How to treat sandfly bites

  • Don’t scratch – so hard, but this is a big one. Try a little calamine lotion, aloe vera or lavender oil.  We’ve found most anti-itch creams pretty ineffective, so speak to the pharmacist and try an oral anti-histamine if you are having a strong reaction to any bites. Help is coming – look out for New 2B After Bite, out soon.
  • Keep them clean – the last thing you want is a secondary infection in the bite so wash them in water and dab them gently with a natural antiseptic like tea-tree or lavender or a pharmacy-bought antiseptic.
  • Keep them cool – apply cool packs to bites, even pack of peas or a frozen juicy wrapped in a t-shirt will give a little relief.  Sleep with your feet out of bed (if there’s no bugs about).
  • Keep applying a good repellent.  You shouldn’t use a DEET repellent on broken skin. 2B Insect Repellent contains Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus and Lemongrass so is an antiseptic as well as offering long-lasting protection from further biting insects.
  • When to go to the doctor – if the bite area gets very swollen, weepy or painful do seek medical advice.  Most pharmacists will be happy to give you a quick opinion what might help or if you should see a doctor – they will also know where to find an emergency doctor service for out-of-towners.  A good number to know here in NZ is Healthline 0800 611 116 which is free and open 24/7 – they can tell you where to find an emergency doctor and arrange a translator if you need one.

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