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Itch Relief

PostPosted: Mon 31 Mar, 2014 10:47 am
by Nuts
Itch Relief

Anyone tried these? I personally have a mild reaction to leech and mossie bites, many people do. I have tried this 'snake oil' on a few others and even with a wasp bite (personally). Easier to carry, more convenient and has a very similar action to stingose, perhaps even acting quicker. I'm sure a chemist would find the ingredient (probably in the T-tree component) that neutralised the acids in a sting, or bite. Either way- It works :shock: I'll draw a stronger conclusion when my sample size is acceptable.. :wink:

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Mon 31 Mar, 2014 1:12 pm
by GPSGuided
Why don't you just buy and use tea tree oil?

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Mon 31 Mar, 2014 2:26 pm
by Nuts
Could do. Iv'e see some people using it for bites, small cuts, abrasions. These things and these topical applications are hardly emergency first aid so there is no harm done? Does Tea Tree oil neat (or as retailed in strength) ever cause a severe reaction in itself?

To match these for the use they actually get t-tree or other options would need to be decanted in a small vial or tube. Even for a large group this stuff (in tubes / glass bottles) tends to grow old and crusty, carried many times before ever used up (and tree is pretty messy if it leaks) Anyhow, Maybe it's the combination with aloe vera? some additional antiseptic or neutralising chemical properties? I'm not sure.. It 'works' in this combination, one sachet will do many bites. I had to reapply a few times for the Wasp bite.

Usually, for leech bites, cleaning the surface with alcohol/betadine is standard practice, do these affect (or react with) these 'itch reliefs'??

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Mon 31 Mar, 2014 3:01 pm
by GPSGuided
I don't think you are doing anything wrong or incompatible by sterilising the wound with alcohol and betadine. All good. For insect bites and others, I find traditional remedies are generally well tested, so tea tree oil and various ointments they sell in Chinese stores are good for these. One particular is 'Tiger Balm', a product from Singapore. Tiny package with lots of basic first aid applications, including insect bites. If there's no relief, then one needs something that has anaesthetic properties. Anusol comes to mind quickly even though it's not primarily marketed for this application. It has all the ingredients with anti-inflammatory and anaesthetic properties. Can't go wrong and I am serious here.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Mon 31 Mar, 2014 7:37 pm
by walkon
We use tea tree neat for a variety of uses with no ill effects, though we don't suffer from your reaction to bites so that bit of information is probably useless to you nuts.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Mon 31 Mar, 2014 8:11 pm
by Nuts
Haha, expected you to say " traditional remedies such as- stingose " GPS. Yes, we carry tiger balm, the idea being mostly a muscle rub. We don't carry anusol on tours, people don't sit a lot so i'm sure we can be forgiven.. I have heard positive reports from using honey for infected bites and scratches, multi-use!! Paw Paw ointment seems to work well for small scratches and abrasions.

I doubt there is a lot in these sachets walkon, if just the T-tree oil it obviously doesn't take a lot to relieve itching.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 23 Apr, 2014 3:19 pm
by mrpotter
Cleaning with betadine is a necessity. Calamine is also very good, however I find it more useful if its actually dried out and well past its expiry - eventually turns to a powdery goo that can be rehydrated but sticks to skin better if it remains dehydrated.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 23 Apr, 2014 5:49 pm
by GPSGuided
Nuts wrote:I have heard positive reports from using honey for infected bites and scratches, multi-use!! Paw Paw ointment seems to work well for small scratches and abrasions.

Manuka honey? Gets a bit expensive though. :roll:

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 23 Apr, 2014 6:11 pm
by Tortoise
Very interested in itch relief myself. Increasing allergic reaction to leech bites (and ants). :( Last one I got an 8cm diameter red raised area of induration, which soon became insanely itchy. They can still be itchy a month later. Very inconvenient in Tassie! Especially if i end up with a dozen or more leech bites. :shock:

Have tried:

- paraderm plus (antiseptic, anaesthetic & anti-inflammatory)
- 1% hydrocortisone cream
- tea tree oil
- aloe vera gel
- stingose
- calamine lotion
- ice packs (a bit tricky in the bush, but short term relief at home) A soak in a creek helps for a bit, but I can't stay there all day...
- phenergen 25mg
- various combinations of the above
- better prevention - so far no insect repellents, including the maximum deet ones (on pants, socks, skin, gaiters, boots) have dissuaded those critters altogether from a good feed.

Sought other ideas from a pharmacist - I'd covered all his suggestions. Except to think re oral steroids. I still have a few (old ones) from the days when I had asthma attacks.
25mg prednisone, for 2-3 days. That works, but is a bit dramatic. Don't like doing that more than once or twice a year.
Will try anusol (thanks, GPSg). Memories of tiger balm smell on everything, not so keen to use that.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 23 Apr, 2014 6:49 pm
by andrewa
The main itchy things I come across are NZ sandflies, and whilst the most important thing is to prevent the little *&%$#! biting you, once you do get "the itch", the most effective thing I've found to date was one of those "Mozzie click" devices....they work a treat. My understanding of them is that somehow the local piezo-electrical current contricts blood flow to the area, and this somehow reduces local histamine release, which is the thing that causes the itch.

Rubbing any creams on has its limitations, coz the rubbing action causes more histamine to be released (which is why you shouldn't itch something that is itchy). OTC cortisone creams are weak....the stuff your GP can prescribe has some "oomph" to it - eg diprosone/advantan/elocon, but use a cream, which will "rub" in more easily, rather than a greasy ointment.

Antihistamines are useful if you have a large number of bites, and many people are not aware that you can "double/triple" up with antihistamines quite safely - eg take a telfast ,a zyrtec and then an aerius etc (or generic equivalents). Phenergen is very sedating, and 25mg of phenergen would make many people hopelessly drowsy for 8-12 hrs.

Prednisolone works, but is overkill for the lay population to use for simple bites, and it prob takes 3-4hrs to start to work.

Not sure about the other homeopathic/naturopathic stuff, coz its not my profession, but a "Mozzie Click" is pretty much in that ball court anyway. I was sceptical the first time I used one, but wouldn't do a trip to NZ without one now.

Andrew A

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 23 Apr, 2014 8:38 pm
by Gadgetgeek
I have had good luck with vics vapo-rub on un-scratched midgey bites. It seems to counter the reaction preemptively. I've also had reasonable success with eurax cream. although its not perfect. often for large areas I'll just hit them again with the vics or other strong muscle rub, to keep the itching to a minimum.
With something like tea-tree or whatever, its not a bad idea to do an allergy test well before hand, as reactions can compound each other.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 23 Apr, 2014 8:52 pm
by matagi
andrewa wrote:Rubbing any creams on has its limitations, coz the rubbing action causes more histamine to be released (which is why you shouldn't itch something that is itchy). OTC cortisone creams are weak....the stuff your GP can prescribe has some "oomph" to it - eg diprosone/advantan/elocon, but use a cream, which will "rub" in more easily, rather than a greasy ointment.

Antihistamines are useful if you have a large number of bites, and many people are not aware that you can "double/triple" up with antihistamines quite safely - eg take a telfast ,a zyrtec and then an aerius etc (or generic equivalents). Phenergen is very sedating, and 25mg of phenergen would make many people hopelessly drowsy for 8-12 hrs.

Agree about using cream rather than ointment. I would also suggest rubbing cream on the unaffected skin around the edge of the bite - better absorption through there.

The other thing most people don't know is that you can add a H2 blocker like Zantac to the antihistamine combination to provide some extra cover if you're having a particularly bad bite reaction.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 23 Apr, 2014 9:03 pm
by andrewa
Very true, but not many people carry zantac, etc unless they are prone to indigestion....and even then, if you were to buy an OTC indigestion tablet, you may well be offered a PPI, like somac , which doesn't block the H2 receptor. However, if you have an itch,and indigestion, then your set.....from a practical point of view, even though you are very correct, it seems rare to see medical practitioners prescribe H2 blockers for itch. I'm not sure why, but its only occasionally that I see a dermatologist suggest them. Most of us just jump to prednisone for the really itchy patient who rocks up and has failed antihistamines.

A

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 23 Apr, 2014 9:03 pm
by Miyata610
andrewa wrote:Antihistamines are useful if you have a large number of bites, and many people are not aware that you can "double/triple" up with antihistamines quite safely.....


I too find an antihistamine very effective. Especially for a few stubborn bites with redness and swelling. They're a must have for a useful first aid kit. They can prevent a lot of discomfort.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 23 Apr, 2014 9:10 pm
by matagi
andrewa wrote:Very true, but not many people carry zantac, etc unless they are prone to indigestion....and even then, if you were to buy an OTC indigestion tablet, you may well be offered a PPI, like somac , which doesn't block the H2 receptor. However, if you have an itch,and indigestion, then your set.....from a practical point of view, even though you are very correct, it seems rare to see medical practitioners prescribe H2 blockers for itch. I'm not sure why, but its only occasionally that I see a dermatologist suggest them. Most of us just jump to prednisone for the really itchy patient who rocks up and has failed antihistamines.

A

I learnt about it during my ED days. It was part of the oral armamentarium we threw at people who came in with anaphylaxis (after we hit them with the injectables, that is)

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 23 Apr, 2014 9:19 pm
by andrewa
Knock the *&%$#! out of them with IV phenergan and hydrocortisone first... - that's the ultimate ED approach. We (GPs) have to fix up what's left!

Beside this, would you actually bother taking Zantac if you had insect bites? Try the Mozzie Click...I was amazed at how well it worked....but not so useful in an ED with a patient with generalised itch.

A

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 23 Apr, 2014 9:24 pm
by matagi
andrewa wrote:Knock the *&%$#! out of them with IV phenergan and hydrocortisone first... - that's the ultimate ED approach. We (GPs) have to fix up what's left!

Beside this, would you actually bother taking Zantac if you had insect bites? Try the Mozzie Click...I was amazed at how well it worked....but not so useful in an ED with a patient with generalised itch.

A

I don't bother personally. I just hit mine with 1% hydrocortisone, which works fine. Unfortunately, hubby tends to react a little more violently - although it does depend on what's bitten him, so for him we do carry both.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 23 Apr, 2014 9:39 pm
by walkon
Sorry but whenever I see this thread 'itch relief by nuts' I can't help but giggle. I hope it goes away soon, poor bloke.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 23 Apr, 2014 9:47 pm
by andrewa
Itch, by Nuts equals crabs.....normally!

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Thu 24 Apr, 2014 1:56 am
by GPSGuided
andrewa wrote:...the most effective thing I've found to date was one of those "Mozzie click" devices....they work a treat. My understanding of them is that somehow the local piezo-electrical current contricts blood flow to the area, and this somehow reduces local histamine release, which is the thing that causes the itch.

Really? My wife bought that for the family on our NZ trip 2 years ago and I wondered how it worked at the time. I didn't look hard but thought it was just saturated local nerve stimulation, a bit similar to the relief one gets by a good scratch. In practice, I have not found them to be any significantly better or worse than a good dose of pressure with a finger nail.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Thu 24 Apr, 2014 2:18 am
by icefest
GPSGuided wrote:a good dose of pressure with a finger nail.


Phew, I'm not the only one that does this.
Admittedly I am not hugely allergic to most insect sting so I have little itching and swelling to begin with.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Thu 24 Apr, 2014 9:27 am
by mrpotter
Tortoise wrote:Very interested in itch relief myself. Increasing allergic reaction to leech bites (and ants). :(


Same here. My last itch adventure saw my foot massively swell and I was put on an IV for 2 days - likely completely unnecessary, probably due to the following

andrewa wrote:Knock the *&%$#! out of them with IV phenergan and hydrocortisone first... - that's the ultimate ED approach. We (GPs) have to fix up what's left!


But it would be nice if I could see my GP within a week. Ahh our health system is great.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Fri 25 Apr, 2014 10:39 am
by Nuts
Interesting responses. Tortoise, I have a very similar reaction and if down around an ankle (typical with leeches/mozzies) the ankle will swell. Iv'e walked through it a number of times. The transference of pain to one or another muscles or joints quickly turns focus. I somehow found myself reading some research notes for the relationship between pain and itch (and the Wasabi receptors :).. aptly named ) both utilising a similar pathway to brain. Anyhow..It's interesting (Tortoise) that even with a similar reaction, and having tried many similar applications.. they all seem to work (for me).

I'm wondering if others find a single solution (of the many you have tried) works while some topical applications don't? Or are we mostly all-or-(apparently) nothing? Is one a stand out for general use in alleviating itch, especially from leeches and mozzies? Can we generalise?

Stingose contains aluminium sulphate. This to affect the venom in a sting, not specifically the toxins from a bite. Yet works as quickly as others for me. BTW, have you tried 'Stop Itch' Tortoise as this is a completely different formulation based on oils and extracts? Perhaps it's just the alleviated itch and subsequent scratch that is stopping pain and ongoing problems.. by reducing the release of histamines in the area?

There is a lot to be said for preparation (each person advised to carry personal medications to deal with their individual/known reaction as listed) and prevention. For newbies (with a lot to take on in very short time) it can take some persistent warnings along the way.. communication. It's easy to miss with so much going on...Personally, I wear long pants and with wet weather tuck them in (or thermals into socks). You can tuck the shirt line in also though i'm not sure a bite on the neck is the best advice in the worst scenarios. At least the journey to the waist gives some chance for confusion and detection :| DEET on the socks?

I learned and later taught first aid based on response to major trauma. Many of these (with laymans access and very much in laymans hands) concessions to comfort were never really considered 'first aid'. Either way, extreme reactions are beyond anything we may carry or i'd feel comfortable having others apply, certainly not part of a packaged 'kit'?

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Fri 25 Apr, 2014 10:40 am
by Nuts
PS. Don't stress Walkon, the jewels are itch free ; )

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Fri 25 Apr, 2014 2:38 pm
by Gadgetgeek
last year, I helped a buddy with his bees. I got a few hits in the top of my boot, and due the total number of stings, my ankle became very swollen. It was too painful to walk on, but I was able to wrap it with a compression bandage. Once that reduced the swelling some, it helped quite a lot. I took as much anti-histamine as I could but the stings bothered me for a couple weeks.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jun, 2014 11:22 am
by walkerchris77
. We don't carry anusol on tours,

I wonder if the guy in the office got a pay rise for coming up with that name ?

I find the mozzie click things good also. And u can zap each other for fun.

Re: Itch Relief

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jun, 2014 3:30 pm
by Nuts
Ha, no. No he didn't. I'll leave it at that.