours. It also may be sprayed on clothing – better for littlies than some mozzie repellent lotions! It retails for $29.90 and lasts for ages. I’ve used it and I am really confident that it works.
By the way, the classic treatment naturopathy-wise for mozzie bites is tincture of Ledum or Teatree lotion! I hope you enjoy a scratch-free summer.
By Val Allen, Naturopath