BITES: Emerald Pharmacy First area manager Jess Burrey said local pharmacies can’t keep enough itch relief products on the shelf. nk-180310-003
BITES: Emerald Pharmacy First area manager Jess Burrey said local pharmacies can’t keep enough itch relief products on the shelf. nk-180310-003

Scratching itch may bite

IT may feel like a straight jacket is the only thing to keep your from scratching your bites, but there are other, less drastic options.

Central Highlands Regional Council starting mosquito fogging in Emerald and surrounds last month, and is trialling a new spray against the dreaded midges in Rolleston from Monday, March 22.

Emerald Pharmacy First area manager Jess Burrey said she thinks it could be one of the worst seasons for midge bites she has seen.

“A lot of our itch creams we have sold our normal year’s supply in a month,” she said.

She said some people were suffering from serious infections from the bites.

While most infections can be treated with antibiotics, there are cases of people being admitted to hospital due to the severity of the infection.

While the pharmacies are having trouble keeping enough stock on the shelves, residents are having trouble finding something that eases the need to scratch.

Jess said the first thing to do was try and prevent being bitten.

She suggested spray products like Aeroguard and Rid, but also citronella infused arm bands and patches, as well as vitamin B1.

“There are studies that suggest people who take a vitamin B1 supplement will be less likely to be bitten,” she said.

The B1 builds up in our system creating an odour, unnoticeable to humans, but not appealing to mosquitoes. It could take two weeks to take effect.

While some may try out home remedies, Jess said most people are trying anything and everything to take the edge of the itch.

Tried and tested products:

Antiseptic and anaesthetic creams;

Antihistamine tablets;

Washes that can be used in the shower or bath;

Vinegar;

Paw paw ointment;

Tea Tree oil;

Calamine lotion.


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