Newest Review: ... and your desire to scratch. Essentially it diffuses histamine build up which is what creates the urge to scratch. Scratches bit... more
Be Quick to Click
Boots Bite & Sting Relief Click it
Member Name: fizzywizzy
Boots Bite & Sting Relief Click it
Date: 14/03/12, updated on 14/03/12 (175 review reads)
Advantages: Simple to use; small and light; works well for some
Disadvantages: Doesn't work well on all bites and for everyone
Biting insects seem to have a sixth sense where I am concerned. I can be in a group of ten people and will be the only one to get bitten. In Cuba the family we were staying with had to take me to the polyclinic because I couldn't sleep at night for wanting to scratch all the bites on my legs (I didn't let on that I was also trying not to scratch what felt like hundreds of sandmite bites on my backside which I'd acquired when having a wee behind the beer stand at the fiesta). When we were going off for three and half months of travel around the Black Sea in 2006 I knew I would have to make sure I packed some effective protection and treatments because it might be difficult to find such things in some of the countries we'd be travelling to.
A colleague who volunteered with army cadets on outward bound courses recommended a strong high DEET content product and made me promise to be generous in its application. I wasn't convinced that this would protect me fully from bites and I still wanted something to treat any bites I might get. I chose the 'Click It', a tiny device that is supposed to use a tiny electrical charge to take the sting out of insect bites to reduce inflammation and your desire to scratch. Essentially it diffuses histamine build up which is what creates the urge to scratch. Scratches bites is bad news because it lengthens the amount of time it takes to heal the bite and it also increases the risk of infection.
A couple of companies make this kind of product. I bought my first one from a mail order travel accessories catalogue. I was not impressed with it for reasons I am about to describe but I resolved to try again and bought my next one from Boots. In terms of method of use and appearance there was no difference between the brands.
The device is about an inch long and will easily fit in a pocket. It has a small eye on the side and I found it useful to thread a length of cotton through the eye and then tie it to my belt loop, placing the 'clicker' in my pocket for easy access. Time is of the essence when using this treatment and you don't want to be rooting about in a bag for five minutes to find it.
There are two tiny little metal rods protruding from the end of the clicker. You place them directly onto the skin on and around the bitten area and applying only very light pressure, click the device. The instructions recommend at least five clicks and a maximum of ten. It doesn't break the skin and is completely safe. You do feel the rods touch the skin but not an electrical pulse as such. The device has been designed so that it's comfortable to hold and you can hold it quite naturally.
I've had mixed results with this device but it is difficult to say why results might have varied. While in Georgia I was very badly bitten during an overnight stop at a port city. I had 'deeted' up before going out in the evening but I could feel the little blighters getting their teeth stuck in as we were eating dinner (note to self, eat indoors on warm nights in Georgian sea ports). I clicked merrily away but still the bites itched like mad and the next morning my ankles had ballooned. We were due to sail into Russia that night and I had to spend the sea voyage with my feet up on two rucksacks because of the swelling. Fortunately a very kind Russian customs officer had seen my plight and summoned an ambulance to be there when I eventually cleared passport control. I can only hope that those people going to Sochi for the next winter Olympics don't need a hospital because other than a very handsome A and E doctor, Sochi's hospital has little to recommend it.
On that occasion the clicker had failed miserably but earlier in the trip it had fared moderately well, providing reasonable relief when used on occasional bites, so when I happened to notice that Boots were selling an own brand version I popped one in my basket. It came with us on a short stay on the Slovenian coast and it wasn't too long before it was tested. Maybe Slovenian mozzies and bitey-things are especially resilient because the Boots Bite & Sting Relief Click It was no match for them. In spite of following the instructions to the letter the bites itched and itched. It was September and the nights were hot and clammy making it hard to sleep and, I'm sure, increasing the urge to scratch. In despair I asked a pharmacist for help. She asked whether I wanted a natural or a chemical prevention product. I asked for the most evil, manmade product she could lay her hands on. I had taken some insect repellent with me but it couldn't compare with the stuff she gave me. The Click-It went in the bin.
I wouldn't bother with another click device even though I had limited success when using it for the first time on the odd single bite. I have read very positive reviews of this type of product, however, and I do think that it doesn't do much for me because I have such a bad reaction to insect bites. If you have only a modest reaction to the bites and just want something to relieve the initial itchiness then this product will probably be of some use.
For those people the Click It has a number of advantages. As it's not a liquid remedy you can pack it in your hand luggage and not have to worry about exceeding liquid limits. It's very easy to use and has the advantage over creams and gels that you aren't left with sticky hands after use. It fits easily into a pocket and is lightweight. It is suitable for use in children aged over four years. Other than not using it on broken skin (use your nous, it doesn't 'broken' as in just bitten) there are no contraindications or warnings making this a product that's suitable for almost everyone. The device provides relief from mosquito and horsefly bites and nettle stings.
On the other hand it is small and its easy to lose; I strongly suggest attaching it your person in order not to lose it.
The Boots Bite & Sting Relief Click It is currently priced at £5.65 (and you'll earn 20 points with an Advantage Card) and gives about 2,000 clicks. Alternative brands do offer more clicks: the Lifesystems version provides over 10,000 clicks and is currently selling online for £5.49 which is 12% off the RRP of £6.25. (www.outdoorkit.co.uk) I would suggest that all brands offer similar efficacy.
When this product works it is brilliant. Hygienic, convenient and easy to use, it is an amazing little device that provides fast relief. It won't work for everyone unfortunately, but for the price it's certainly worth a try,
Summary: A handy little device that many people find very good at relieving itching caused by bites and sting