Thursday, August 14, 2008

Skeeter Sufferers, Unite!

I can't be the only one.

Since earliest childhood, I have had an exceptionally hard time with mosquito bites.

They really, really, REALLY cause me extreme itching. The itch seems to go way down, below all layers of skin or fat cells and just lodge there, out of reach. Only some dedicated scratching eases the itch. But by the time the itch goes away, I have mangled my skin to the point where I either get an infection (this has happened twice that I can recall), or just create unsightly marks that take forever to fade. I can find mosquito bite scars going back to my teens. The stupid things did more damage to me than a bout with the chicken pox 12 years ago. They itched more, too.

Nobody seems to understand!

Them: "Don't scratch. Just leave it alone."
Me: "Fine. How often do you promise to visit me in the asylum?"

Them: "Put lotion on it."
Me: "Before or after I scrape all the skin off my arm?"

Them: "That is SUCH bad manners!"
Me: "That's what I keep telling the mosquitoes, but they don't listen!"

Meanwhile, I get disfigured every spring and summer. They started in on me very early this year, because I went to a church retreat out in the boonies in mid-April. The first one I got this year was on the outside of my right wrist. The mark is still quite visible. My left hand, wrist and forearm took a beating too this year. The marks are really ugly -- I'm aware of them because people at work come over to ask me questions and if I reach out with my left hand to get a piece of paper or something, I feel like they draw the eye. I'm sure people are wondering what the marks are. Today I went so far as to buy a jar of lightening cream, hoping it will diminish the spots.

I always seem to get caught by surprise by the damn things. "You're so sweet, they can't resist you," at least one person says to me per year, thinking it's original. It isn't, and it doesn't make me feel any better. I really do attract them. I have only to step outside for 30 seconds, day or night, and if there's a mosquito within a hundred yards, it will end up boring little holes into me, sucking out my blood. So Cutter and Off are only occasionally useful.

As for the itching, there is a remedy. You take powdered meat tenderizer (Adolph's or an equivalent store brand), mix about a teaspoon with 8 oz. of water and just slather it on where the bites are. It stops the itching right in its tracks. The only problem with this, of course, is that if you have to wait any length of time between getting bitten and having a chance to mix up a batch of "Itch-Kill," you're gonna scratch regardless. The itching will stop, but the memory will linger.


Kat said...

My son used to go to school with a girl that seemed to suffer the same as you from mostquito bites. Turns out she was allergic to them. She now takes allergy relief medication and it helps her with the itching. I think that one summer when her family was planning on going camping she even got some needles for it.

I once had hives from head to foot, it was insane the itching I went through. I used cool showers to assist with the scratching, I wonder if that might help you as well.

Volly said...

It might help. The key is doing something right away, whether it's "itch-kill" or a shower before starting to scratch. Finding out about "itch-kill" has been a huge help, since before, I figured, well, the only thing that relieves it is scratching. Now I know there's an alternative. Now the scarring actually bothers me more than the itching. ...But there's help for that too! :)