Product Type: After Bite in Health Therapies / Treatments
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Stop Scratching that Bite!
After Bite Sting and Insect Bite Treatment
Member Name: Verbena
After Bite Sting and Insect Bite Treatment
Date: 06/03/12, updated on 11/03/12 (134 review reads)
Advantages: Fast acting relief to reduce the itching and swelling from insect bites and stings
Disadvantages: Smells rather unpleasant and needs to be stored below 25˚C.
I'm starting to consider the preparations I need to make for my second visit to Kenya in July. It must have been making an appointment at the surgery, to discuss whether I will need any further vaccinations, and what anti-malarial medication to take that made me think about what to take for the inevitable bites of various kinds. - I visited in 2010 so am hoping I'm going to be OK for jabs!
Now I'm the sort of person that seems tasty to insects, so I have a bit of experience around remedies over a good many years. I love Scotland but the midges love me, too. It doesn't seem to matter where I am, even in my own garden, they find me! Last summer's worst one happened when I was picking raspberries. So the chances are I'll get bites of some sort in Kenya, even though using insect repellent. I've started to think what to take this time. I took an antihistamine cream in 2010, which helped with the many bites I got on my toes from tiny ants, but I could have done with something to apply more often.
~~ Why After Bite? ~~
The thing is, I can't seem to resist scratching the wretched bites when they itch. I knock the tops off and they ooze, especially the mozzie-type bites! At my age I really should know better, but there we go; I can't seem to stop it. What I hadn't really considered until recently is the chance that I could develop impetigo if an infection gets in; I've seen impetigo in preschool children and it's something I definitely don't want to get, so keeping my skin healthy while the bitten area is healing is important to me. The antihistamine creams help to some extent, but I seem to recall that you can only use them a few times a day. After Bite, manufactured by Ardern Healthcare Ltd, with Tender being the M.A. Holder, whatever that means, is something we usually have in our household as my son is just as prone to getting bitten, and you can use this as needed. I don't remember the price of the last pack. Currently on Boots online it retails at £3.99 and on Amazon from about £3.79. The Boots website says you must be over 16 to buy this.
Alcohol Ethoxylate, Mink Oil, Dimethylpolysiloxane, Purified Water. The information on the tube says '3.5% w/v Cutaneous Emulsion Ammonia' but, as I'm no chemist, I can't tell you which constituent is the ammonia.
The vial has a 'do not use after' date clearly printed on the side, along with data like batch numbers.
~~What to Look For ~~
After Bite comes attached to a card which carries information about the kind of skin irritations it's suitable for: horse flies, mosquitoes, jellyfish, wasps, nettles and bees are specifically mentioned. Obviously this needs removing before using the product. The 14 ml container is shaped a bit like a felt-tipped pen with an applicator on the end and a clip at the side. You could easily clip it on to a belt or bag if you are out walking, or keep it in your pocket. I would just advise that you make sure the cap is on firmly, as once I had a serous leak in a handbag and had to throw it away because of the smell, but it was my own fault.
~~ Using After Bite ~~
What I like about After Bite is that I can apply it straight to the bitten area and it not only seems to give almost instantaneous relief, but I get a masochistic stinging sensation, which makes me feel it must be doing me some good! It needs to, because the smell is something else - I'll be tactful and say it's mainly down to the ammonia - or maybe the mink oil!
Application is straightforward; you shake the container, take off the cap and dab the applicator on the affected area, ideally using a 'vigorous circular motion.' Best results are apparently obtained if you apply it as soon as possible after being bitten. That's a good reason for taking one with you on walks etc. If you use it on young children and they have broken the skin on their bite/sting, be prepared for it to be quite painful for a while; they might not cope with that initial discomfort as well as an adult.
The applicator should stay moist and this makes it easy to apply however much you feel you need. If it dries out, it should re-moisten if you give it a good shake. You have to be very careful about using this on the face, as clearly it would be agonising to get it in your eyes or mouth. It's for external use only, and if someone should ingest it then a doctor should be consulted, and the person who swallowed it should drink milk or citrus juice rather than be induced to vomit! If it gets in the eyes, wash out with lots of water. Naturally it should be kept out of reach and sight of children, especially as it does look like a pen. It can be used on children, but only if they are over 2 years old.
~~ More Warnings! ~~
The packaging reminds us that this is a medicine, so we should always read the product information leaflet before using this product. Ideally a doctor or pharmacist should be consulted if you have a medical condition, are taking medication, or if the symptoms persist. It's also worth getting advice before using if you are or plan to become pregnant, breast feeding, or suffer from allergies. Although side effects are apparently rare, clearly you should stop using it and get advice if it seems to make things worse, or you get a rash, redness etc. and don't use it if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. You shouldn't cover or bandage firmly the area treated. One last one - and this isn't on the information given - don't mistake this as an insect repellent. It isn't and you would need to take a separate product with you if you want that protection. I shall have to get some [equally smelly] 50% Deet repellent before my Kenya trip.
~~ A Few Comments ~~
I've already said that I find this product good. Don't be put off by all the warnings - I know they seem a bit heavy, but I believe it's safe enough to use if you're sensible.
For my Kenyan trip, I'm a bit undecided, having seen that it should be stored below 25 degrees C. July/August is one of the cooler times of year there, so it may be OK and, as I'm helping in a school & our accommodation is close by, I can probably keep it cool enough in my apartment. On balance, I think I'll risk taking it but probably take an antihistamine cream as well.
Its usefulness is particularly in terms of the almost instantaneous relief it brings, and the fact that you can apply it as often as you need. It's true that the smell is strong, but it virtually disappears as the liquid dries so I don't think it's a great issue. Another advantage is that it does seem to reduce the itching and swelling, rather than masking, which I suspect some other products of doing. I believe the mink oil is there to help soothe the skin. I wouldn't want to take a holiday in the UK without having this with me. I commend it to you if, like me, insects like to bite you. I'm going to be a bit mean and knock off one star for the smell and the temperature issue, as you would hope to have temperatures of over 25 degrees C on many a summer holiday in Europe, and maybe even here in the UK, I think!
Thank you for reading my review, which may be posted on other sites.
Summary: A bite/sting relief product for anyone over age 2 with care. Use as needed for fast relief.