Dr. Twitter on Itchy Puss Filled Summer Bites

Through the course of adulthood, I’ve decided I was immune to the mosquito bite.  Well, I’d decided that until I’d spent a few summer nights outdoors in Manitoba and Ontario.  You see I have spent the better part of the last two decades summering on the West Coast of Canada, whereas this year I’m enjoying the heat of Central Canada.  And determined as they are to stand convinced that they have mosquitos in Vancouver, I just don’t think that they’ve met a real mosquito, because let me tell you I’ve encountered the real deal the past fortnight. Like the kind I haven’t seen since childhood.

Now I’m wondering in the course of a decade and a half if one can lose their threshold for tolerating mosquitos bites or if one can become allergic from lack of exposure. I ask as I don’t remember the mosquito bites of youth producing inflamed red welts engorged with puss.  This has led to some debate. Kana for one believes me to have ant bites, especially given the central localization of the bites to my feet and lower legs.  This could arguably also be the result of my love for no shoes and showing off my legs in short dresses in the summer. And let me tell you they are really something to show off, red pussy splotches and all.

No, I don’t think these are smallpox.

At any rate, the bites finally reached the stage of intolerable in the night and no amount of caladryl or toothpaste would sooth them.  So what’s a gal to do?  Take up an MD Designate on twitter. Here’s what the research turned up:

  • @OpenTorsten, “Rinse bites in vinegar.” (with the addition of making it Cider Vinegar from my crazy old aunt);
  • @mywinepal, “Make a paste from baking soda and put it on the mosquito bites”
  • @tachyondecay, “Make sure toothpaste has high fluoride, or try one of these: http://www.home-remedy.org/home-remedies-for-mosquito-bites.html”
  • @Caitlin_Burns, “Listorine (mint) or alcolhado (rubbing alcohol and bay leaves) which you can find in caribbean neighborhoods or I guess make.”
  • @CatherineOmega, “Ibuprofen and allegra or benedryl” Ingested, not rubbed on – I asked.
  • @pawpix, “Soak in hot oatmeal bath. Hot water will release some pus, oatmeals help with itchieness and rub some VapoRub in.
  • @msmithphoto, “To relieve itchiness cut an aspirin in half wet it and rub it on bites.”

Now I do understand receiving my MD means testing and experimentation, in addition to research, so I have donated my body to medical research and am randomly working my way through the list.  So far I’ve smelt like a fish & chip shop and soaked in cider vinegar.  That was somewhat effective.  Next I tried the baking soda paste. Somewhat more effective than the vinegar, but it flakes off as it dries. Finally I tried Vick’s VapoRub, which despite being a bottle from the 70’s seems to have been the most successful remedy thus far.  I am tempted to try the aspirin this afternoon though, if I manage to find any in the house.


A little overexposed, but you get the point.

Other Things I Learnt From This Experiment: It is best not to play doctor with yourself in your birthday suit in the backyard of somebody else’s house. You never know when someone you don’t know might wander right on in.’

Future Preventative Tips: Tea Tree Oil (rub on) and Vitamin A (ingested) are suppose to repel mosquitos. The later courtesy of Meg and the former from ‘I can’t remember who.’

~ Dr. Twitter MD, Emme Rogers


  1. says

    Hi, Emme. My site above is in progress. Am working on other sites as well.
    To the issue. One day some years ago, here in the country, I walked as normal in the woods. It was a bad year for mosquitos, as I found out later. I was covered up, exept unaware that an area on my neck between my scarf and my shirt, was exposed. I was badly bitten. To this day every time the heat comes the bites swell into welts, and of course, I end up scratching because of the itch. When I discover what I am doing, I more or less stop. Have tried many things, some of which you have mentioned. I will try some of the others. So far, the best reliever is Calamine Lotion. I re-apply it a few times a day. Perhaps it will just be another to add to your list, but it works for me. All the best. Audrey


  1. […] Feeling rather melancholy and home sick for the Coast tonight.  Not really sure why.  Could be that I am somewhat a creature of habit and amoungst my habits are birthday traditions and for the past few years that birthday tradition has been the Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival, and while I had the pleasure of setting others up with tickets today, I myself will not be there.  This probably wouldn’t be SO bad if I hadn’t seem to have missed my birthday all together. Lots of lovely wishes (of which I need to thank people for), but I got a number of unexpected birthday surprises from the local mosquito population, which wouldn’t have been all that bad, if I hadn’t had an allergic reaction them. One glance at my legs is a reminiscent memory of what looked like a severe case of the chicken pox and what I am hoping does not leave permanent scars. More on that story later, as I learnt a few things that day, like one should not use twitter in lieu of actual medical attention. […]

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